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Diatribe: Used Sponges Are Gross.


Many years ago, my family determined that using a “shammy” in the kitchen instead of a sponge or a dish rag was THE way to go. We discovered our first shammy at a flea market while we were on vacation. It was enormous … about 36”x36” … so we cut it into four smaller pieces and washed dishes like mad.

We quickly learned that used shammies have an odor all their own. Used shammies are gross.

Apparently, sponges are even worse. According to a recently published study from Scientific Reports, researchers have determined that sponges are the “biggest reservoirs of active bacteria” in your household, making them even more germy than a toilet.

The study went on to say that while sanitizing sponges by boiling or microwaving them does reduce the bacterial load, regularly sanitized sponges really don’t contain less bacteria than uncleaned ones.

It seems that resistant bacteria survive any sanitation process and quickly hide in the many niches and crevice’s on a sponge’s surface and quickly reach a similar abundance as before the treatment.

Used sponges are gross.

We don’t use shammies or sponges at our house. We use a brush. We replace it periodically and store it in the top rack of our dishwasher so that it gets cleaned every time we do dishes. It’s probably covered in its own special germs but it never smells so it’s easy to pretend that it’s clean.

If you use sponges, simply replace them once each week or, alternatively, use something non-porous like a silicone scrubber to do your dishes.


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