Sponges are a super useful kitchen and household cleaning tool, but they can often be neglected.
Sponges should be cleaned and rotated out frequently--otherwise you're setting yourself up to spread bacteria and food-borne pathogens on your dishes and counter tops. Sponges can hide scary things: E. coli, salmonella, yeast, and mold.
Think about it: you're using them to clean the gross...they're soft and porous...so they soak up the gross. Check out these dos and don'ts to reduce your spongy gross factor.
- Sanitize your sponge once it starts to smell (see below for tips on how-to!)
- Throw out your sponge and start fresh once a month
- Rinse thoroughly after using to make sure to remove any debris or pieces of food
- Wring it out well after use
- Store in a dry place
- Wipe up meat juices. Use a paper towel and then follow with disinfectant.
- Wipe down counter tops or dishes with a smelly sponge. You're probably leaving it dirtier than you found it.
- Use a slimey sponge. Just throw it out.
How To Sanitize Your Sponge
Mix together 3/4 cup bleach into one gallon of water and soak the sponge for five minutes. Wring dry into the sink and store in a dry place.
Saturate the sponge and heat on high for two minutes. CAREFUL! Don't remove it right away or you will regret it--it will be HOT. Allow it to sit for a few minutes in the microwave before touching it.
The Dishwasher Method
Add sponge to a regular dishwasher load and run. Just make sure to select "heated dry" setting.
Enjoy your fresh sponge.
SHARE with your friends so they don't use gross sponges! You're doing them a favor.