How to Clean a Sponge in the Microwave

If you’re wondering how to clean a sponge, a minute in the microwave is all you need.

Clean and Disinfect a Sponge in the MicrowaveView in gallery

While sponges are essential cleaning tools, they harbor bacteria. And when you wash a dish with a bacteria-filled sponge, you spread germs rather than eliminate them – defeating the purpose of cleaning.

While it’s a good idea to replace your sponge at least every two weeks, you can kill bacteria to prolong its use. Here’s how to clean a sponge in the microwave.

How to Clean and Disinfect a Sponge in the Microwave

Use the microwave to disinfect sponges that don’t have metallic scratch pads. If your sponge has any metallic pieces, don’t microwave it – it may spark or ignite.

Follow these steps to disinfect your sponge:

  • Thoroughly wet the sponge
  • Microwave the sponge for 60 seconds
  • Allow the sponge to cool (about 10 minutes) before removing it

Other Methods You Can Use to Disinfect a Sponge

If you don’t want to use the microwave, here are different ways to disinfect a sponge.

  • Soak the Sponge in Bleach – To kill bacteria with bleach, fill a bowl with one quart of warm water and a half teaspoon of bleach. Allow the sponge to soak for at least one minute, then rinse.
  • Run the Sponge Through the Dishwasher – Using hot water and the dry cycle on your dishwasher will clean and disinfect dirty sponges.
  • Kill Bacteria With Vinegar – If you don’t like using bleach, you can use vinegar instead. Fill a bowl with full-strength white distilled vinegar and allow your sponge to soak for at least five minutes. Rinse afterward.

How Often Should You Disinfect or Replace Your Kitchen Sponge?

Those musty smells coming from your sponge are due to built-up bacteria. But even if your sponge isn’t emitting foul odors, it could still be full of germs. Since kitchen sinks and sponges are the germiest areas in your home (even more so than the toilet bowl), you need to clean them every day or after every use. 

Replace your sponge when it starts to break down, isn’t working well, or if you can’t eliminate the bad odors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How do you clean a sponge with a handle?

If your sponge is removable, take it off the handle, soak it in water, and then microwave it for one minute. If the sponge isn’t removable, soak the sponge head in a mixture of bleach and water for at least 60 seconds to kill bacteria. Rinse afterward.

Can you clean sponges with boiling water?

You can clean and disinfect a sponge with boiling water. Fill a pot with water, bring it to a boil, and boil your sponges for five minutes to kill germs.

How do you keep a kitchen sponge clean?

Sponges are the germiest area of a home. The only way to keep them clean is to sanitize them every day. You can do this in the microwave, with bleach, or with vinegar. (Never mix bleach and vinegar.)

How do you disinfect Scrub Daddy sponges?

You can kill bacteria in your Scrub Daddy sponge by wetting it and then microwaving it for sixty seconds.

Final Thoughts

Your sponge develops a bad smell because it’s full of bacteria. To prevent the spread of germs, sanitize your sponge often. Then, replace it whenever it breaks down, or the bad smells won’t go away.

The simplest way to disinfect a sponge is in the microwave. But, if you don’t have a microwave, you can use a dishwasher, boiling water, bleach, or vinegar.