How to get rid of odor from dish sponge?
Nancy from Wood Ridge, NJ
I too gave up sponges. I use 8/1.00 Handiwipes from the dollar tree. Every two weeks, I toss it and get another clean one. But, if you like them, yes, microwave them.
I couldn't live with the smell of sponges and couldn't afford a new one every 2-3 days! Instead I bought a package of cheap bath cloths in white (a color I would NEVER let my guys use!) and these are only for the kitchen. Everybody knows this and they don't use them but after they're washed it wouldn't matter anyway. Every night I toss that one in the dirty hamper and lay out a clean one for the next day. No more bad smells!
To ensure clean and pleasant smelling cloths and sponges, do what my mother in law taught me. Add a small amount of bleach to your dish water when washing the dishes. Of course make sure you rinse the dishes after you wash them. You cloths stay nice and clean and don't get stains on them either.
I nuke all my sponges in the microwave for 3 minutes. Make sure they are very damp before you do this.
You've gotten lots of good ideas about odors, but I wanted to warn about using a sponge scrubber on too many pots and pans, then popping them in the microwave. The microscopic
metal filings left in the sponge will often burn a whole in the sponge if left for more than two minutes or if left scrubber side down.
I'm more than careful now, use a stiff brush on metal, and buy a $1.00 Package of 6 cheap sponge scrubbers from the dollar store which lasts several months. Rather than toss a worn one away, I recycle them to use on dirty fingerprints and such on the walls and appliances, as well as for woodwork and shoe cleaning. Save, save, save. Recycle, recycle, recycle. : )
Sponges are likely an open-cell structure, that's why they hold liquid, and bacteria.
Has anyone tried a closed-cell sponge? Seems like it would not retain liquid yet provide the desired scrubbing properties.
From what I've heard it's really dangerous to add bleach to water with dishsoap in it! Many dishsoaps contain ammonia-like chemicals and react dangerously when bleach is added- the resulting reaction can produce highly toxic chlorine and chloramine gases. Both of these gases are highly caustic, and can be fatal if inhaled. Many dishsoaps actually say "Do Not Add Bleach" right on the label, for this reason. Bleach and dishsoap is one more example of 'never mix bleach and ammonia'.
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After watching the Oprah show when she had those really dirty homes inspected and things analyzed from their sinks and toilets, I have almost completely given up using a sponge to clean with. I have started using a washcloth. The smell is from having it in the dishwater with all of the different food and drink in there too. Try microwaving it every day for 90 seconds. That's what I did for years. (04/25/2005)
I use a sponge scrubber in my kitchen too. Bacteria is usually the cause of odors and sponges are the worst for collecting this. They have so many little wholes the germs can breed in. I run my sponges through the dishwasher every other day or so with the dishes. Usually adding a small scoop of baking soda along with the dish detergent. But I also spray it with white vinegar and nuke it for two minutes. That kills whatever bacteria has gotten into the sponge. I haven't had a problem with smelly sponges since I started doing this. I also rinse the sponge after each use so no soap remains in it. (04/25/2005)
I Googled for smelly sponges and got this http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&q=smelly%20sponges . One of them might help you.
I think Scotch-bright sponges may have some chemical in them that causes the really bad odor that persists even on your hands. To get rid of it do this: Soak the sponge in tap water and place it in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwave safe plate to keep steam in. Microwave it on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes. Let it rest for 2 minutes. Rinse sponge in cool water. It completely removes all odors, at least with blue Scotch-bright scrub sponges! (08/11/2007)