I’ve always had mixed emotions about cleaning and re-using sponges… because they honestly kind of gross me out!
However, since I’m always looking for ways to save a little cash (and help the environment) I figured I should try reusing them… but only if I felt like I could really clean and sanitize them.
So I did a little research, and came up with three simple ways to clean and sanitize the different sponges you might have around your house.
1. Wash them with your laundry.
Throw your sponges in with your other towels and rags and wash with hot water (and a little bleach). They might be kind of hard when you take them out — especially if you dry them in the drier — but they should be clean.
Just a note, if you’re planning to wash loofas, you might want to put them in a mesh garment bag first so they don’t catch on anything else you’re washing.
2. Clean them in the dishwasher.
This is the method I use most often, just because I think about it when I’m in the middle of loading up the dishwasher. However, I did learn the hard way that if you want to wash one of those scrubbers with an attached soap dispenser, you need to remove the soap dispenser first 🙂
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, here’s a huge list other items you can wash in your dishwasher!
3. Sanitize them in the microwave.
Get your sponge or loofa wet and then microwave on high for 2 minutes. You obviously can’t do this with any sponge that contains metal (like our bottle brush cleaner) but it’s a really quick way to sanitize other sponges.
Also, after the sponge is sanitized, there will be quite a bit of steam and moisture in your microwave… which provides the perfect opportunity to remove some of that stuck-on gunk and debris!
Of course, it’s still easier just to use a new sponge… and eventually, you’ll have to replace your sponges as they can’t be washed indefinitely. But at least you know you CAN clean them!