Prolong the life of your sponges and remove the stench and bacteria

how to clean a sponge the safe wayThe little things add up over time, bacteria and money that is. I used to go through at least 10-20 sponges a year that were used in cleaning dishes and the kitchen counters and such. After they started looking and smelling funky, I would toss them in the trash – they we’re nasty after all, who wouldn’t? Although not substantial dollars, I was still spending at least $30-40 a year on sponges. Over time, the little dollars add up. $20 here, $30 there, and before you know it you’ve spent $1000 on the little stuff. Instead of wasting that money buying more sponges, you could be stashing that money away and having it make you money. Below, I will show you how to extend the use of your sponges and also why it’s so important.

“A sponge that’s been in use for no more than two or three days in a kitchen will harbor millions of bacteria,” said Elizabeth Scott, co-director of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in the Home at Simmons College in Boston. That’s a problem, she said, if you pick up the pathogen or a pathogenic E. coli, salmonella or campylobacter on the sponge.”

She added: “That means that any time you use the sponge to wipe up a surface you are potentially spreading those pathogens.”

Source: NYTimes via Tipnut

So how can you remedy this situation without buying new sponges every few days? Maybe you aren’t even concerned about the bacteria, rather simply with extending the life of your sponges.

As a father of four, concerned with chemicals, I recommend using safe alternatives, like soaking the sponge in soapy hot water (as hot as you can) and add in a tablespoon or so of vinegar for about 15 minutes, then move the sponge(s) to a microwave safe plate (still wet) and heat it in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Keep an eye on the sponge(s) in the microwave and be extra careful when removing them, they will be steaming hot. Good news, the bacteria will be killed, the life of your sponge will be extended by days if not weeks, and you will save money throughout the year and for the rest of your life! Don’t worry about 3M, they make enough money! Instead of giving them the money, invest in them and have them make you money!

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2 Comment

  1. Guy G. says:

    I’d never thought about how much we spend on sponges, but here’s one of our tips on budgeting that we use in our home. We take a regular sponge with green scrubber on the other side and cut it into three smaller sponges. We normally use a cloth for dishes, and the sponge is only used for tougher caked on food. We feel a little less guilty throwing out only 1/3 of a sponge a week.
    Thanks for sharing the sponge cleaning tip,

  2. Mark says:

    Pour a little dish soap on the sponge and work in the lather then soak it well and nuke it for 2 minutes on high. Depending on wattage the microwave will boil it killing all the bacteria but don’t let it dry out or you might start it on fire. This works all the time and removes the sour smell and disinfects.

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