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4 Ways To Clean A Kitchen Sponge: Disinfecting Using Microwave And Other Methods

Have you ever picked up the sponge in the kitchen and just before you go to town on the dishes you notice that horrible, horrible smell?

The smell of dirty sponge is something that you never forget. It is not just the smell that you have to worry about, but all of the bacteria that is on the sponge. You are washing your dishes, your countertops or whatever it is with a sponge that is covered in nasty bacteria.

Do not worry though as today we have some tips on how to clean a kitchen sponge. All of the methods down below have been scientifically proven to remove as much as 99 percent of bacteria from sponges.

Method 1: Bleach

bleach cleaning your kitchen sponge

This the most effective way of cleaning a kitchen sponge as it can kill up to 99 percent of the bacteria that is having a pool party on your sponge. You need to have a mixture of ¾ cup of bleach and a gallon of water.

Soak the sponge in the mixture for five minutes and then give it a good rinse. I highly recommend that you wear gloves and once you have rinsed it, get as much water out of it as you can.

Method 2: Microwave

cleaning kitchen sponge with microwave

Look I know that this seems excessive and if your sponge has any metal, plastic, kryptonite on it or is square and wears pants, you CAN NOT do this.

If you have a regular old household sponge, carry on. Soak the sponge in water and put it in the microwave (I put it in a bowl) and then let it run at full power for a minute. Watch out when you take it out as it will be hot.

You may also want to read how to clean A Microwave With Natural Ingredients.

Method 3: Dishwasher

cleaning kitchen sponge with dishwasher

I cannot tell you how many times I have cleaned the sponge in the dishwasher. Now granted most of those were by complete accident, but it still has taken the dishwasher train many, many times.

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Just throw the sponge in with the dishes and it will get a good cleaning, give it an extra rinse when it comes out, and make sure that you squeeze as much water out as possible. If you have a dishwasher this is probably the easiest of my how to clean a kitchen sponge ideas.

Learn how to fix A Dishwasher That Doesn’t Clean Dishes.

Method 4: Vinegar

cleaning kitchen sponge with vinegar

Give your sponge a vinegar bath for around five minutes and then rinse it all off. It really is as simple as that! Just make sure you get all of the vinegar out of it before you use it to clean the dishes.

Things You Need To Know About Keeping A Kitchen Sponge Clean

No Raw Meat: If you have a cutting board that you use to cut raw meat, you do not want to be rubbing the same sponge over that as you do your dishes and countertops.

Raw meat can contain many dangerous types of bacteria, and using the same sponge to clean a cutting board that has raw meat juice all over it as you do the dishes and countertops can just spread it all over the kitchen.

Wash The Food Off: When cleaning the dishes, you may get ketchup and all kinds of other leftovers from dinner on the sponge. Make sure you wash all of this off before you put the sponge away as it will stink and be full of bacteria.

Wring The Sponge Out: Once you have done the dishes, make sure that you get as much water out of the sponge as possible. Leaving it sitting there with dirty sink water all in it is going to make it stink and become a love motel for bacteria to bread in.

Buy New Sponges: You can literally buy a pack of ten sponges for around a buck these days! So use a sponge as much as you can, but just because SpongeBob Square Pants has been around the better part of two decades does not mean all sponges last this long.

Use a sponge as much as you can, get your money’s worth by all means. But there comes a time when you have to say, “hey this thing stinks it is time for a new one”. I find that having a few extra sponges under the sink or in a drawer means you have far less chance of using a dirty one.

All of these methods legitimately work, but like I said, buying extra sponges or a big pack of them is always going to be the easiest thing for you to do. However, now you know how to clean the kitchen sponge it may at the very least stop you getting a whiff of a dirty sponge when you do the dishes!


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I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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