Your kitchen sponge is supposed to be helpful for cleaning. But what if it’s full of bacteria itself? If it’s full of germs, it can’t very well clean your dishes, countertop, or sink. If yours has seen better days, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to throw it out. Here are a couple of easy ways to clean and disinfect your kitchen sponge.
1. Soak With Vinegar & Salt
Mix up 1 cup of hot water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of salt. Take your sponge and soak it in this mixture overnight. In the morning, give it a thorough hot water rinse. Squeeze and rinse several times to eliminate all the salt and vinegar from the sponge.
2. Microwave It
Another easy way to disinfect that dirty sponge is to heat it up and kill the bacteria. The microwave is very effective at this, zapping out over 99 percent of germs. First, saturate the sponge in water, then put it in the microwave and heat on the highest setting. For scrub sponges, go for one minute. For cellulose sponges, heat it for two minutes.
3. Put it in the Dishwasher
Your dishwasher is another great way to sanitize your sponge. It actually will kill 99.9 percent of the bacteria. Just add it to a regular load of dishes and use the heated dry setting.
4. Bleach & Water
You can also sanitize a sponge by soaking it with 1/2 cup of bleach added to a gallon of water. It must be pure bleach, rather than beach-based cleaner. Let it soak for just 5 minutes, then rinse and let it dry in a well-ventilated spot.