Sponges are a staple in our cooking corners for a reason—we use it to clean spills, pick up food residue, and to scrub greasy pots, too. As useful as it is, it's also one of the most germ-ridden items in the kitchen. Since it would be impractical, not to mention wasteful, to replace it after a single use, we've listed down three ways that can help you keep your sponges bacteria-free.
1. Toss it in the microwave.
Start by drenching your sponge with soapy water or apple cider vinegar—make sure you get it completely wet as dry sponges are a fire hazard—and chuck it in the microwave for a minute or two. The heat combined with the disinfecting properties of vinegar can help kill bacteria and remove odors. 2. Run it in the dishwasher. For sponges that are fairly new, placing it in your normal dishwashing cycle would be enough. If you feel that it isn't enough, deep clean it by keeping it in the washer for a few more minutes.
For those who don't own a microwave, you can work with natural cleaning solutions instead. Here's an easy recipe we found on Reader's Digest—soak a sponge overnight in a mixture of a cup of hot water, a half cup of white vinegar and three tablespoons salt. Rinse it in the morning with warm water.