Friday, April 30, 2010

Disinfect Those Sponges!!!

If there's anything that bacteria love it is a warm and damp environment in which to grow and thrive. Therefore, that sponge in your kitchen sink is one of their favorite places in your house. Think about it, every time you use that sponge you could be spreading bacteria all over your kitchen! Fear not, there is something you can do about it.

The first, and most obvious, suggestion is to toss it and buy a new sponge. However, if you do a lot of dishes this will get expensive very quickly. Why buy a new one when you can just clean and sanitize the existing problem?

A simple solution is to toss the sponge in with your laundry. However, some sponges cannot survive this kind of cleaning. If you're not careful, you'll just end up with sponge pieces all over your clothing and possibly melted into your dryer. If this happens, you'll have to buy a new sponge anyway! Being as we're trying to avoid spending any extra money, be careful with the sponge in the laundry.

If you have a dishwasher, you can toss the sponge on the top rack when you run your dishes. The hot water and heat of the dry function is plenty to kill any nasty bacteria. Again, the only risk with this means of cleansing is the sponge can fall apart in the wash. A solution to this fear is to toss the sponge in during the heated dry cycle only and bypass the rushing water.

If you own a microwave you can put it to good use here! Set the sponge in the middle and microwave it for a few seconds. Honestly, it shouldn't take more than ten. To me, this is the riskiest form of sanitation because fire is a hazard. Make sure that your microwave is in proper working order and that you do not set the time for very long. Let the sponge sit for a minute or so before removing it from the microwave because it will be hot.

An unconventional solution would be to use the sun to clean your sponge. Set the sponge on a clean surface in direct sunlight for several hours. The heat from the sun should destroy most of the harmful bacteria and get rid of any bad odors.

Another solution is soaking the sponge in different sanitizing solutions. Vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial. Bleach is an obvious choice here as well. However, this can leave the sponge sitting wet on your sink and begin the cycle all over again.

Make sure and clean your sponges as often as possible using whichever method you choose. It will help keep your family healthy!


  1. If you microwave your sponge, be sure it is SOAKING wet, or it will catch fire. I usually microwave mine for about a minute, but I make sure it's soaking wet before putting it in the microwave.

  2. We use the Dobie brand scrubbies and they go through the wash just fine!

  3. I use a scrubbie that actually doesnt really absorb. You end up using more dish detergent though.

  4. Dani: The Dobie ones are super cheap and work really well! AND they last a long time. I usually put mine on "other cleaning" duty when they keep smelling funny after the wash.



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