The biggest issue about sponges is that they carry a lot of bacteria. That is particularly more alarming if you use them for doing multiple jobs. Most people use the same sponge to clean up the counter after a meal and wash dishes.
If you use the same tools like sponges to clean up raw food remnants and scrub your plates and other kitchenware, your cleaning tool is more prone to bacteria buildup. So, you can use a particular sponge for a specific job and clean it regularly. You can still use it in various cleaning jobs, but always it. It is even recommended to sanitize the sponge every after use.
Speaking of cleaning, people wonder if they can put the sponge in the washing machine. Yes, you can use your washing machine to clean your sponges.
How to Clean a Sponge in the Washing Machine
The washing machine is good at cleaning microfiber sponges. However, it is not very effective at sanitizing them. So, you can sanitize them daily and then machine wash them weekly.
Generally, microfiber sponges that are safely cleaned in the washing machine are made of:
- Inner sponge: 100% polyurethane
- Microfiber side: 21% polyamide + 79% polyester
- Scrubbing side: 10% polyester + 90% luster silk
It is essential to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions first to know if you can put the sponge in the washing machine.
When cleaning a sponge with the washing machine, you have to:
- Set the washing machine on the hottest possible setting.
- Add some bleach-based detergent.
- Run the washing machine at 60˚C.
Alternative Cleaning Methods
Sponges play a critical role in keeping your home clean. You often rely on them for cleaning the counters you prepare food on and cooking essentials like plates, bowls, pots, or pans. So, the last thing you want to grab is a dirty and germy sponge.
Cleaning and disinfecting your sponges regularly is highly critical. Besides tossing them in the washing machine, you can try other methods if you are unsure if your sponge is machine washable or you do not want to risk it in the machine.
Cleaning the Sponge in the Microwave
One of the closest machines you can reach for when cleaning your dirty kitchen sponge is the microwave. Using the microwave helps kill bacteria in your sponge. When using this cleaning method, follow the steps below:
Step #1: First, you have to soak the sponge in water first since you may start a fire if it is dry. Use 1/2 cup of water for cellulose and 1/4 cup of water for scrub sponges.
Step #2: Microwave the damp sponge for about five minutes.
Step #3: Allow the sponge to cool for fifteen minutes.
Step #4: Remove your sponge from the microwave.
Step #5: Ring out any excess water from the sponge.
Step #6: Allow the sponge to air dry.
Cleaning the Sponge in the Dishwasher
Another machine that you can use to clean your sponge in the dishwasher. It is also effective at killing germs. Cleaning your sponge in the dishwasher is one of the most straightforward solutions. You can do it by carefully following the steps below:
Step #1: Place your sponge in the rack.
Step #2: Run the dishwasher through a heat-dry cycle. It helps disinfect the sponge. While the longest, hottest cycle of the machine is the most effective, the heat-dry setting is still effective at killing the germs in the sponge.
Step #3: After the cycle, remove the sponge out of the dishwasher.
Step #4: Allow the sponge to dry.
Cleaning the Sponge in the Boiling Water
If you want another quick and easy way to clean your sponge, you can try boiling water. Plus, you do not need to use any household appliance and cleaning tools and solutions. So, you can save money.
It is easy to disinfect and clean your sponge in boiling water with the following steps:
Step #1: In a pot, bring two cups of boiling water.
Step #2: Place the sponge in the boiling water.
Step #3: Allow the sponge to sit for five minutes.
Step #4: Let the sponge cool entirely in the water.
Step #5: Remove the sponge from the pot and ring out any excess water.
Step #6: Let the sponge air dry.
Cleaning the Sponge in the Bleach
Bleach is a cleaner that you can easily find at home, and you can use it to clean your sponges. It helps kill bacteria, mildew, mold, and viruses. The cleaning process is quick and easy; simply follow the steps below:
Step #1: Start by mixing 3/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
Step #2: Soak your sponge for about fifteen minutes.
Step #3: Rinse the sponge well in water.
Step #4: Allow the sponge to air dry.
Note that bleach has a strong odor. So, it is recommended to work in a well-ventilated room when cleaning with bleach.
Cleaning the Sponge in the Vinegar
If you want a non-toxic, inexpensive, and biodegradable method to clean your sponges at home, you can turn to vinegar. You can also find it in the kitchen quickly. It is often used to clean showerheads, drains, and microwaves. The good news is that you can also use it on your sponges.
The cleaning process is very straightforward. Follow the steps below:
Step #1: First, you have to remove any solid particles in the sponge.
Step #2: Carefully rinse and squeeze the sponge.
Step #3: Drop the sponge into a container filled with some vinegar.
Step #4: Allow the vinegar to submerge completely.
Step #5: Allow the sponge to soak for about five minutes.
Step #6: Rinse the sponge well and let it air dry.
Since the vinegar-soaked sponge’s extra acid may cause skin irritation, you can wear gloves for this method.
Without sponges, you will find it hard to clean your plates, bowls, and other kitchenware thoroughly. However, even cleaning tools like sponges require regular sanitation and cleaning. That way, rest assured they will do their jobs instead of spreading diseases due to bacteria, viruses, or dirt. You can choose from the above which cleaning method is the most convenient for you.