The choice of dish sponge depends on the condition of the dishes to be washed. Before the dishes were washed by hand with the ashes of the fireplace. For the dirtier ones, river sand was used mixed with wet clay. Systems have filled the hands with scratches and abrasions. Human beings have always used sponges to defend themselves. Elements with sufficient abrasive power were capable of retaining water. They may be of animal origin, such as sea sponges, or vegetal, like the inside of some cellulose-rich plants. Then chemistry invented synthetic sponges, with petroleum derivatives like polyurethane, or reconstructing natural sponge cells in the laboratory. The sponge cloths really work perfectly if chosen properly.
The classic sponge for dishes is the two-sided one. One is soft to distribute the soap, the other stiff to rub. It has the advantage of being cheap, but the defect of getting dirty very easily, and especially of ruining the rough part.
More useful for cleaning stone or marble kitchen countertops, when used for dishes it fills with germs and bacteria, and after a week you need to replace it.
Another type of sponge widely used in the kitchen is the steel wool sponge. It appears to