Share on Pinterest

An All Natural Way To Get Rid of A Smelly Sponge |

Do You Use Sponges?


Alright, for years now I have been fighting a battle with my sponges.  I have never been a rag or towel person, they just kind of bother me and I really like my sponges.  

Giving them up is hard, you know how it is…it’s like a 2 year old giving up their thumb or their favorite blankie.  That is what a sponge is to me! :)

I know there are many other options out there, but I have been trying to tackle the battle of the sponge odor forever now, and YES I have finally won the battle over the sponge odor!

Ads by Healthy Ads

I know many of you might just ask, why not just buy a new sponge?  I do replace my sponges often, but I knew there had to be a way to prolong the life of a sponge.  I was whipping through sponges every 3 days and that is a lot of sponges!  

I also like to recycle and reuse and if I can naturally disinfect a sponge so that I can use it longer…then I will do just that.

Why A Sponge Smells


There are many reasons why a sponge smells but the primary reason is from cleaning dirty dishes or counter tops, food particles get trapped in the sponges pores.  

As the food particles start to decompose, the sponge begins to sour and smell bad.

Sponges can harbor many strands of bad bacteria including E. Coli, salmonella and campylobacter.  A sponge can cause serious illness and it is very important to clean or replace your sponges often.

In the summer I have found myself replacing my sponge every 3 days.  That’s a lot of sponges!

My Failed Attempts of Getting Rid of A Smelly Sponge


I have tried everything under the sun to get rid of a stinky sponge.  All of these attempts failed. Here are just a few:

  • Washed the sponge with soap and water
  • Refrigerated the sponge in between uses
  • Soaked the sponge in white vinegar
  • Soaked the sponge in a vinegar/water mix followed by a baking soda/water mix
  • Washed the sponge in the dishwasher
  • Microwaved the sponge
  • Washed the sponge in the washer machine

Wow, all of these failed?  Some of them worked for a day or two, but the smells often came back and sometimes within several hours.

An All Natural Way To Get Rid of A Smelly Sponge


So lets dive into how I finally conquered a smelly sponge.  I think you are going to be amazed at the solution!

What’s even more amazing is that you don’t need any other products to get rid of the smells!  Now do I have your attention?

So here is the solution to an all natural way to get rid of a smelly sponge.  The solution is to place the sponge outside in the sun for a day or two.

I know crazy right?  But seriously guys, it really does work!  Let me explain how and why this works.

The Power of The Suns UV Rays


The suns rays have some pretty powerful disinfectant properties.  You see the sun is a good source of ultraviolet radiation that helps attack and kill the bacteria growing in the sponge.

Have you ever put a rug out in the sun, or hung your clothes out to dry in the sun.  They come in smelling super fresh right? The sun helps disinfect and kill any odors or bacteria that might be in the clothes or rugs.  This is one reason why they smell so fresh.

Did you also know that the sun can help get stains out of clothes by allowing them to sit out in the sun for a few days.  Yep…but that is a whole different post coming your way!

Hospitals and doctors also use ultraviolet lights to help kill bacteria and disinfect different areas of the hospital.  Pretty Powerful, right?

Results May Vary Depending On The Weather


So depending on where you are and what time of year you are trying this experiment, results could vary.  I did my experiment on a hot summer day and it was about 90ºF.  It took about a day to completely dry my sponge out in that heat.

If it is a bit cooler, try leaving your sponge out for several days.  If it is really cold out, I would leave the sponge out for about a week.  Experiment a bit to see what works for you.

I simply keep 2 sponges in rotation.  One stays outside and one stays in use.  When my sponge in use starts to get and odor, I replace it with the outside sponge.  Place the smelly sponge outside and allow the sun to do its magic!

Share Your Thoughts


So have you dealt with smelly sponges?  How do you get rid of the smell?

Final Comment

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Your support keeps this blog running and is greatly appreciated. AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog Whole Lifestyle Nutrition is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented here.

Join the Conversation

16 thoughts on “An All Natural Way To Get Rid of A Smelly Sponge”

  1. SiobhanGagliardo says:

    Sounds like a great idea, will have to give it a try. Thanks. Blessings…

  2. Donna says:

    Thank you, THANK YOU for this. Smelly kitchen rags and sponges have haunted me for years. I tried putting one in the sun yesterday and it worked!

    1. hallecottis says:

      @Donna Yeah, I am so glad it worked for you!  Works every time :)

  3. NancyToveyLisonbee says:

    This makes perfect sense.  I do this with my son’s cloth diapers.  Works well.  Can’t wait to try this on my sponges. Thanks!!

  4. IreneS says:

    What do you do in the winter months?

  5. Health & Organic Wellbeing (H.O.W ) thanks you for sharing this!

  6. BarbaraThorbjornsson says:

    it also works to put it in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Smell is gone

  7. sharon says:

    I just read about spaying peroxide on it to clean them.

  8. Chef Art Moskowitz says:

    It does work.

  9. wjr says:

    I discovered YEARS ago that some dish detergents will sour sponges and others will not. Don’t have a proven reason just a hunch. I believe it is a reaction with s/s sinks and particular detergents. Brands made by moon and stars folks (I’m showing myage) seem to be most prone. When used with a ceramic sink doesn’t seem to be a problem. The sponge makersust love this modern problem. Dont remember this to be as much of a problem “back in the day”

  10. brenda says:

    I put my 2 dogs beds out in the sun when its hot out, they can pretty stinky. Im for the whole sun disinfecting thing:)

  11. RC says:

    The 100% foolproof natural way to fix smelly sponges is to use Borax (Sodium Tetraborate)​. Use a small plastic container that is close to the same size as the sponge. Put 1/2″ of Borax into the container. Pour in enough water to cover the Borax + 1/4″. Put your fully soaked sponge in the container with Borax/water and leave it there. Keep that by the sink. Every time you use the sponge, soak it and place it in the container (add water to the container as needed to keep 1/4″ of water over the Borax). The Borax will last for 2 months.
    Borax is a naturally occurring mineral and is found in dry lake beds. Ponds that have a high concentration of this mineral do not have much bacterial life. Bacteria is what makes the sponge smell, therefore keeping you sponge in a high concentration of borax/water will keep your sponges from smelling

  12. marylou says:

    I agree that the microwave disinfects the sponge. I found 60 to 90 seconds would work, but be sure to check the time. My microwave caught fire once and I had to buy a new one and I think it was because I hit the zero too many times and accidentally set it for 9 minutes instead of 90 seconds! Totally my fault! But for the past year I’ve been using another technique. If the sponge starts to smell a little funky I just squirt some hand sanitizer or sanitizing soap on it and the odor goes away instantly because the anti- bacterial sanitizer kills the germs. I also make my own sanitizing foaming soap from a recipe off the internet. It doesn’t have to be exact amounts, just put a couple squirts of Dawn or another soap in the empty foaming container, then I add some regular rubbing alcohol for the sanitizing aspect, then finish filling with regular water. Of course it only cost a few cents instead of 2 to 3 dollars for the referral.

  13. marylou says:


  14. Anthony slama says:

    Hi! I found a natural solution to that smelly germ ridden sponge! It’s a kitchen sponge that actually repels water and absorbs grime and specifically oil. It was created out of the gulf oil spill to literally reject water and pick up oil. I’ve had one on my sink for 6 months, that looks beaten up, but never smelled!! Check it out here… or on Amazon.

    1. Ben Shapiro says:

      I am ordering one–that address is now

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *