Get more use out of your sponges without worrying so much about the germs. Rotate them. Say I have 3 sponges one red, one green, one yellow.
I have to disagree with your ideas. Anyway you look at it a sponge is a magnet for germs. The first time you use it to wash dishes it is contaminated. The only way to disinfect a sponge is to place it in a diluted dish of bleach and place it in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Granted this will deteriorate them quicker, but assure a fresher sponge. As for switching the uses of them around I would never recommend using an old dish washing sponge for washing down a sink (full of germs) then the countertops. At the end of each day I fill my sink with hot, soapy bleach water and use a fresh dish cloth to wash down my appliances first, then my counters, then my sink. I dry out the sink with the hand towel that I only dried dishes with.Both the hand towel and dish cloth go into the dirty clothes and washed by like items.There may be days when I go through 2-3 of each, depending on how much food prep and traffic the kitchen has received. In doing so I have a disinfected kitchen to wake up to. As a professional interior decorator I often find (or it appears) that some may not change out the kitchen linens for several days and a time or two I have wondered exectly how long has it been? As a professional organizer I teach people how to keep a room manageable by offering these types of cleaning suggestions and setting aside just a few minutes a day to do so.
I have seen more than 1 expert on tv, i.e. dr's, scientists, etc, telling everyone that sponges are just germ & bacteria magnets. I use a micro fiber dust cloth & hang it to dry after each use. The experts, say letting these kind of things dry out it a good way to stop alot of bad guys from growing.
I adopt a bit of both your practices. I too, do rotate my sponges, but I only use 2 of them, rotating them from the kitchen to the bathroom @ the end of every other week. I also disinfect them both every days use with a soapy bleach solution in the microwave. Each sponge gets about 2 weeks in each location and is tossed @ the end of the month. My kitchen and bath linens get washed every 3 days, because that's the way I like it. ~:0)
My daughter always has 3 sponges in use. The oldest is for the floors spills, the next oldest for counter tops & newest is for the dishes only. She keeps each one in it's own special place so you know where to grab the right one. Placing them in the right area is important because they are rotated by age, using color isn't an option.
She uses a special sponge JUST for the bathroom... If it were me, I'd rotate the oldest sponge into the bathroom.
To santize your sponges, wring them out and spray with white cider vinegar. Let sit for a minute, rinse and wring them out again, then spray with peroxide, let sit a minute, rinse and wring them out again
Peroxide and vinegar, not mixed together, but applied one at a time makes a great, cheap, earth, and human friendly disinfectant.
You can do a websearch using "peroxide and vinegar disinfectant" for the search words to find the research that backs this up.
I use it on my counter tops and sink too,'
My sister uses handi wipes. Yellow is dishes, blue counters, pink floors...you get the idea.
Personally I do not use sponges, I never think they can get clean enough to use again, but that is my own personal thought, not to say it is true.
I use dish rags for the dishes. At the end of the day, I wash it out, microwave it, hang it in the shower to dry & then put it in the hamper. I never use the same rag two days in a row. Then I put out a new clean rag for the next day, I do the same with the dish towels I use, always fresh in the morning. I would not use my dish rag to clean a yucky counter. I spray with peroxide & white vinegar, let sit a couple of mintes & use a seperate rag for this.
I do not use paper towels or paper napkins etc. So I have a huge selection of rags & towels on hand at all times. lol
At the end of the week they are all washed in hot water, with peroxide (I try not to use bleach) & hung to dry to let the sun do it's work on any bacteria that might be left over.
Been doing this for years & has worked for me.
Not saying this is the only way or the best way...lol Just giving you alternatives to disposable items.
Trish in CT
No sponges for me. I use a clean cloth daily in the kitchen and paper towels to clean the bathroom. I have read that not only are sponges dirty but they are filthy. It is cheaper to use dish clothes in the kitchen. Most dollar stores have them but my sister makes them from cotton yarn and I love them.
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