This dish sponge tip is as simple as pie and yet it is very useful. Find out.

Many of us use dishwashing sponges for much longer than would be recommended. In fact, microbiologists recommend replacing your sponge every week. It is essential to change a dishwashing sponge regularly as it accumulates bacteria and microbes from food residue and dirt. Over time, even if you rinse it, the sponge becomes a breeding ground for germs that can contaminate your surfaces and your dishes.

If you’re hoping that boiling or heating it frequently in a microwave will keep it clean enough, don’t do it. According to one study, this can initially reduce bacteria by about 60%, but it will not sterilize the sponge. Even sponges that were regularly cleaned in this manner were found to be as full of bacteria as those that were not cleaned.

If you can’t change sponges every week, you should at least do it once a month if you wash dishes every day. And in this case, it is not necessarily obligatory to throw away your old kitchen sponge. Why not try a clever reuse tip?

When the sponge reaches the point where it is obviously too worn to clean your counters and dishes, cut off a corner. This cut corner serves to identify this sponge as being intended for something other than washing dishes. Needless to say, you should cut the corner wide enough to notice that it has been cut.

Keep this sponge away from your new sponges that are still clean and use it to scrub dirty things, like your trash can, toilet, shoes or even tires. At some point, it will truly be ready to be thrown away. Until then, you can rest easy knowing you’ve used it as much as possible. And you will be sure not to use a dirty sponge to clean the dishes!

Dish sponges are generally made from synthetic materials like polyurethane, a petroleum derivative. They may contain antimicrobial agents to reduce the growth of bacteria. These sponges are not biodegradable and may release microplastics as they degrade. In addition, their production has a carbon impact. All the more reason to use them for as long as possible!