Let me start off by saying sponges are generally bad. Sometimes they smell. Sometimes they’re not up for the task. But love them or hate them, they’re a necessary part of keeping a clean kitchen. If you feel like you’ve been spending more money on sponges recently, you’re not alone. According to the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of household cleaning supplies have gone up an average of 10.1% over the past year. With that in mind, here are three tips on how to get the most mileage out of your sponge.
Cut your sponges in half
There’s no massive conspiracy here. Cutting your sponges in half doesn’t release a secret chemical compound that makes your dishes cleaner, or open up a portal to a multiverse where sponges don’t get dirty. This is truly as simple as it sounds; cut your sponges in half so you now have two sponges. But why? Well, I’ve never seen a task for a regular-sized sponge that a smaller sponge couldn’t also handle. By cutting them in half, you’ll provide yourself a completely clean sponge twice as often for the same price. And by having two sponges in the mix at once, you’ll always have one that’s ready to go.
Use this tier-usage system
What do you do when a sponge has outlived its utility in the kitchen sink, but think it might still have life left in it for other cleaning tasks? Reddit user u/disitinerant caught my eye with what I can only call a “tiered-usage sponge system.” They explain;
When I retire a sponge from the counter, I cut a corner off to indicate it’s no longer suitable for counters. These can be used for floors or bathroom sinks or wherever. When I retire these, I cut another corner and use them for toilets. Saves paper towels.
This system is a great way to get the most out of your sponges, be conscious of the environment, and make sure no sponge is ever used in a situation for which it should no longer be deployed.
Use less dish soap
According to Wirecutter, it’s entirely possible you’re using too much dish soap. They recommend using as little as a teaspoon of the product at a time to produce a healthy layer of foam across the surface of your dishes. Doing so will allow you to more easily wring the soap out of the sponge, which should in turn extend its lifespan.