You’re not exactly “cleaning” your dishes if you’re wiping them down with a germy sponge. If you’re anything like me you don’t want to waste too many sponges by throwing them away frequently, although no matter how well you clean your sponges eventually they won’t last forever. I clean my sponges about once a week and I find that they last about a month. Here are the best ways to keep your kitchen sponges clean and protect your family from ecoli and salmonella:
Add 3/4 cup of bleach to one gallon of water and soak the sponge for five minutes, then rinse it. A bleach solution wi kill 99.9% of germs on your sponges. Restaurants often use this method because it is the most effective way to make sure your sponges are sanitized according to EPA guidelines for sanitizing non-food contact surfaces.
#2 Microwave It
Soak your sponge and place it on a microwave safe dish then nuke it for a minute or two. This will also kill 99.9% of germs but be careful when you pull that sponge out – it’s hot!
This is one of the easiest methods, if you have a dishwasher. Just throw it in with your regular load of dishes. Be sure to use a heated dry setting!
#5 Lemon & Tea Tree Seventh Generation Dish Soap
If you switch to this dish soap you will notice that your sponges don’t get smelly as quickly as they used to. That’s because the tea tree oil in the soap naturally kills the germs as you use it. You can find this at most target stores or follow the link below to buy it on Amazon. After I used it I will never use another dish soap. This stuff really works!
This option is great for the sort of green household that does not use bleach, but many people don’t like it because of the vinegary smell. You soak the sponge in full-strength bleach for at least 5 minutes, then rinse it.