How to Sanitize a Sponge

2 Materials
2 Minutes

Sponges are some of the dirtiest things in a kitchen. Even though we use them to clean our dishes, get food stains off of counters, wipe up messes, etc. they can get pretty dirty, and it's important to clean them between uses. Imagine wiping the spot where you just cut up raw chicken and then wiping a dish with the same sponge - gross! Even regular use allows bacteria to grow, because the sponges are always damp. Call me a germaphobe, but I'm getting squeamish just thinking about it. Sponges should be sanitized every week or so, and I have the easiest and most efficient way to do it!
My trusty sponge at work. I had just cut up a tomato for my salad and some of the juice spilled onto my counter.
Step 1: Wet the Sponge
Make sure your sponge gets actually wet, not just damp.
Step 2: Microwave Your Sponge
I microwaved the sponge for 2 minutes. Depending on your microwave, you might have to put it in for longer.
Two minutes was enough time to get the water to boil. You might need to set the time for a minute longer.
Step 3: Let it Cool
The sponge is literally boiling hot, so I had to wait until it was cool to pick it up. Be careful when you touch it!
Now your sponge is all clean, and you can continue using it for whatever you want.

Suggested materials:

  • Water
  • Microwave

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Deb
    on Sep 15, 2016

    You now have a clean sponge, however your microwave now has the bacteria from the sponge inside it. How would you sanitize the microwave?

    • Duc22923103
      on Jun 16, 2017

      Plus the steam from the sponge loosened any little bits stuck to the walls and door of your microwave now your microwave is easier to clean..
  • Kit7922998
    on Sep 25, 2016

    What power level on microwave, please. Think high would melt sponge.

  • Margaret Green
    on Mar 3, 2018

    I tried this years ago and it shortened the life of my sponge considerably. But I used a damp sponge, not a full of water one. Would that be enough to make a difference?

    • Monessa Kelly
      on Apr 8, 2018

      actually yes it would dry the sponge and then it might actually burn.

Join the conversation

3 of 101 comments
  • Kathy Gilmore
    on Jun 13, 2017

    I've done this for years! I love sponges. I tried towels but could not get used to them. I wish some one would do a clinical study and prove this method is best. I don't think the dishwasher is hot enough and old food could get in there. How can a micro get bacteria left in it.
  • Joy
    on Jun 13, 2017

    Wash in the dishwasher or the washer with towels too
    • B
      on Oct 21, 2017

      I don’t know about everyone else but I wouldn’t wash a kitchen sponge mixed in with dirty clothes, gross. I soak my sponges in a bowl with water and bleach

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