How to Clean and Maintain Different Types of Kitchen Sponges

Kitchen sponges are an important component in your kitchen cleaning activities. They come in handy not just for purposes of washing your dishes but also in washing the kitchen sink, countertops, various kitchen appliances and other items within your kitchen.

Noting that kitchen sponges are regularly used in the kitchen, getting the right kitchen sponge can make a big difference to your work in terms saving you time and energy spent on tasks.

Some of the considerations when purchasing kitchen sponges include the quality of the brand, its working mechanism, its features and price. You can read a detailed informational article on these considerations in our product review and buyers guide article on kitchen sponges.

What are kitchen sponges made of?

The majority of sponges used in the kitchen feature cellulose (natural fibers). On the other hand, the scrubby section is usually created using nylon or polyester. These materials come from nonrenewable resources such as gas and oil and are neither biodegradable nor recyclable.

Biodegradable kitchen sponges

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Kitchen sponges can now be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. Biodegradable sponges made from sea kelp or nettles, for example, are less likely to have mold or germs compared to the yellow and green equivalents.

These eco-friendly kitchen sponges are also considerably friendlier to the environment as they biodegrade speedily in landfills.

How to select biodegradable kitchen sponges

  1. Select a material depending on its intended use.
  1. Check to see if the scrub is antibacterial.
  1. Choose the appropriate sponge size
  1. Select a material depending on its sturdiness.

Reusable sponges for kitchen use

Reusable sponges for the kitchen feature materials such as cotton and microfiber. You can also wash and reuse them for months rather than weeks. These types of sponges are free of harmful chemicals, making them a healthier choice for your loved ones.

Machine washable, these sponges absorb nearly fifteen times their weight in liquid and are simple to wring out. It beats cellulose sponges without the concern of the growth of bacteria. Washable kitchen sponges are the best to use for wiping off countertops, drying up utensils, and cleaning up spills.

Microfiber kitchen sponges

There’s no need to spend hours scrubbing your dishes. Microfiber kitchen sponges can cut through grime and grease with ease. They are also unstoppable against food stuck to the bottom of cast iron and stainless steel cookware.

Benefits of using microfiber kitchen sponges

Cleaning the kitchen is one of the hardest parts of cleaning your home. Your kitchen is one of the areas where you need to practice the highest level of hygiene and hence requires very thorough cleaning.

Microfiber products offer cost savings, sterility, and convenience. These kitchen sponges will help you clean quickly and effectively.

You can quickly clean your beautiful and fragile kitchen items with these sponges without leaving a mark or scratching. When you use these sponges, you will need a tiny amount of detergent to achieve the desired cleaning.

Types of kitchen sponges

You can get kitchen sponges in an array of shapes and sizes. These come with various advantages:

Dry sponges

These types, often created with rubber, are perfect for cleaning surfaces that cannot withstand water, such as fabric window coverings and lampshades. In addition, they’re frequently used to remove soot after a fire. You slice off the dusty or dirty part of the dry sponge and replace it with a new sponge to clean with.

Combo cellulose & abrasive

Abrasive and combo cellulose sponges are popular and quite useful for general clean-up. These sponges are perfect for cleaning countertops, bathroom surfaces, dishes, and more. And because they are two-sided, you get the benefits of both abrasive and cellulose sponges. The abrasive side, on the other hand, can be of varying sturdiness; for daily use, you want a low abrasive, non-scratch.

Microfiber sponges

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You can use microfiber sponges on any surface because of their soft texture, which is why they are ideal for washing windows and cars. The one drawback is that they lack the grit required to get rid of baked-on debris. However, they do a good job of getting rid of dirt and oil.

Abrasive sponges 

These come with a tough, abrasive top material and a cellulose base. You can use abrasive sponges for really difficult tasks. These sponges have high absorbency since they are partially made of cellulose. Pans, outdoor furniture, grills, and pots are easy to clean with abrasive sponges. In addition, they’re great for getting rid of grime.

