Kitchen Sponge 101

HGTV Magazine wanted to know, if your kitchen sponge could talk, what hush-hush secrets would it dish out.
wet kitchen sponges

Wet Kitchen Sponges

Tips and tricks to keep your kitchen sponges in shape and good shape

Photo by: Chris Coppola/Studio D (Styled by Miako Katoh)

Chris Coppola/Studio D (Styled by Miako Katoh)

"Always leave me high and dry"

With crevices designed to retain moisture, cellulose sponges are ideal breeding grounds for germs—especially when they’re put away wet in a dark undersink cabinet. To prevent bacteria buildup, wring out excess water, and pop the sponge in a countertop holder with plenty of air circulation.

"My life span is really limited"

A sponge isn’t meant to last forever. Most people eventually toss sponges when they notice mustiness or fraying, but the pros recommend discarding them every week—two weeks max—and starting fresh.

"Here's why I feel clammy"

Ever notice a just-opened cellulose sponge is already damp? That’s because many are premoistened with sterile water. Without H20, the material shrivels and hardens—and looks unattractive on store shelves.

"I’m a hard-core clean freak"

Disinfect sponges every other day: To sanitize, microwave a damp sponge on high for two minutes, run it through the dishwasher (make sure it isn’t fraying or pieces can break off and clog the filter), or soak it overnight in 1 quart of water mixed with 3 tablespoons of chlorine bleach.

"My party trick? Picking up pet hair"

If your upholstered furniture is covered in pet hair, swipe it with a dry sponge—the fur gets hoovered up like magic. Trash the hair, then wash the sponge with soap and hot water.

Our experts: Nancy Bock, senior vice president, meetings and education, at the American Cleaning Institute; Kirsi Dahl, communications manager at Scotch-Brite; Jolie Kerr, cleaning expert and author of My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha; Roxanne B. Sukol, M.D., medical director at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Enterprise

Next Up

How to Clean Your Cellphone

Remove bacteria from your phone with these simple steps.

25 Ways To Be More Organized

Create order in your home (or at least your junk drawer) with these easy tasks from organizing experts and the HGTV stars. Each one takes an hour or less!

7 Tips for Controlling House Dust Mites

These microscopic spider-like critters are a leading cause of allergies and asthma. Here's how to fight back.

How to Wash a Baseball Cap

Take better care of your everyday headwear. These tips make it easy to wash your baseball cap so it remains clean.

Quick Tips for Home Organization

Try these quick home organization tips for maintaining a clutter-free home from basement to attic.

How to Get Stains Out of Carpet

A good quality carpet could last for many years with proper care and maintenance. Learn how to remove stains from wine, nail polish, coffee and more.

Talk to a Toolman: Q&A With Chip Wade

Should you hire a pro or do that home repair yourself? HGTV Magazine asks Elbow Room’s Chip Wade to weigh in on five common questions.

An Outdoor Kitchen Dream Come True

In this Austin, TX, house, the main ingredient is the Latin American-inspired cookspace that opens to the backyard.

Why Is There so Much Dust in My House?

Find the answers to frequently asked cleaning questions, plus get 10 handy tips for making your house less dusty.

7+ Ways to Clean a Burnt Pan

Remedy your burnt kitchen pots and pans with these homemade cleaning solutions.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.