A few years ago I wrote a post on disinfecting the kitchen sponge. It included using hydrogen peroxide and soaking the sponge in the liquid until it stopped foaming.
Very recently I found a much cheaper and easier (and embarrassingly obvious) way to disinfect the kitchen sponge. I can’t believe that I overlooked such an obvious method. After all, I used the very same method to sterilize my children’s baby bottles instead of relying on the heat of the dishwasher. Why not use the same method for disinfecting the kitchen sponge?
If you check out my old post, you see that I used a heck of a lot of hydrogen peroxide. Not only is that wasteful, but it can be time consuming depending on how dirty the sponge. I mean, pour on the hydrogen peroxide, allow it to foam, wash it off, repeat the process until no more foam. Yikes. Forget that…the easiest way to sterilize a sponge is to put it in hot boiling water for about 2 or 3 minutes (a dishwasher does the same thing, but I couldn’t wait to run the dishwasher).
The Raw Chicken Test
As my mom would say, necessity is the mother of invention. This weekend I was playing around with raw chicken (cutting whole chickens into parts for my crock pot recipe), when I realized that I was out of sponges. I didn’t want to use the same sponge that I had used to clean the raw chicken juice from the counter. After all, using the same sponge would spread all the chicken bacteria everywhere.
I started to disinfect the sponge with hydrogen peroxide but didn’t have enough, so I was faced with a couple of choices:
- Go to the store and get sponges
- Go to the store and get sponges and hydrogen peroxide
- Make lemonade out of lemons
You guessed it, I made lemonade instead. I suddenly remembered that boiling water would do the trick (honestly, I only remembered after I used half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide). So, I boiled the water and stuck the sponges in for about 3 minutes. When I took them out I tested their “bacteria-free-ness” by pouring a little more hydrogen peroxide on one of the sponges.
I was pleased to see that it didn’t foam at all. That told me that I had killed all of the nasty stuff and could continue cooking and cleaning. It’s amazing how the small things in life can be so rewarding. 🙂