How to Always Have a Clean Sponge

As former Lifehacker writer Nick Douglas once said, “ Every sponge is bad . He was not wrong then, and he is not wrong now. But his passionate attitude made me think more deeply about my kitchen sponge than ever before, and I came to a somewhat disturbing realization. My sponge? Mostly it was always dirty.

Of course, I would throw it in the dishwasher from time to time when it gets particularly greasy or does more embarrassing work than usual. I am not going to tell you how often this “from time to time” happened; it’s not good to dwell on your mistakes. But I figured it was time to figure out how to get my sponge into the dishwasher regularly.

My problem was twofold:

1. Sometimes I still use a sponge to finish washing pots or pans by hand until I start using the dishwasher – the sponge cannot be in two places at the same time.

2. Even when I didn’t have a momentary need for a sponge, I didn’t think to put it down. What is done only a few times a month (just kidding, I didn’t wash it that much)) is not a habit. More often than not, I realized that I had forgotten only when I went to wash the dishes from the dishwasher.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that the solution was that a person doesn’t need one sponge; a person constantly needs two sponges working in tandem.

If you want to always have a clean sponge, get up now. Place the dirty sponge in the dishwasher, even if it is not yet ready to use. Get a fresh, clean sponge out of your stash (if you don’t have a sponge stash, you’re in even worse shape than me, so go get yourself some spare sponges). Place a fresh, clean sponge on your sink.

After you start the dishwasher tomorrow (with the Heat Drying Mode enabled) – this is the important part – take the old but recently cleaned sponge and replace it with the one you just pulled out of your fresh stash. Is it very dirty? Not! This is new! You use it all day! But it has daily food on it that is not on the other sponge.

Every time I pour water out of the dishwasher, and now every time we eat every day, I change sponges. You are already emptying everything else, so you cannot miss it. It becomes a real habit. And you get a fresh sponge once a day, not every now and then.

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