How to clean your kitchen sponge and oily brushes

Kitchen sponges can get really oily and dirty (particularly if you’re scrubbing frying pans) and if they stay wet all day, bacteria will start to form and that’s certainly not what you want to clean your dishes or benchtops with!  Many of you may throw out your sponge when they get into this state, but this isn’t ideal for our landfill and our future generations.  You can easily clean them, removing the bacteria and grime. See my tips below on the best way to clean your kitchen sponge and oily brushes.

Kitchen sponges don’t last forever, but if you can extend their use for as long as you can then why not give some of these easy cleaning solutions a go to remove germs?  I use the dishwasher method once or twice a week and leave them out on the sink to dry before placing them underneath the sink (to keep the bench tidy).

  READ MORE: How to organise under the kitchen sink cupboard.


  • Place your sponge and brushes in the top dishrack of the dishwasher
  • Place through a regular wash + drying cycle


  • Dampen sponge well
  • Place sponge on a microwave-safe dish
  • Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes
  • Let the sponge cool before touching it, to ensure you don’t burn yourself

The steam from the sponge clean will also soften any baked on food in the microwave, this is a good chance to wipe over your microwave to give it a clean.


  • Place sponge in a jug
  • Cover with vinegar
  • Soak for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Do you replace or clean your sponges?

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TRACEY April 4, 2019 - 11:21 AM

If using the vinegar option is once or twice a week sufficient?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 5, 2019 - 2:20 PM

yes once or twice a week is good 🙂

Amanda July 9, 2019 - 8:51 AM

Another way I have read about and have found works on stinky sponges that still smell after being put in the washing machine is putting them in a pot of water and bringing it to a boil for a few minutes


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