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Casa Quickie: Clean Sponges


If you have a dishwasher, toss your dish-cleaning sponge into the dishwasher on the top rack once a week. It'll keep your sponge and the pots, pans, and dishes that you wash by hand so fresh and so clean. That way, you can reuse your sponges over and over rather than buying new ones when they get yucky. Your sponges may look clean when you rinse them, but only a run through the dishwasher will kill off bacteria.

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SquareRoot121 SquareRoot121 7 years
i read in a cleaning book to actually wash them in your clothes washer
ElleJay ElleJay 7 years
i do this all the time
AKirstin AKirstin 7 years
You guys beat me to it, I was all set to post about the microwave thing, too! :D It also needs to be mentioned that the sponge will be **VERY HOT** when it's done, so be careful!!
leeapeea leeapeea 7 years
If you don't have a dishwasher or a microwave, you can boil your sponges in a pot on the stove. The idea is that the heat will kill the bacteria. If you have a backing on your sponge for scrubbing (like I do) the heat will make it come off quicker. However, that's totall worth it in my book. You can also soak your sponge in a bleach solution with water, or vinegar solution. Maybe not as effective, but certainly less time consuming, and will use less fuel than boiling it on the stovetop.
plasticapple plasticapple 7 years
Yep, microwave!
ktcrusher ktcrusher 7 years
So what are we supposed to do if we don't have a dishwasher OR a microwave? I don't really want to just throw them away...I guess washcloths are the next best choice, huh?
emalove emalove 7 years
Hmmm...I've never tried this. But I think the microwave idea might be a better one as far as destroying bacteria goes.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Good to know...
ahles ahles 7 years
Berlin is exactly right... a full 2 minutes in the microwave is the only thing, other than a sanitizing cycle in the dishwasher, that will kill the bulk of the bacteria. A second 2 minutes will get all of it. http://www.webmd.com/news/20070124/microwave-kills-germs-sponges http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/24/health/webmd/main2395818.shtml As the husband is the only dishwasher we've got, we soak ours, then put em on a plate with a little water and microwave em. If they smell when they come out, they get wet again and go through a second time.
AliCherri1 AliCherri1 7 years
Good to know! Thanks :)
Marci Marci 7 years
Yes, the dishwasher is actually a big no-no. It just breeds the bacteria. Nuke a wet sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes and that'll kill off anything that might be lingering. I've been doing this for years and find that the sponges last longer too, although I don't have a clue why.
DreaAST DreaAST 7 years
good info. thanks! i never thought of doing this before!
gabiushka gabiushka 7 years
Sorry no dishwasher here anyway...
Berlin Berlin 7 years
Exactly! You are NOT supposed to put your sponge in the dishwasher b/c it doesn't decontaminate it very well at all and I'm so disappointed to see that you suggested it! You are SUPPOSED to soak them thoroughly and place them in a microwave for 2 minutes. They did studies and they dipped the sponges in like raw sewage, salmonella and e.coli among other things and then did the various tests of dishwashers, microwave, and washing them, and turns out that the microwave was the ONLY one to get it 99.999% clean of all bacteria and residues! So super soak it (and put it in a small bowl) and then do a 2 minute nuke a few times a week and you'll have super clean, super disinfected sponges....and NO DISHWASHERS!!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 7 years
Ive actually heard not to do this, that unless you have a sanitizing cycle on your washer that they will not get sanitized and will just actually contaminate your dishes etc. I have heard tho that if you put them in water and in the microwave for minute or so that this will kill the germs. Personally, tho, I'd just throw them away cos you can buy them in bulk for cheap. But I dont actually use them at all because I think they're unsanitary and gross!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
Sweet! Great tip ;)
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