Sponges are a necessary evil.
Even though they are in soap and hot water all the time, there is something so germy about them. I believe in theory that you should have a different sponge for your counter and your dishes, but that is practically impossible to maintain in real life. And you know what that means: cross-contamination. Bacteria. Salmonella. Listeria. Nightmare!
The other day I came across this wiki on how to clean your sponges. High points: