Cleaning up the dishes is a daily task, and it’s understandable that the tools used to carry out this task become worn and useless very quickly. If you prefer to handwash dishes, it’s important to ensure that you replace your dish sponge frequently to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.
When you use your sponge every day, soaking it in water and eco friendly cleaning products, it can be easy to overlook the grease and grime harboured within the utensil. Chances are, you probably don’t replace it as often as you should – but, we’re here to give you all the information you need to ensure you’re replacing your sponge when you need to.
Why do you need to replace your kitchen sponge?
Dish sponges are the perfect repository for germs. They are porous, meaning that food and bacteria will become lodged inside. Sponges are also often left in a damp area, which can encourage the growth of mould.
Bacteria doesn’t just survive, but it thrives in this environment, and using a dirty sponge can spread these germs across your countertops and your dishes. It’s crucial to make sure you’re cleaning your sponge regularly, and replacing it when necessary. After all, whilst sponges aren’t necessarily single-use, they are also disposable, and not designed to last forever, so eventually the sponge will also become less effective as well as dirty.
How often should dish sponges be replaced?
Dish sponges should be replaced every 2-3 weeks, depending on how heavily you use it. If you use your sponge more frequently, or for particularly stubborn stains, you may find your sponge only lasts around a week before it becomes less effective.
If your dish sponge begins to smell, it’s a sure sign that it needs to be binned. Smells are an indicator of bacteria and mould festering within the sponge, and it’s important to replace it as soon as you notice anything like this.
Cleaning your sponge regularly will help to extend its life, but even if you clean regularly, it should still be replaced no longer than every 3 weeks, to ensure your safety.
Where should I store my dish sponge?
Between cleaning and replacing, you should also consider seriously where best to store your sponge. After all, the moisture surrounding a kitchen sink will only encourage more mould and bacteria to inhabit your sponge, and so you should try your best to avoid leaving the sponge on the side of the sink.
When you’ve finished using your sponge, rinse it and squeeze as much moisture out of the sponge as possible. Then, store the sponge in a dry place – a fun hack that we enjoy is using a soap rack to store your sponge. This will allow excess water to drain from beneath it, and allow the sponge to dry out between uses.
Something else to be aware of is when wiping down your worktops, avoid wiping up mess from meat or poultry. These particularly potent germs will feel most at home within your sponge, and if you use this same sponge for cleaning, you could be causing cross contamination.
Try an eco-friendly alternative
When replacing your dish sponge, consider using a more eco-friendly alternative than the traditional sponges made of plastic. Our kitchen sponge is made from soft cellulose fibres with a more abrasive scourer made from coconut fibres on one side. This will be just as effective as a plastic sponge, but won’t shed any microplastics and will last for slightly longer – providing it is cleaned regularly and stored in a dry place. Then, when you’re finished with it, you can simply add it to your compost, where it will break down naturally.
If you find that you’re having to replace your sponge too frequently, consider using a scrubbing brush. Our eco friendly scrubbing brush is made from bamboo and plant fibres, and can be used for a considerably longer time than a sponge. Like our eco dish sponge, this is also biodegradable, and can be placed in your compost heap when it no longer serves its purpose.