The only disadvantage to using these sponges is that they can harm the nonstick coating. If you have a non-stick pan, don’t use this sponge to clean it.

Wire sponges

You can use steel wool sponges for important clean-up purposes in most cases. It features steel that has been finely processed. Again, there are two varieties of these, one of which is particularly abrasive. You should use it to remove rusty surfaces, scrub the floor, or clean grills.

The second kind is gentler than the first, and you can use it to clean the kitchen sink, glass kitchenware, and a variety of other difficult stains. Cleaning glass items with the harsh type would result in starches. So, be cautious!

Cellulose sponges

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The most popular sponges on the market are cellulose sponges. The reason is that, in comparison to other kinds of kitchen cleaning sponges, they are not only good at cleaning but also relatively inexpensive.

These sponges are often brightly colored and available in ergonomic sizes, making them easier to grasp and use. They do, however, catch food particles that are hard to properly rinse clean, shorten the sponge’s life, and harbor microbes.

Sea sponges 

Natural sponges that grow on the ocean’s floor are known as sea sponges. They are incredibly earth-friendly and perfect for a variety of uses, including cleaning of all types, cosmetics, and bathing, because they are 100 percent natural.

You can use them for things like exfoliating, bathing, and dishwashing. There are various kinds of sea sponges—some are firmer, while others are softer—so choose the proper one for the task.

Nylon sponges

These sponges are non-abrasive, so they will scratch your cleaning surfaces. They’re great for cleaning nonstick surfaces, kitchen counters, ceramic, fixtures, porcelain, glass, and stainless steel. You can use nylon sponges to clean cars as well as walls.

Nylon sponges aren’t great absorbents; however, they do a good job of holding thick liquid soap to make cleaning a breeze. The nicest part about these sponges is that they are scratch-resistant and do not leave any stroke lines on the surface.

Natural sponges

You can find these on the ocean floor, and they are completely natural and environmentally safe. Because they are soft and absorbent, these sponges are excellent for chores such as washing cars and windows. They can be too soft to get baked-on food out of the kitchen.

The best sponges simplify work in the kitchen, from cleaning spills on the kitchen counter to the stew you unintentionally scorched all over the fine skillet. They are not interesting, yet they are necessary for everyone.

Here are the best kitchen sponge brands

Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge, O-Cedar Multi-Use Scrunge Scrub Sponge, Life Miracle Nano Sponge Cleaning Sponge, Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Silicone Scrubber, Scrub Daddy Color Sponge, Peachy Clean Antimicrobial Silicone Scrubber, Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge, Scotch-Brite Dobie All Purpose Pads, and more.

Loofah kitchen sponges

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Loofahs are non-abrasive and biodegradable. You can replace green scouring pads with loofah kitchen sponges. When you’re through, dump it into your compost pile.

They work great at removing bacteria and stains from a variety of surfaces. However, if you do not use them on a regular basis and clean them well after using them, they can turn into a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

How to keep kitchen sponges from smelling

Why do kitchen sponges smell?

You’ve probably noticed the unpleasant odor that arises after a couple of days if you are one of the many individuals who use sponges in their kitchen. The odor is mostly caused by cleaning unclean countertops or dishes. This results in food becoming caught between the sponge’s pores. The food particles decay over time, resulting in a foul stench.

A dirty sponge can make you sick, aside from the nasty odor. Sponges can carry microorganisms that cause severe ailments. That is why, especially if you are using a sponge to clear off food, it is essential to clean or replace it on a regular basis. Antibacterial sponges in the kitchen help to fight the growth of mold and odor-causing bacteria.

What are some of the ways you can clean a clean a kitchen sponge?

Microwave the sponge to sanitize

Microwave the sponge for more than a minute to kill 99 percent of the bacteria that causes it to stink. Microwave a damp sponge on high for 1–2 minutes to kill yeast, mold, and germs that have colonized quickly.

Avoid using a dry sponge in the microwave because it could catch fire, and don’t use any scouring sponge with metallic fibers. To avoid burning your palm, allow the kitchen sponge to cool before retrieving it after cooking the germs in the microwave.

