How to sanitize your kitchen sponge in 2 minutes or less

Your kitchen sponge is a bacteria-growing nightmare. Here's how to sanitize it in just a couple minutes or less.

Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
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Watch this: Sanitize your sponge in 2 minutes or less

All those little holes in your sponge are great places for bacteria to breed.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Your kitchen sponge is covered in bacteria. Even if you rinse it out with soap and water, it can still be teaming with bacteria that can make you sick. In fact, researchers found using dish washing liquid to clean sponges had no effect on the amount of molds, yeasts and E. coli found on the sponges they tested.

The good news is there are two ways you can sanitize your kitchen sponge in just minutes.

The nuke solution

One of the easiest ways to kill bacteria on your sponge is to wet it and then pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, according to The Public Health and Safety Organization. The microwave will heat the water to boiling, killing the bacteria. Just make sure to let the sponge cool before you touch it again.

Pro tip: The steam let off by the sponge will soften any dried on food particles in your microwave, making it easier to clean.

The bleach and soak

Another way to kill bacteria is by soaking your sponge in a bleach solution after you use it. Grab a plastic container with a lid and fill it with one part bleach and nine parts water. Next, grab a shallow bowl.

Every time you use your sponge, toss it in the bowl and fill it with the bleach solution until the sponge is covered. Let the sponge sit for 10 to 30 seconds, then wring it out and dump the used solution.

Pro tip: The bleach solution can also be used to wipe down the inside of the sink and the faucet handles, too. Just remember to rinse them off after 30 seconds.

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