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To clean sponges and loofahs, soak them overnight in distilled white vinegar and water solution to remove the dirt and slime. Rinse several times with cold water and let air dry (in the sun if possible). The mixture should be two parts vinegar to one part water. This also works for shower scrubbies.
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
I use a covered sponge at the bathroom sink and the kitchen sink. To keep them fresh and last longer, on laundry day, I safety pin the two together and put in with a load of laundry. I do not dry them, just put them in the proper sink when I get back upstairs. No more gunky sponges.
By Linda from Bloomington, IL
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.
The first week I use the red sponge for the dishes, disinfecting it every other day with lemon juice in the microwave.
The second week, the green sponge is used for the dishes, and the red becomes the kitchen sponge for wiping down counters and such.
The third week, the red sponge becomes the bathroom sponge to clean the sink and tub, the green sponge is the kitchen sponge and the yellow sponge is used to wash the dishes.
The fourth week, you discard the red sponge and get another new one for the dishes, and rotate the others down the line.
This way you get lots of use out of your sponges, but always have a clean fresh sponge for your dishes!
Tired of soggy sponges that could be breeding bacteria in your sink? Attach an everyday hair clip to the sponge to make it stand up - keeping it upright will help keep it dry.
Washing soda is best for cleaning sponges and cleaning cloths. It will remove soap, dirt, or anything else remaining within. Things caught in the sponge will cause odors as well as give germs a place to fester. I even clean my micro cloths this way. It is safe enough to clean Enjo mops and cloths.
Once a week, sometimes more often, I gather all my cleaning cloths, dish towels, and sponges and do a small load of laundry with hot water, clothes soap, and bleach. The sponges get disinfected, smell wonderful, and I know they are clean.
Extend the life of your kitchen sponge by putting it in the dishwasher along with your dishes.