How To Revive Your Favorite Sponge

Everybody seems to have that one favorite sponge that does the job like no other. Perhaps yours has seen better days, but before you toss it out, think about rejuvenating it. Beyond the bacteria, sponges also tend to disintegrate and develop a foul odor with use. Fortunately, you can bring a worn-out sponge back to life using something you likely have on hand: salt. Table salt is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture from the atmosphere, and that’s also the reason it can become damp and clog salt shakers in humid weather. The good news is that salt can also draw moisture from a sponge, reducing the dampness that bacteria need to thrive and grow into mildew and mold. Salt is also efficient at absorbing oils, making it easier for sponges to tackle stains. There are two simple ways to put salt to work on your sponges: 

  1. 1. Rinse your sponge with warm water, then squeeze it out to get rid of any lingering crumbs that may be sticking to it. 
  2. 2. Fill a container with warm water and at ¼ cup of salt (table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, etc.). 
  3. 3. Stir the mixture until the salt is completely dissolved. 
  4. 4. Place your sponge in the mixture and make sure it’s fully submerged. 
  5. 5. Leave it overnight, or at least a few hours. 
  6. 6. Remove the sponge, squeeze it out, and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. 
Follow the same directions as above, except the mixture consists of 1 cup hot water, ½ cup white vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of salt. 

Whatever method you choose, make sure you pop the sponge in the microwave for one minute on high when finished.