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When to clean sponges

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When to clean sponges

Post by monelle on Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:20 pm

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm terrified of using sponges. The few times I've tried them on family members, the paint ran down their faces or the black I used over the initial sponging spread out with little veins in all directions. Yuk! But let's say I get it just right, paint not too wet, and I wait to make sure it's dry enough to paint over. Do I wash the sponge when I'm done with that child? Then it will surely be too wet for the next child, no? Or do I need a sponge per child? Or do I keep using the same sponge on one child after another? Doesn't seem too sanitary, and anyway, I might want to change colors. One sponge per cake? Any thoughts?
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by Leesh on Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:27 pm

Well, I'm pretty new, and I'm sure others will chime in with better ideas, but here is what I do.
I have 10 precut sponge wedges. I suck at shading still, so I load my colors I need for each kid on a couple of sponges. Use them for that kid. I wash them out with 70% alchol, set them aside, and use some of the other sponges for the next kid. Wash, repeat. With 10 wedges, I've found the set I used with first kid are dry enough by the time I'm back to the original set of sponges. I also clean the kids face, arm, leg, whatever before I start. Ditto the sponge routine with the brushes. I'm sure some of the more experienced people do it way better, but this works for me at the moment.
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by monelle on Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:00 pm

Thanks, Leesh, like your ideas Smile
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by fesspenter on Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:13 pm

Our industry is not regulated, so you can do whatever you would like...
having said that....
I was trained by Infectious Disease Control at SickKids Hospital, and we use one sponge per child. I use the sponge and then toss it into my bucket to be washed in a lingerie bag at home in my washing machine on the "Sanitary" setting, and then dried on "High". I have purchased sponges from the facepaintforumshop.com on each order, 10 at a time. It was less painful to purchase them that way!
When I go to the hospital, I use sponges that I purchased from my beloved Canadian Tire store... 8 sponges for $3. I use an electric carving knife and cut each one into 16 pieces. I use these sponges once and throw them away at the hospital. The children are very ill, and there is more of a chance that I would make them sicker by re-using sponges. The general public is generally healthy, or they would not be walking around! I can wash, dry and re-use the sponges. I can paint about 10-15 faces per hour at a birthday party, and more at a corporate event where the choices are limited, so I pack about 20 sponges per hour for events, so I always have enough. I carry my sponges in a zippered packing bag from IKEA and it hangs off my chair. It holds about 200 regular sponges.
My way is not the one true way. Find out what works for you, and ask lots of face painters how they handle this.
Happy Painting!
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by monelle on Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:24 pm

Thanks for all your great ideas, Lisa! I don't think I have a "sanitary" setting on my washing machine, but maybe I could just boil them ...
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by LittleMonsters on Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:32 pm

Now that fesspenter has shown up, I'm not going to tell you how I use my sponges, lol!!

But to start off, when you're loading your sponge, test it out on the back of your hand first - this lets you check to see if it's too wet/too dry so that you can load as required before putting it on the face.

monelle wrote:The few times I've tried them on family members, the paint ran down their faces

In this case, your sponge is likely too wet... how are you loading/wetting your sponge?  Try taking a dry sponge, misting some water on your paint and loading that way first.

monelle wrote:or the black I used over the initial sponging spread out with little veins in all directions

In this case, you're painting with the Symbiote from spiderman... don't do that.  That can be very dangerous! (I'm joking here if that's not apparent)

You can get 20 half circle sponges from the FacePaintForumShop (here) for $8 by buying 10 full sponges and cutting them in half.  This is a good starting place.
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by Kal on Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:51 am

Yeah, I'm glad Littlemonsters asked how you are loading your sponge. It's sounds like you are outright dunking it in the water, a most effective way to make your paint run.

I spray the sponge and the paint with my atomizer, on the first load. You want to get that paint up in there to minimize reloading. I usually only spray the paint upon reload. Also, if I'm doing a tiger or something where I'm using two separate (no rainbow or split cake) colors then I load them both on opposite edges of the sponge and use the back side (dry) for blending.

Maybe this advice will help with your sponging? Sponges are an amazing and essential tool for face painters and will make your life so much easier. You gotta get this figured out Wink
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by fesspenter on Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:08 am

The 'Sanitary' setting is not necessary.
It is overkill.
Drying thoroughly in the dryer is the true killer of germs and viruses.

xoxo
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by PixiePaintrix on Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:43 pm

I also use one sponge per kid, but I live in alberta and so I have no choice (but I don't think I would change now even if the regulation did)
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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by monelle on Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:31 pm

Wow, so many good tips and ideas ... thanks, all Smile)

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monelle

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Re: When to clean sponges

Post by monelle on Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:27 pm

Leesh, do you keep a container of alcohol to dunk them in? Or do you pour alcohol over them? Or ...
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