I have thrown out hundreds of sponges because they have gotten nasty and moldy. They sit around and collect bacteria that deposits onto your dishes. No one wants that. Taking a few simple steps can extend the life of your sponges. Keeping them bacteria free and smelling great.
Squeeze Them Out!!
Getting as much water as possible out of your sponges will help them dry faster giving bacteria less time to grow.
Give Them Space To Dry
We all want to just throw them by the sink and forget about them. That gives the sponges time to ferment. The best trick i've found is to take a binder clip (these can be purchased anywhere from the dollar store to walmart) clip it onto the sponge and use the clip to balance the sponge so the water can drip down.
Put Them In The Dishwasher
This will allow the sponge to sanitize. The heat dry will allow the sponge to dry quickly and the heat will minimize bacteria. This will lengthen the life of your sponges.
Put It In The Microwave
This is similar to the heat dry on a dishwasher. Start by soaking the sponge in vinegar for five minutes. Squeeze out the sponge leaving as much liquid as possible. Place in microwave and set it for 3-5 minutes. You can always add time if the sponge hasn't dried yet. I recommend doing this in 30 second increments.
Soak In Bleach
I'm not a fan of bleach but this method works very well. Soak the sponge in a solution of bleach and hot water.
Use Your Washer
You can throw your sponges in the washer. I like to add mine to rags so they don't mess up any of my clothes. Use hot water, and add one cup of vinegar to your regular soap. Do not add them to the dryer. This is harmful to sponges and causes them to break down quickly.