Money- Saving Kitchen Tip: Sponges

To Whom It May Concern: I’d like to file a complaint about sponges, please.  I find them rather expensive since I tend to go through them so quickly as they get grimy and full of icky things.  Throwing them into the dishwasher to cycle along with the dishes is a great way to get rid of some of that, but it’s tough to get out the nitty gritty stuff that lurks in the crevices of the scrub side of the sponge.  Once that stuff is stuck in there, the sponge goes into the trash.  Then I have to fork out another couple of dollars for a new sponge.  I have a solution for how to save money here.  Read on for more information.  Sincerely, Recipe Girl

I do a whole lot more dishes than your everyday home cook.  I go through a lot of sponges! 

Some time ago, I came up with a solution for managing my sponge budget.  I simply cut them in half.  I find that a smaller sponge is just as productive as a full-size sponge, and it’s a much easier decision to toss a grimy one and start fresh.

So there’s your silly (and hopefully helpful) money-saving kitchen tip of the week :)  I’m sure I didn’t make any friends in the sponge industry today.

P.S. According to this source on TLC, a sponge that’s been in use for no more than two or three days in a kitchen will harbor millions of bacteria.  Ick, right?
P.S.S. Bon Appetit shares the three best ways to keep a sponge clean.

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19 Responses to “Money- Saving Kitchen Tip: Sponges”

  1. 1

    Shirlene — April 20, 2012 @ 10:45 AM

    I have been doing this for a long time now! A wonderful woman showed me this for when I was selling Shaklee products only the sponges were cut into 1/4’s . This is a great tip for sure!!!

  2. 2

    Lori Lange — April 20, 2012 @ 10:46 AM

    And here I thought I was being so smart, lol!

  3. 3

    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — April 20, 2012 @ 10:47 AM

    Fabulous tip!!

  4. 4

    Janelle — April 20, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

    I read this somewhere else recently, too. My mom always did the dishwasher thing, but it doesn’t get the smell out.

  5. 5

    Brenda — April 20, 2012 @ 11:22 AM

    I’ve done the same thing with SOS pads for years – just cut off a small enough piece to do the job, then the rest doesn’t get all rusty and yucky … got that tip from my mom back in the 70s…

  6. 6

    Cat Davis — April 20, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

    I don’t know why I never thought of this, that’s such a simple solution. I also extend the life of my sponges by santizing them in the dishwasher.

  7. 7

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — April 20, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

    You are a genius! It’s so simple and you’d have twice as many sponges! You’re so awesome, Lori.

  8. 8

    Crystal @ Crystal's Cozy Kitchen — April 20, 2012 @ 12:21 PM

    After learning how much bacteria was in sponges I gave them up completely! Now I swear by the scrubber back dishcloths (example here: – they are a bit more expensive to start but after the initial investment they get washed with my dish towels), and a pan scraper (ex. – I only replace every year or so when the edge gets worn down). You can buy either at pretty much any store that carries kitchen stuff.

    This combination works great and I change the dishcloth after each use so I don’t have to worry about germs spreading. I would never go back to sponges now!

  9. 9

    Debbie — April 20, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

    Cool. I’ve started using washcloths in the kitchen and when they get gross, they go in the laundry. I wash dishes with a scrub brush, too, so I rarely use sponges anyway. Sponges are reserved for cleaning the bathrooms so I don’t go through them that quickly. But I may be cutting them in half soon! Thanks for the tip!

  10. 10

    Christina @ This Woman Cooks! — April 20, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

    What a great idea! I’m going to start doing that :)

  11. 11

    Lana — April 20, 2012 @ 1:43 PM

    I learned about the dishwasher cleaning from Martha Stewart a long time ago, but I have never thought of just cutting them! Thanks! So simple and so practical:)

  12. 12

    kate — April 20, 2012 @ 2:43 PM

    I cut mine in half too – I also buy the scrubby part only separately (in addition to regular sponges, because that part (for me) gets wrecked while the sponge is still usable)

    I’ve found it works well for me.

  13. 13

    Bev Weidner — April 20, 2012 @ 2:53 PM

    That’s genius!

  14. 14

    Megan — April 22, 2012 @ 8:41 PM

    Go to the dollar store! 4 for a buck! Can’t beat it!

  15. 15

    Lori Lange — April 23, 2012 @ 5:54 AM

    Good tip- then cut those in half and you save even more!

  16. 16

    Nisha — April 26, 2012 @ 6:04 PM

    Hi Lori, arrived on this page from Dianne Jacob’s recent post.
    This is a good tip. I cut the bigger ones in half too.
    And I don’t keep the mesh scrubber either – using up crumpled aluminum foil works just as well.
    And instead of one of those bottle cleaners (I don’t know what they’re called), I keep old used toothbrush to clean bottles or inside lids, reaches small areas well.

  17. 17

    Melissa M — May 4, 2012 @ 6:56 PM

    I cut SOS pads in half, which is how I can justify laying out the $ for the name brand. I’ll try it with sponges, but sometimes I feel like they’re small enough as it is.

  18. 18

    Cheri @ The Watering Mouth — June 4, 2012 @ 7:04 AM

    I absolutely love this tip. We are always throwing out sponges or microwaving them to get the most life out of them. I know they’re pretty cheap on the whole, but I feel like they’re such a waste of money at times. This definitely helps!!

  19. 19

    Kira Saucedo — June 16, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

    Every few days I will soak my sponge in a solution of water and bleach. With that same solution I wipe down my counters, sink, fridge handles, dishwasher, and oven handle. I figure I am getting multiple bonuses. Truly sanitary counters and appliances and a “clean” sponge.