Dish sponges are often the dirtiest pieces in a kitchen. They often live next to the sink, the germiest place in the kitchen, and hold onto those germs and dirt creating a real health hazard. Sponges need to be sanitized at last every other day, and replaced every week or two for best protection against germs. Here is an easy way to sanitize your sponge and give it the longest life possible.
What You Will Need:
- Anti-bacterial dish detergent
- Hot water
- Bleach (optional)
- Tongs or oven mitts
The Cleaning Process:
- Begin by adding a few drops of anti-bacterial dish detergent to the hot water.
- Wash the sponge thoroughly by working the water through the sponge. This can be accomplished by squeezing the water through continually along with agitating it in the water.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- You can place your sponge in a bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach with 1 gallon of water) as well. This step is optional as the next step will also sanitize the sponge.
- Place the WET sponge in the microwave. You can place it in a dish of water, but it may not necessary.
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Monitor it carefully to watch for any signs of burning. If it appears to be burning the sponge, turn the microwave off immediately.
- When it is finished sterilizing in the microwave, let it set for a few minutes to cool off. It will be HOT!
- Remove it with a pair of tongs or oven mitts to protect your hands from burning.
- It is recommended that even with sterilizing, you should only use your sponge for a week or two before replacing.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Keep two sponges in your kitchen at all times, one for the counters and one for the dishes.
- Sterilize your sponges after using them to clean up any dishes or work areas that contained raw meat.
- Do not place any metal sponges or scrubbers in the microwave. Simply use the bleach solution to sanitize.
- If odor is a problem, try spraying some vinegar on the sponge before microwaving.