Everyday Savings: Simple Tips to Extend the Life of Your Kitchen Sponge

published Jul 5, 2016
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(Image credit: lightpoet)

Nobody likes to throw away money. Even though kitchen sponges are, like, 50¢ a piece, there are still some small, simple habits you can do to squeeze more mileage out of your most hardworking kitchen tool.

Cut Them In Half Before You Use Them

Ta da! Instantly, your tools last twice as long. Chances are, a smaller sponge can still tackle all your normal use with finesse. In fact, it might make it easier to get into tight nooks.

(Image credit: Pottery Lodge)

Air Dry After Every Use

Get yourself a sponge holder that will keep your sponge upright and let air flow all around. Or here’s a thrifty tip: Clip the sponge into a basic binder clip to stand it up by the sink.

Clean Them Often

How often? Around every three or four days with regular use. You might also want to give your sponge a clean right after a particularly germy task.

  • Soak Them in Vinegar: Here’s a recipe from Reader’s Digest: Soak a sponge overnight in a mixture of 1 cup hot water, ½ cup white vinegar and 3 tablespoons salt, then rinse well in the morning.
  • Zap Them in the Microwave: Soak a sponge with water or white vinegar (get it totally wet–a dry sponge could burst into flames), then nuke it for 1 minute to disinfect and remove odors. The sponge will be very hot afterwards, so make sure to let it cool.
  • Run Them In the Dishwasher: Put a sponge in with your normal cycle anytime you feel like it needs a deep clean.

Buy Better Sponges

If you feel like your sponges are wearing out too quickly, it might be time to upgrade to a better sponge, like one with a scrubber base. Real Simple weighed more than 150 options to find the best tools for kitchen cleaning, and their longtime favorite is Casabella’s Sparkle Scrub Sponge.