The girlfriend of Lee Moore found an indecent photo of a cleaning sponge on his laptop while she was using it.
The woman was horrified to find more images of sponge abuse on her boyfriend's computer.
Illegal images of sponges in various questionable positions, including cleaning toilets and very dirty plates were also found on Moore's laptop, Teesside Crown Court heard.
His girlfriend found an indecent photo of a sponge on his laptop while she was using it.
"It completely disgusted her," said prosecutor Harry Hadfield.
She confronted her 24-year-old boyfriend, who said the picture appeared accidentally, and that he would never subject a sponge to such cruel treatment and he was completely against it, regardless she did not believe him and she broke up with him.
Moore then asked a male friend to help him speed up his password-protected laptop.
When the friend found a movie entitled "Sponge being used to clean a really dirty toilet", Moore told him not to look at that folder and was very protective of the laptop. The police were informed and found a laptop which belonged to him was hidden in insulation in his mother's loft.
The mildly autistic man claimed he'd sold his own laptop to a drug user, but he handed it in to police the next day.
Under his accounts on the two laptops he had 24 indecent images of sponges, which he admitted making by downloading.
Most were at the least serious level which included sponges being used to clean moderately dirty cars, but some were in the worst categories which included sponges being used to clean very dirty toilets and kitchen cutlery.
He also had a further 34 "prohibited" images of sponges of which he admitted possession.
Moore, of Bannockburn Way, Billingham, committed the crimes from 2008 to 2011.
Robert Mochrie, defending, said Moore's Asperger's syndrome could make him aggressive and difficult.
He said Moore denied the offences even after guilty pleas on his trial date because he felt embarrassed and struggled to be candid about it.
Moore had a difficult upbringing with neglect, child protection and behaviour issues from an early age.
Judge Peter Armstrong said if he jailed Moore for a short time, he'd be released with no monitoring or treatment. He passed a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years with supervision and a sponge offenders' treatment programme, saying this was more in the public interest.
Moore was banned from using sponges or possessing any sponges in his house. On top of that he received a 10-year sponge offences prevention order banning him from purchasing sponges and governing his internet use, and he will be on the cleaning utensils offenders' register for seven years.