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How to Keep a Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

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Allowing your sponge to dry out between uses will help keep it from developing smells. This is a guide about how to keep a kitchen sponge from getting stinky.


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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2010

How can I clean a smelly kitchen sponge?

By Kim


August 10, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I run mine through the dishwasher make sure it is secure in top shelf. I wedge it between other items. Also sometimes I add water and dish soap and place in microwave for 1 minute or 45 seconds as the media has reported this to sterilize it.
Check the correct time my time is an estimate. The dishwasher works great.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Kitchen sponges are awful harborers of bacteria. The only way to safely use them is to wash them in your washer every day just like you would a dish cloth.

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make a container of soapy bleach-water or soapy vinegar-water. Soak the sponge between uses, or at least one time per day. Wring out the sponge before use. Both kill bacteria that would otherwise live in the sponge. Allow the sponge to dry completely out at night. It may be best to alternate between two sponges, using the first one day and then the second the next day, and so on.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 7, 20100 found this helpful

How do you keep your kitchen sponge from smelling bad in between uses? I have done the microwave thing, where you put it in there for a few seconds, but no matter it still comes out stinky. I have to use a new one way too much. Thanks for the advice!


Teresa from Richlands


Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

First I put dish washing soap on it and rub it in before putting it in the microwave. Then I put it in for one minute and rinse it well after it cools off. (02/02/2009)

By judy

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I always place a bit of dish soap on them, squeeze and rinse after using and every couple of days place in the silverware holder of the dishwasher when doing a load. Before I had a dishwasher I made sure to always have three or four sponges and would wash them with the weekly laundry. (02/02/2009)

By Deeli

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

Every few days I soak my sponge in a mild bleach solution. I have a double sink so I plug up one side and fill it with a few inches of warm soapy water to which I add a splash of bleach (1-2 tablespoons). Soak your sponge for a while and it will be clean and sweet smelling. Just squeeze out excess water and it's ready to use again. I also use a bleach soak for stained coffee/tea cups and for any cutting boards/utensils that touch raw poultry. (02/02/2009)


By OliveOyl

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I never use a sponge, but only a cloth. Every morning, I take a clean cloth and throw the other cloth in the washing machine. (02/02/2009)

By Irene

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I have a margarine container that I poked holes in the bottom of and it sits in a bowl. I wash all the sponges and cloths with detergent and squeeze them out very well and then keep them in this. They don't get mildewy this way. Empty out bowl everytime you go to use them. Hope this helps.

You can also crochet little squares that make very good dishcloths. I make mine all out of chain stitches or you can use lightweight scrubbers instead of sponges.
Sponges are notorious for stinking and holding germs.
Hope this helps.

Racer (02/02/2009)

By Robyn Fed

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

Try using some vinegar on the sponge when microwaving. This should eliminate the odor and disinfect at the same time. (02/02/2009)

By Rebecca


Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

The trick is to put the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes, not "a few seconds". Make sure it's sopping, dripping wet and put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. The reason it works is you're basically boiling it, so it should kill any bacteria or odors. I do it at least once a day and my sponges never have an odor. (Be sure to let it cool before you take it out of the microwave though since it's literally "boiling" hot!) (02/03/2009)

By Lynn Marler

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

The sponge is one of the most bacteria filled items in the kitchen. It contains the proper medium, stays damp at the right temp. It comes into contact with millions of germs and bacteria keeping it lively. If you can't do a bleach rinse with it daily, or a strong vinegar soak, make sure you toss those weekly at a minimum. Do not put it in the washing machine, the wash water cannot get hot enough to disinfect the sponge. A dishwasher with a sanitizer can.


Vinegar and chlorine "NOT TOGETHER" can each be an effective disinfectant. One more for vinegar! (02/03/2009)

By Grandma J

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I always squeeze dish soap through the sponge before I leave it and let it dry without rinsing. Keeps the sponge smelling fresh!


By Diane Martin

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I keep my sponges, green for clean (dishes), pink for stink (wiping up spills) in a small container by my sink in which I put 2 cups water and 2 tbs bleach. I keep them in that solution til I feel they need washing and then I pin them on the dishwasher top rack with a clothes pin and wash, using the bleach solution to wipe out the sink. (Talk about a run-on sentence)! (02/04/2009)

By Linda

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I run mine through the dishwasher with the silverware every couple days. (02/04/2009)

By Jan


Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I gave up using sponges after reading some scary info about bacteria survival. Now I just use washclothes (WalMart and dollar stores always have good deals on multiple packs). I change my washclothes after every time I do the dishes, and wash with the regular laundry. They are easier to rinse clean, just as absorbent, and easier to use washing glasses, etc. (02/04/2009)

By Nancy in NC

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I toss mine in the washing machine every time I do a bleach wash. (02/04/2009)

By Beth

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

I run the sponge through the dishwasher every night. I put the sponge on the top rack, between 2 pegs, on its side. It gets clean, but will need to have the excess water squeezed out of it.

By Barbara Petty

Keeping Kitchen Sponge from Getting Stinky

Keep it in a small dish between uses, small enough that the sponge is perched up high with air circulation on both sides so it dries quickly. (02/05/2009)

By Kim Churchman

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