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Thread: Dish sponge smell!

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    Silver Contributor 100+ Posts Array lime_lemur's Avatar
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    Default Dish sponge smell!


    You know that terrible mildew smell your dish sponge gets? I'm just wondering what the deal behind it it. I just moved into a new apartment and I've been here for a week or two, and already my dish sponge is getting that terrible smell, despite ringing it out as completely as possible before putting it down again.

    The weird thing is, I didn't get this in the last apartment that I lived in. And the one prior to that, I DID get the smell. There's only one similarity I noticed between the two apartments where the dish sponge smell was a problem: They both have metal sinks. The only time I didn't have this problem was in an apartment with an acrylic sink. A lot of suggestions I read about getting rid of the smell involve bleach, vinegar, etc. I find the connection with the different kinds of sinks to be too coincidental, though. Has anybody else noticed this? Moreover, how do you prevent the smell?

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    WH Assistant Head Moderator Array LanaBear's Avatar
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    Lather it up and rinse it out. Then microwave it for one minute. It sanitizes the sponge. I do live in a super dry climate though too, so everything dries up fast.
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    Administrator Array Little's Avatar
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    The smell is usually mold/mildew. There's probably some in the air in your new abode ... there are test kits that you can get for pretty cheap. It's something that your landlord should take care of.
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    Silver Contributor 100+ Posts Array lilylavendar's Avatar
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    hey toss the sponge! use microfibre cloths instead, they wring out easily, and dry superfast with no aftersmell. that's what i did with mine, wash and rinse the dishes, wring it out, and hang it over the dish drainer. i bought a three pack and rotate them out.
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    The cause is trillions and trillions of bacteria and other microbes. Basically if you can smell it then you should toss it. Have a cloth that you can throw in the wash or if you only like sponges just buy in bulk at the dollar store or WalMart and get rid of them after a couple days.
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    Silver Contributor 100+ Posts Array lime_lemur's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions! As for the mildew being a problem about the building, the new building I'm in is only 4 years old and VERY clean, whereas the last one was a very old rowhouse that needed some work. I've actually found a new dish soap that seems to keep the problem away (Greenworks I think), the smell vanished from the sponge the first time I used the soap, though I tossed the sponge anyway. I just thought it was odd that the sponge got that awful smell within only three days of use, despite thoroughly ringing it out.

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    Administrator Array Little's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, mold and mildew can be anywhere, and usually are. New buildings can be just as susceptible, depending on what has been done during building to prevent it ... and who has lived there in the past 4 years, both in your and other units there, what their cleaning habits were, etc.
    Are you using the same brand/type of sponges every time? Was there a difference in drainage between your acrylic sinks and metal ones?
    As for the micofibre cloths - I use them at work and we have some that stink because we don't have much of a place to hang them to dry.
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    WH Super Moderator Array sourpuss's Avatar
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    You can boil it as well.
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    I've never heard of the microwave trick before. My sponges never seem to last as long as I'd like. I'll definitely try some of this tips.

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    I never microwaved a sponge. I recommend boiling it as well as putting it in the dish washer for a cleaning cycle.

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