What To Do with That Sponge

It's summertime. The kids are home, the grill is going, and you are cooking. Now, if you are like me, and are not a huge fan of germs, then the summer can make for quite a dirty kitchen. Especially for your sponge or washcloth. And I am not talking about those cute little sponges we call kids :0)

So, rather than buy an endless supply of sponges and washcloths at Costco, there is a way to easily detox your washing helpers. (And no, no power washing involved...)

How, you ask? Simple. Take your wet sponge and place in your microwave. Microwave for two minutes. Let cool in your microwave for a few minutes. And magic! Sanitized. (Caution, please make sure your sponge is fully wet and contains no metal, as a dry sponge or metal in a microwave is a safety hazard.) According a study done by the University of Florida, they reported that microwaving a wet sponge for two minutes at high power killed or inactivated over 99% of pathogens in sponges. Way cool! Simply do this every other day or so and Germs be gone!!!

Now, what to do with your washcloth? You can microwave it for 30 seconds, like your sponge, or you can wash it in the washer with a vinegar wash to sanitize it. Or, my favorite way to do it to get stiff wash cloths feeling nice again or icky smells out is to do the following:

Fill a large pot 1/2-3/4 full of warm water. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Dawn dish soap. Place 2-3 wash cloths into the water. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often as it likes to boil over. When done, drain the water, and lay the wash cloths out to cool. Then launder them as usual. I love how this extends the life of my wash cloths.

The small things, like a kitchen sponge, can make a big difference in how we feel in our kitchen. I know that when I walk into my kitchen to do the dishes and see a dirty sponge or a bad-smelling washcloth, I get unhappy, fast. Doing the dishes becomes even more unpleasant. We don't have to put up with extra yuckies, especially ones we can change. I like to look at it as a way to make our home a happier place, one sponge at a time. I have also found that reducing silly little irritants, like one dirty sponge, makes it so that I can better handle the larger issues that come up. My focus becomes the conversation around me, and not on a not-so-clean sponge that in the grand scheme of things doesn't really matter. Hopefully, as you get your little sponges clean and happy, it can help you get and keep a cleaner and happier kitchen, and be able to focus on having a happy family.

What small things have you found in your kitchen that have made a big difference to you?

  •   home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/cleaner-toilet-bowl-or-kitchen-sponge.htm
  •   momsagainstcooties.com/want-to-help-keep-foodborne-illness-out-of-your-home-zap-that-kitchen-sponge
  •   megsjshep.wordpress.com/category/for-the-home
  •   www.pennypinchinmom.com/easy-way-to-remove-the-smell-from-dish-rags

    Elise Grant
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! elise@dvo.com

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