Happy Tuesday! Today is a pretty special day in our household. My hubby and I are celebrating 14 years of marriage. There’s a part of me that feels like our wedding was just yesterday, and somehow we’ve acquired a house and 3 kids overnight. At the same time, it seems like forever ago, as I hardly remember life without him. Also possible I am just losing my memory.
To celebrate our anniversary I’m going to tell you how to sanitize your sponges. I know. Anniversaries and sponges don’t go together at.all., but I needed a segway from “happy anniversary” to “sanitize your sponges”, and there just isn’t one.
Before I realized you could disinfect sponges, I would throw mine away after a couple uses. I was sure I was just smearing germs around… and I probably was. Then, I discovered you can actually sanitize sponges very easily, and I wouldn’t need to throw them out until they started to wear.
Here’s What You’ll Need
All you need is a microwave and water… and your dirty sponges, of course.
There are actually a couple ways you can sanitize sponges: 1.) Soak them in diluted bleach 2.) Wash them in the dishwasher, or 3.) “Cook them” in the microwave. Here’s why I went with the microwave: 1.) I don’t love bleach. It’s a strong chemical that I try to avoid, unless the stomach flu hits, in which case bleach is my best friend. 2.) For some reason I’m grossed out by the thought of nasty sponges in the dishwasher with my forks and spoons. Plus, in order to disinfect the sponges properly, you’d need to use the sanitize setting to create really hot water, and the heated dry setting. I try to avoid excess energy costs whenever possible, so that’s why I went with the microwave. If you want to use a different method, go for it!
All you need to do is SOAK, as in, saturate, your sponges with water, and place them in the microwave. Run it on high for 2 minutes. Do not grab the sponges out of the microwave. I know you’re excited to get cleaning, but wait for them to cool first.
*Here’s a little advice. I put my sponges on a small, microwave-safe, plate and I’m glad I did because otherwise there would have been water everywhere.
a bit of a nerd curious, I wanted to know whether this method did, indeed, kill germs. I set out to find the temperature required to kill bacteria, but found an article that was even better! Good Housekeeping actually tested all these methods to see how well they killed germs… in an actual lab, with real scientists. Here are the results:
Bleach: Killed 99.9%, which is what is needed to be considered “sanitized” by the EPA.
Dishwasher: Killed 99.9% on household sponges, but missed a few E. coli (99.88% killed) and salmonella (99.86% killed) in the lab-treated sponges. By lab-treated, I mean sponges that scientists actually infested with various bacteria. So, unless you’re deliberately pouring E. coli on your sponge, you should reach the coveted 99.9%
Microwave: Also achieved a 99.9% kill-rate on household sponges, but missed a couple E. coli on lab-infested sponges, getting only 99.83%.
I’m sticking with my microwave version because I have no intention of purposely infesting my sponges with bacteria.
*As a side note, the lab also tested the disinfecting power of my beloved vinegar, ammonia, and a washing machine… The results
- Vineger: 99.6% killed
- Ammonia: 97% killed
- Washing Machine: 93% killed
Well, now that my sponges are disinfected, I suppose I should get on with celebrating my anniversary.
Enjoy your day!
You Might Also Enjoy: