Kitchen Hack: 3 Easy Ways to Sanitize your Sponge

alfexe/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
alfexe/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

As you clean, could you really be spreading bacteria? If you clean with a dirty sponge, maybe. If you’re going to take the time to clean, get the results you want by using a sanitized sponge.

The Dirty Truth

It’s easy for bacteria and food particles to get trapped in the crevasses of sponges, and the moist sponge provides the ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive. Wiping your counters or dishes with a dirty sponge will only spread the bacteria, putting your family at risk for illness.

The Solution

Remember, you can’t always see or smell bacteria, so even if the sponge isn’t stinky or slimy, it could still harbor bacteria. No need to buy a new sponge for each swipe. Simply stay safe with these three easy ways to disinfect your sponges at home:

  • Sanitize sponges by heating damp sponges in the microwave for one minute. The USDA reports that this method kills over 99% of bacteria!
  • Simply toss sponges in the HOT cycle of your washing machine or dishwasher and let the machine do the work.
  • Use a solution of one-quarter to one-half of a teaspoon of concentrated bleach per quart of warm water. Soak the sponge for one minute.

With this kitchen hack, you’ll have clean surfaces and save a little extra money while you’re at it. Read more to help ensure your dirty sponges don’t spread foodborne pathogens around the kitchen.

Food & Nutrition Magazine
Food & Nutrition Magazine publishes articles on food and diet trends, highlights of nutrition research and resources, updates on public health issues and policy initiatives related to nutrition, and explorations of the cultural and social factors that shape Americans’ diets and health.