Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

How To Green Clean Your Kitchen Sponge

Every kitchen has at some time or another been home to a sponge, and why not?  A sponge is such a versatile cleaning tool!  It wipes up messes on countertops and absorbs liquid droplets quickly.  Best of all, it is reusable.

However, that handy kitchen sponge can harbor more than moisture.  Things like foodborne pathogens, yeasts and molds are hiding in there.  There is also an added environmental danger with many synthetic sponges these days.  They are often made with the chemical triclosan.  Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent and is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as being a pesticide.  It is also used in many anitbacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes and cosmetics. 

While changing your sponge regularly is a good hygienic practice, try to purchase sponges that are made from cellulose fiber, and that the cellulose is sourced from plantation forests or recycled.  Be careful not to choose a sponge that contains polyester, a form of plastic.

Another type of sponge that you can use is a Luffa sponge.  Luffa is a plant and the fruit is what the sponge is made from.

To help keep your sponge “clean and green” and free of nasty bacteria, try to keep it as dry as possible between uses.  Try sterilizing sponges by soaking them in boiled water for a few minutes, or try cleaning them with a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water solution. 

Microwave heating a damp sponge or dishwashing with a drying cycle prove to be the most effective methods for inactivating bacteria, yeasts and molds on sponges.  These simple and convenient treatments can help ensure that contaminated sponges don’t spread foodborne pathogens around your household kitchen or your family.

How do you feel about using kitchen sponges?  What else do you use to green clean your home?  Do you have a favorite nontoxic cleaner that you would like to share with everyone?  Post your favorite green cleaning tips or share your green cleaning stories on our Maid Brigade blog! 

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