Have you noticed lately that your kitchen sponge needs some cleaning? Or maybe you’ve just cleaned a large mess in your kitchen and are pondering if you should simply toss it for a new one. Or should you try to clean it instead? The truth is that you don’t need to throw it away. You can get lots of great use out of your sponges and still have the peace of mind that it’s clean. Let’s take a look at a few simple methods for cleaning the kitchen sponge. You’ll want to perform one of the following at least once every 3 or 4 days.

  • If you have a metal-free sponge, you can use the microwave to banish germs. Saturate your sponge completely. Place it on a paper towel in the microwave alongside a glass of water (this protects the microwave emitter). By setting the microwave for two minutes, you can kill up to 99% of germs present on your sponge, along with bacteria, mold, and yeast.  Remove the sponge and let it cool completely before attempting to use it again.
  • Another simple way to clean your sponge is by soaking it in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons salt, and 1 cup of hot water overnight. The next day, squeeze it, and then allow it to dry. Viola! Your sponge is clean and ready to be used again.
  • You can also just throw your sponge into the dishwasher and allow it to remain through the entire wash and dry cycle. How simple is that?
  • You might also use a solution of 10% bleach on your sponge after cleaning it with regular dish detergent and hot water. Soak the sponge for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze it a few times during the process to really let the cleaning solution soak in (you may want to be wearing gloves to protect your skin). Then rinse the sponge thoroughly in hot water after removing it from the bleach solution.

While these are effective solutions for keeping your sponges clean, you should still replace your sponges every now and then - no matter what you use them for or how often you clean them. Still, by cleaning your sponges on a regular basis (every 3 to 4 days), you can help prevent the spread of mold, yeast, bacteria, and germs and maintain a clean kitchen and home for you and your family.

~ Jenny

CleverCleaningTip#2: Try keeping an open box of baking soda in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh and clean. OR! Try some other alternatives. Oats, coffee grinds, and vinegar can all be used to absorb bad smells. Pick one, spread on a baking sheet or pour in a bowl and then leave it there for a couple days to get that fresh smell back.

CleverCleaningTip#3: Use Cola as a cheap (yet very effective) toilet bowl cleaner. Both generic and brand name cola products are equally effective. All you have to do is pour in a can's worth of cola, leave it for an hour, scrub it, and then flush! No need for commercial cleaners here.

CleverCleaningTip#4: Got ink stains? No problem. Get those pesky stains out of your clothes by giving them an overnight milk bath. You only need enough milk to keep the stain submerged. Then wash like normal the next day and you should be ink-free.

I'm so happy to announce my first guest post! Thanks so much to Ashley Phipps at Simply Designing for hosting me. Especially as I am still in the early stages of getting my own blog going, it is a real honor to be featured on such a nice site. So be sure to check out what I put together! It's some of my favorite advice for getting yourself in the spring-cleaning mood. Especially now that spring is so close and many of us are starting to think about that big clean! So take a look! Here at 7 Tips for Getting in the spring-Clean Spirit. :)

photo credit: Horia Varlan
Kitchen sponges are some of the dirtiest things in your house. In fact, many contain dangerous bacteria like salmonella and e-coli. So how can you clean them? Just throw them in hot and soapy water, put them in the microwave for 2 minutes, and you'll kill 99.9% of the germs. Easy!

Hello to everyone! I am finally taking the time to start putting together my blog and I could not be more excited! I have all kinds of clever tips that I can't wait to share with you. I hope you'll check back regularly!