Place it in the dishwasher to clean

When the kitchen sponge stinks, another option is to put it in the dishwasher. Place it in the dishwasher with the dirty dishes for the whole cycle, securing it on the top shelf, so it stays put while it is cleaned, rinsed, and dried with heat.

In addition, you should heat the water properly. The microorganisms in the kitchen sponge will die because of the water that is at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you keep two sponges on hand and rotate them in and out of the dishwasher. This will make sure you always have a clean one.

Disinfect with a simple disinfectant

Green cleaning is effective on sponges and provides you with peace of mind when used on dishes. To deter the dangerous micro-organisms that can do terrible things to you, soak the sponge at the first faint nasty odor, ideally even before things get to that point.

To kill viruses, mold, germs, and yeast, soak the entire kitchen sponge in undiluted lemon juice or white vinegar, both acidic liquids. This will not remove all the unwanted bacteria as efficiently as a microwave blast; however, it will get rid of a significant portion of them.

On the other hand, immerse the kitchen sponge in a solution of bleach, 1/2 teaspoon in one quart of warm water for one minute.

Using baking soda to clean kitchen sponges

Baking soda naturally helps disinfect and clean kitchen sponges. It is an excellent deodorizing and cleaning companion for nearly everything in your home, from your bathroom to your bedding.

The biggest disadvantage is that baking soda alone might not be sufficient to destroy micro-organisms. You should use baking soda with vinegar to get the best results.

Using lemon method to clean kitchen sponges

Lemon juice is not only excellent for your body and skin, but it will also help you get rid of odors from the kitchen sponge. In comparison to the other options, lemon is also quite mild and eco-friendly.

Is lemon effective at eliminating bacteria? The answer is, in fact, yes. It has the ability to stop germs from developing and living. The downside is that it kills bacteria more effectively when combined with vinegar.

How to sanitize kitchen sponges

Sponges have the potential to spread hazardous bacteria throughout the kitchen. You should clean your sponges to keep them from spreading germs.

The issue with sponges is that they do not dry out completely between uses, allowing hazardous bacteria to thrive. If you follow these simple instructions, you can safely clean and sterilize a kitchen sponge. There are three ways to clean and sanitize them. You can use a sanitizing solution, a dishwasher, or a microwave.

Disinfecting kitchen sponges in the microwave

This involves these easy rules:

  1. To begin with, you should not use the microwave to sanitize or disinfect sponges with metallic scrub pads; instead, you should sanitize and clean them in the dishwasher.
  2. Ensure that the sponge is entirely damp. Because the sponge must be wet to avoid catching fire in your microwave, it should be wet.
  3. Microwave the wet sponge for one minute on high power. Microwaving for one minute is enough to eliminate micro-organisms.
  4. When removing the kitchen sponge from your microwave, be careful because it will be hot. Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes, and then remove the sponge from the appliance after it has cooled.

Disinfecting kitchen sponges in the dishwasher

Using the dishwasher to clean and disinfect the kitchen sponges is another option, but there are certain guidelines to follow:

  1. Run the dishwasher on the hottest and longest cycle possible.
  2. Turn on the dry cycle.

Disinfecting kitchen sponges with bleach

A third method for sanitizing sponges is to:

  1. Mix one-quarter to half a teaspoon of concentrated bleach with one quart of warm, not boiling water.
  2. Soak the sponge in water for one minute.

How to store kitchen sponges

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After each use, wring out the kitchen sponge fully and wash away any loose dirt or food.

Keep it in a dry place. Allowing the kitchen sponge to sit wet on a counter for an extended time causes it to take longer to dry and encourages the growth of bacteria. In addition, don’t put wet kitchen sponges in a closed container like a bucket or beneath the kitchen sink.

Sponges come in a variety of materials, and selecting the proper one for the job is crucial if you want to do the work without making a mess.

