Do It Yourself » How to Clean & Sanitize a Sponge

How to Clean & Sanitize a Sponge

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Do you use sponges for cleaning? Here’s a simple way to clean and sanitize them properly to avoid spreading illness (aka Cooties!) throughout your home.

Sponges are notorious for soaking up anything they come into contact with, which normally is their job, but having a sponge soaked with raw egg white or raw chicken juice can be a rather scary scenario if someone else in the household grabs it to mop up a different spill, thereby spreading the nasties around the kitchen.


Kitchen sponges are major source of nasty microbes, harboring as much as 150 times MORE Bacteria, mold and yeast than a toothbrush holder. Sponges offer the perfect environment for nurturing the growth of various germs.

Here’s how to clean your kitchen sponges, first soak the sponge and get it completely wet, slightly wring it out, not all the way, you want it to be very wet. Place it in the microwave for 2 minutes. (Folks, use common sense here, don’t microwave sponges that contain metal of any kind!) If you’d like a fresh citrus scent, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the sponge before nuking it.

Cooking the sponge on high for 2 minutes effectively kills 99% of the pathogens that infested it including viruses, fecal bacteria, bacterial spores, salmonella, etc.

Like anything that is microwaved, the sponges will be extremely hot. Use tongs to remove them from the microwave or allow them to cool before removing.

Another option? Place the sponges in a saucepan full of water, bring it to a boil over medium heat, boil for 3 minutes. Remove the sponge, squeeze the excess water out using tongs, cool.

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3 thoughts on “How to Clean & Sanitize a Sponge”

    • fecal bacteria” wait….what?

      Yes, sadly most kitchen sponges contain fecal bacteria from people who fail to properly wash their hands after using the restroom. In fact, studies have shown that it’s as high as 75%

      Germiest Items in the Home – NSF International

      Kitchen Counters have more germs than the average toilet seat.


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