How to Remove Odors From Dish Washing Sponges

Kitchen Sponge/Scouring Pad Near a Sink
Constant usage and laying about to slowly dry can result in odors developing in your dish sponge. There are a few ways to destroy the odor causing bacteria and get a bit more use out of the sponge. It is possible to carefully microwave a very damp sponge, or try running it through the dishwasher. This is a page about how to remove odors from dish washing sponges.

2 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

July 1, 2008

How to get rid of odor from dish sponge?

Nancy from Wood Ridge, NJ


By woofey (Guest Post)
July 3, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I nuke all my sponges in the microwave for 3 minutes. Make sure they are very damp before you do this.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
January 5, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I will sometime microwave my sponge with some dish soap. After I scrub out the microwave walls and rinse out the sponge, it is clean and fresh.


I also regularly run it through the dishwasher which really helps to keep any odors down. And as soon as it looks a bit ratty, I move it to bathroom cleaning duty instead.

Good luck and let us know what works best for you.

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July 1, 2008

I have a request. I would like to know if anyone can tell me why my sponge scrubber gets a funny odor on it when it has been laying on my stainless steel sink. It is not a mildew or moldy smell. I have tried cleaning my sink with vinegar, Comet, Brasso, and putting it in the dishwasher. The dishwasher will remove the smell for a little while, but the smell comes back. Any ideas?

Diane from Indiana


Funny Odor On Sponge Scrubber

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)


By Amanda Cope

Funny Odor On Sponge Scrubber

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 holes 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)

By grannyz

Funny Odor On Sponge Scrubber

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)

By engineer_fixer

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