My SO doesn't like using sponges to wash dishes because they harbor bacteria, so I picked up a package of dishcloths from Walmart. One side is a regular cloth, the other has a rough polyester scrubbing mesh. These cloths are very absorbent and hold plenty of soap. I think they do a better job of cleaning than a regular kitchen sponge. The scrubbing side is aggressive enough to remove most stuck-on food, but shouldn't damage non-stick pans or other delicate surfaces. $1.25 a piece might sound like a lot, but a good kitchen sponge costs about that these days and unlike a sponge, these cloths are machine washable. You can also wring them out and then spread them over a towel rack to dry faster, which will help inhibit bacterial growth.
Walmart had a couple other brands, but this was the only one with a scrubbing surface.
* Cheap iced tea spoons, $2.30 per dozen at Hockenbergs Restaurant Supply
These spoons have long handles for reaching deep into a glass of iced tea, but they're also perfect for scooping stuff out of jars (mayo, peanut butter, etc). They're dirt cheap and come a dozen to the pack. They have a smooth handle which makes washing a breeze. I like to use them for tasting while I'm cooking; since I have so many and they're so easy to clean, I can use a fresh spoon each time.
Spoons like these should be available from any decent restaurant supply store.