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Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I understand that sponges can be sanitized in the microwave. How long should it take to sanitize for a 900 watt microwave? Or a 750 watt?

Gran from Lubbock, TX


Tip: Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave


After using your kitchen sponge whether to clean up or to do the dishes, wash it well with liquid detergent and then rinse well. Place it in the microwave and zap it for 1 minute. The result is a sterilized sponge which can be used without worrying about harboring germs.

By Joes Girl

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave 04/09/2004
I put my sponges in my dishwasher with a load of dishes and run them through the wash, they are clean and sterilized at the same time. I use the fishnet bags off of onions to put the small sponges in so they don't get thrown to the bottom of the dishwater when they get water works beautifully.
By tigerlil234
Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave 06/01/2005
I've tried using the dish washer for sponges, however the bacteria is still present since the sponge will smell after one use. Instead I do as the restaurants do and keep a spray bottle of watered down bleach under my sink. Each night I spray down the sponges and clothes then squeeze them out. They stay odor and germ free for days. The spray bottle is also a good way to keep your counter tops and plastic cutting boards free of bacteria and germs.
By Kim Hibbert
Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave 09/17/2005
Bleaching your sponges is self-defeating. Once they've been bleached, they fall apart!
By Laurel

By moderator

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I agree that the dishwasher is probably not hot enough to adequately sterilize a sponge--and I worry that it might contaminate some of the dishes. I also microwave my sponges for at least a minute, more often two. (I just make sure not to wring them too thoroughly, so that they have plenty of moisture.) The added bonus of this method, is that all that steam makes it very easy to wipe out the inside of the microwave--gets rid of the splatters effortlessly.

Just be careful when taking the VERY hot sponge out of the microwave--steam burns hurt!

By Jilson


Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I read in a newspaper or magazine that sponges are too thick and it's a waste of time sterilizing them. The article suggested just using dishcloths and disposable sponges. The article pointed out that sponges trap bits of food, so because you can not obviously get rid of all of these large particles, you can be sure that the invisible germs are also still present. I don't recall where I read this info.

By cookwie

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I like to be environmentally friendly. I say ditch ALL your sponges. After one use, they hold bacteria which is next to impossible to get rid of. Imagine dunking your sponge in your bathroom bowl and wiping down your countertops and dining table with it. EEEWW. Buy some tea towels, about two dozen.. Yes, two dozen at least. Keep them in a small basket in a place easily accessable. For every spill, use one. If you wipe down a counter top, stove, table, use yet another... when you wash them, use HOT water. I use hot water for these, sheets and blankets. I buy white (yes, white) I use bleach with the detergent. They come out still white and the few that don't due to whatever reason, I use to wipe up spills on the floor. But sponges are just no good for cleaning. I do not buy them. It took me about two weeks to get used to the tea towels, but now, I could not go back to sponges.

Just one person's opinion.

By KLS8800

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I have put the small 3M Scotch scouring pads in a microwave for a minute or two. But regular sponges I would toss. They are inexpensive, less of a problem just to buy new ones.

By Dean

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

Wash your sponge carefully then rinse.

Microwave the wet sponge on high for 1.5 - 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the sponge and the power of the microwave oven.

If it smells when you take it out, that's because it was pretty bad. Don't give up - you just need to get it thoroughly clean. Do the following:

In a microwave-safe bowl, put 1-2 tablespoons of Oxyclean. Add hot water and stir, then soak the sponge in it for 5 minutes. Be sure the sponge is thoroughly saturated with the solution - I use an old toothbrush or wear rubber gloves while doing this.

Rinse the sponge well and then microwave it again.

This does not cause the sponge to fall apart, it does remove stains and smells and germs. Actually, the Oxyclean gets rid of many germs because the oxidation that's tough on hands and nails is tough on other living tissue like germs. But microwave it too, to kill viruses and tough bacteria spores.

If you do this weekly, you can use sponges a long time, keep costs and landfill waste down and have a healthy clean kitchen.

By checked this out

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I tried microwaving my sponge. It has the 3m scotchbrite on one side. It was barely damp. After 5 minutes in the microwave, it caught fire, and I still have not determined the cause...

By Steve

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I microwaved my sponge for 6 minutes and it did not catch fire. But before doing that, I wet the sponge first. I have it absorb water first before putting it in the microwave. The article said to do it that way.

By Richard T

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

In response to the environmentally friendly person - bleach is not exactly friendly to the environment. Do you pour it down the drain after bleaching your tea towels?

You would think the radiation (not the heat) would kill bacteria in the microwaved sponges. and they shouldn't be too thick, because when you microwave something, it cooks from the inside out.

just some thoughts.

By eliz

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

I just tried it - a yellow 3m with the scrubby green part, like they sell at Costco. 30 seconds in my micro (on high) and there was no smell left, and it was very hot (be careful). I feel good about that. the smell is what drove me crazy. in the winter here, nothing dries, so it's nice to have an option other than using a new sponge every dishwashing.


Hope that helps!

By Dawn

Sterilize Your Sponge in the Microwave

Washington Post article says microwave sponge for 4 to 10 minutes. My sponge blew up and caught on fire and ruined my microwave.

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