Introduction: Disinfect a Sponge

About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a degree in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Mar…

Sponges have become the house norm for hand washing dishes and wiping countertops. Their potential for having both a soft and rough side makes them ideal partners in clean kitchen crime.  Their one BIG downside is how quickly they get stinky.  This happens because they tend to stay moist, never completely drying out between uses, encouraging the growth of bacteria. (Which can only grown in moist environments and is the cause of the odor.) 

Instead of just tossing them and opening a new one every time this happens, which adds to the burden on our landfills, extend their lives with this simple method to disinfect them.  

*There are several ways to achieve a 'clean' sponge. This one is great for those who don't have a dishwasher and want a scent free process and result. (Using vinegar and bleach are two other methods, but I don't like either of those smells!)

Step 1: What You'll Need

There are only two things you need to make this magic happen:

- a bowl or deep plate
- hydrogen peroxide

Step 2: The Process

Place the offending sponge in your chosen container and add approximately 2-3 inches of the hydrogen peroxide. 
Watch for the white bubbles to start forming. This is the bacteria (aka stink) dying!!

Leave it on the first side for a few minutes, then flip the sponge over, giving it a good squish all over to ensure that the peroxide has been absorbed all the way through the sponge.  (If you're grossed out by the bacteria bubbles, use a spoon.)

Leave it for a few more minutes. 

Remove it from the peroxide bath and rinse it thoroughly, giving it a couple of good squeezes to make sure that all the peroxide has been removed.

Step 3: The End and Also the Beginning

Et voila!

Your sponge won't look any better, but it will smell WAY better and be a sanitary kitchen tool once more, living to scrub and scour another day. (for many more days in fact!)

Tips on keeping it germ free as long as possible:

- Never leave it in the sink. It will be in constant contact with water and therefore an easy target for bacteria growth.
- Store it in a dish with drainage or on the edge of the sink. Even better, if available, lean it up against a window and the sun will help keep it dry and will also kill bacteria!

Now go forth and clean with scent and bacteria free confidence!