Knowing the material to use will also help you complete the work quickly and without causing any damage to the surfaces.

So, before buying the correct kitchen sponge, think about your individual needs and then choose one based on them.

Considerations when purchasing a kitchen sink holder for sponges

Most people don’t think of sponge holders when they’re in the kitchen. Sponge holders serve a significant role in cleaning utensils and other essential kitchenware. Purchasing low-cost sponge holders may be beneficial financially, but the items might not be healthy or durable.

That isn’t to say that all low-cost sponge holders are bad. All you have to do is exercise caution anytime you purchase a new holder for use in the kitchen.

The premium sponge holder prevents bacteria from spreading by allowing water to drain and providing enough air. Larger sink holders aid in the organization of dishwashing tools and the removal of clutter from around your sink. Keep in mind the following considerations when buying kitchen sponges:

Easy to clean

Because the sponge holder stores your cleaning supplies, it is important that you ensure it stays clean always. Due to their tendency to collect dirt, some sponge holders are hard to clean. When you get a sponge holder that’s easy to clean, you won’t have to spend extra time cleaning it.

Price range

Sponge holders come at different prices depending on their brand, material composition, size, and quality. The ideal price range for a nice holder is between $10 and $20. However, a couple of outliers will cost somewhat less or more than the range.

It is essential to remember that pricing should not be the only aspect to examine; other factors should also be considered. As a result, compare the prices of all the kitchen sink holder for sponges you’re interested in purchasing, then decide depending on your budget and the worth the holder provides.


Because sponge holders are constantly in contact with water, rust is a real possibility. But the sort of material employed in their design is always a factor. When you’re shopping for a new sponge holder, keep rust resistance in mind.

Water retention

A sponge holder aims to provide a surface for retaining the sponge while washing the utensils or for storing the sponge when you are finished. If you want to succeed, make sure the holder has enough openings for water to drain into the sink.

As a result, make sure the base plate of your selected holder is highly perforated or features rails that allow excess water to run into your sink. Keep in mind that a large amount of filthy water might encourage the growth of disease-causing germs.

Likelihood of falling off

Some holders are susceptible to falling off, which can be quite inconvenient. As a result, you should conduct thorough research on the brand you intend to purchase before making a purchase to ensure that it has a firm hold.

Material composition

Different materials make sponge holders. Others feature stainless steel, while others feature plastic construction.

The two materials are both robust and capable of serving their intended purpose. Steel, on the other hand, is far more durable than plastic.

As a result, it will be more efficient when you need a sponge holder that can tolerate additional weight from washing towels and other clothing in your kitchen. Furthermore, stainless steel does not rust with ease, so it will keep your cooking equipment from coming into contact with rust.


Plastic utensil holders are extremely hazardous and can transfer contaminants to the utensils. As a result, you should use BPA-free non-plastic sponge holders.

Design and size

You should keep a sponge holder on the refrigerator, kitchen wall, or near the sink. The last thing you want is a sponge holder that takes up a lot of space in your kitchen.

Finding the right size sponge holder—one that is neither too large nor too small—is the only sure way toensure optimum use of your space. The space and size requirements of a kitchen holder are influenced by design.

Small-sized sponge holders are the best option if you want to install several kitchen sponge holders in a sink. Furthermore, you will have additional space in the sink to place dirty dishes.

Additionally, some kitchen sponge holders feature multiple compartments that serve distinct tasks. There’s a compartment for storing brushes, scouring pads, washing detergent, and sponges. If you want a versatile kitchen sponge holder, one with this design is a good choice.

Putting it together and taking it apart

Because the kitchen sponge holders require cleaning on a regular basis, you will need to assemble and disassemble them from time to time. As a result, purchasing removable holders is the best option for you and will simplify your job.


Before purchasing a kitchen sink sponge holder, make sure to take into consideration its functionality. Functionality has to do with whether the sponge serves the purpose for which it was intended.

The functionality of a kitchen sink sponge holder is often determined by its specs. The functionality grows as the specifications get more sophisticated.