First things first. What IS that stanky smell seeping out of your sponge? Friends, it's bacteria, mildew or mold from a soggy sponge that hasn't dried properly or food particles (remember when you wiped up, rather than cried over that spilled milk? yuk, yuk) hanging out in your sponge going bad. Nasty.
Before you toss it, try these life-saving tips to give your sponge a second wind:
- Douse your sponge heartily with an approximate 50/50 white vinegar/water solution
- Toss in the microwave for 45 seconds (do NOT zap a dry sponge as it may catch fire(!!)
- Remove sponge with tongs (darn thing can get quite hot so be careful not to scald yourself)
- When cool, squeeze dry and if you've got a lemon peel, rind or wedge handy, rub on sponge to remove vinegar smell (optional)
- If your sponge is on its last legs and can no longer be revitalized, consider relegating it to a 2nd tier use like toilet cleaning before tossing it
How to prevent sponge stink before it occurs:
- Give sponges a powerful squeeze to remove all moisture after every use
- Prop your sponge against the wall so it dries thoroughly—don't let it dry lying down where ventilation is harder
Consider switching to old towel remnants that you can pop in the washing machine with your laundry or use all-natural sponges, like Trader Joe's vegetable cellulose Pop-Up sponges which resist stinkification.