Here's my dirty little secret.
I use Sprint wetting agent, and they recommend the use of a sponge to remove all of the excess wetting agent.
When I'm done processing and washing my film, I take it off the reel (120 and 35mm), and I see-saw the entire film length through a round container with 1:100 concentration wetting agent. Ten times back and forth.
Then I hang the film from a line, with two strong clothes pins, and a film clip lead weight on the bottom. The film is stretched to a 45 degree angle, emulsion side toward me, so that the line that the film hangs from is in front of me.
For 120 film, I use a windshield wiper that I dip in the wetting agent. I run my fingers back and forth the blade edge several times to make sure there is nothing on it that can damage the film. Then I run the blade along the entire length of the film, both on the base side, and the emulsion side. In five years, and several hundred rolls of film, I have not had a single scratch. Not one. But I get squeaky clean negatives that print with nearly no spotting at all - even at 16x20 print size.
For 135 film I have to use a different method, because water gets trapped in the sprocket holes. The wetting agent trapped in the sprocket holes will cause problems when stored in Print File sleeves, because it attracts moisture, which is then permanently stuck in the film negative sleeves.
I do the same method as above, but instead of running the wiper blade down both sides of the film, I use that on the emulsion side only. At the same time that I run the wiper blade down the emulsion side, I have a perfectly clean sponge, filled with wetting agent and squeezed until just damp, running down the film base side at the same time. This ensures that no moisture gets trapped in the sprocket holes, and the film dries perfectly for storing in Print File sleeves. Again, several years, and several hundred rolls of film - not a single scratch.
But, you must use caution! You cannot be sloppy with this technique. It works for me, and even 35mm negatives printed to 16x20" print size comes out so clean that I might have one or two spots that require spotting.
I should point out that this works with Ilford and Kodak films, which is what I normally use. Foma, Efke, Lucky, etc have far softer emulsions, and are not likely to withstand the 'wiper abuse', and those films I've only wiped down on the film base side, never on the emulsion side.