How to Deodorize a Smelly Sponge With Baking Soda

sponges cover

Did you know that your kitchen sponge can have almost the same amount of bacteria as your toilet bowl?

Gross, I know, not to mention the foul odor coming from it. Most people use bleach to sanitize their sponges. But I prefer a more natural and inexpensive solution.

Baking soda and vinegar are both powerhouses when it comes to cleaning and deodorizing things.

Skip the bleach and freshen your sponge with baking soda.

I use this method all the time. Give it a try.

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons baking soda
2-4 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups of water
A shallow container

deodorize sponge what you need


1. Mix water with 2-4 tablespoons of white vinegar.

pour vinegar

2. Add in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir it a little bit.

pour baking soda

3. Soak the kitchen sponge in the solution for 20-30 minutes. Gently press it down to let the sponge absorb the solution.

soak sponge

4. After 30 minutes, remove the sponge from the container and rinse with running water.

rinse sponge

5. Squeeze the water out of the sponge.

6. Place it back on the sponge holder.

I Don’t Have White Vinegar. Can I Just Use Baking Soda?

While you can skip using white vinegar if you only want to remove the foul odor from your sponge, it’s important to note that vinegar has an ingredient called acetic acid, which is a powerful germ killer.

Therefore, if you want to ensure that your sponge is thoroughly sanitized, it’s recommended that you use both baking soda and white vinegar together as a deodorizing solution.

How Often Should I Change My Kitchen Sponge?

Change your kitchen sponge every 2-4 weeks. It will depend heavily on how often you use it.

As a rule of thumb, if I see my sponge looking a bit worn out, I replace it immediately.

How About Bleach? 

The use of bleach is common when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing household items. However, using bleach on sponges is not an ideal solution. Bleach can cause sponges to break down quickly, which makes them less effective at cleaning.

Additionally, the chemicals in bleach can harm the environment. When bleach is rinsed off and enters waterways, it can have adverse effects on aquatic life. Natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar are safer and more eco-friendly alternatives.

Other Natural Solutions for Deodorizing Sponges

Apart from baking soda and vinegar, there are other natural solutions that you can use to deodorize sponges. 

Lemon juice is an excellent deodorizer due to its acidic nature. Essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil, and peppermint oil are also effective at eliminating odors. Hydrogen peroxide and salt are two other natural alternatives that can deodorize sponges.

Tips for Keeping Sponges Clean and Odor-Free

Here are some tips for keeping sponges clean and odor-free:

  1. Rinse sponges thoroughly after each use: This helps to remove food particles and prevent the growth of bacteria.
  2. Microwave sponges: Put a damp sponge in the microwave and heat it on high for 1-2 minutes. This will kill most of the bacteria on the sponge.
  3. Use a dishwasher: Put sponges in the dishwasher on the hottest setting to sanitize and clean them.
  4. Air-dry sponges: After using or cleaning sponges, allow them to air-dry completely before storing them.
  5. Replace sponges frequently: Replace sponges every 2-4 weeks, or when they start to look worn out or smell bad.
  6. Don’t use sponges for everything: Use sponges for cleaning surfaces that won’t scratch easily, but avoid using them on delicate or non-stick surfaces.
  7. Store sponges in a dry, well-ventilated area: Avoid storing sponges in a damp or enclosed area, as this can promote the growth of bacteria and cause them to smell bad.

How to Dispose of Old Sponges Properly

When sponges get worn out, it’s essential to dispose of them properly. Throwing them away can have adverse effects on the environment. An eco-friendly way to dispose of old sponges is to upcycle them for other household cleaning tasks. 

For example, you can use them to clean the bathroom or kitchen sink. You can also recycle them if they are made of recyclable materials.


And that’s how you clean and deodorize your kitchen sponge with baking soda and vinegar.

It’s a great alternative to using bleach and so much friendlier on the environment and nose.

On a different topic, are you by any chance a cat parent like me? Did you know that baking soda is also effective in deodorizing the kitty litter box? Read the full article on how to deodorize the cat litter box if you want to learn more.

Are you going to start using baking soda and white vinegar to deodorize your sponge?

I hope this article was helpful to you. Thank you for dropping by my blog.

-Baking Soda Guy

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

  1. Can I use the same baking soda and vinegar solution for multiple sponge cleanings? It’s best to use a fresh baking soda and vinegar solution each time you deodorize and clean your sponge. Reusing the solution might not be as effective in eliminating odors and bacteria, and it can become less potent over time.
  2. Can I use this method to clean other cleaning tools besides sponges? While this method is effective for cleaning and deodorizing sponges, it may not be suitable for all cleaning tools. Some cleaning tools may have specific cleaning requirements or be made of materials that could react to vinegar or baking soda. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before using this method on other cleaning tools.
  3. How do I know when it’s time to replace my kitchen sponge? Replace your kitchen sponge every 2-4 weeks, depending on how often you use it and how quickly it becomes worn out or starts to smell. If you notice any signs of mold, discoloration, or an ongoing foul odor even after cleaning, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to replace the sponge.
  4. Can I use this method for sponges used in other areas of the house, like the bathroom? Yes, you can use this method to deodorize and clean sponges used in other areas of the house, including the bathroom. However, it’s essential to use separate solutions for different sponges to prevent cross-contamination.
  5. Can I use baking soda and vinegar to clean and deodorize other household items? Yes, baking soda and vinegar are versatile and can be used to clean and deodorize various household items, such as cutting boards, microwave interiors, trash cans, and more. Always check for compatibility and any manufacturer’s recommendations before using this cleaning method on different items.
  6. How do I dispose of old sponges in an eco-friendly way? To dispose of old sponges in an eco-friendly way, consider upcycling them for other cleaning tasks around the house. For example, you can use them for cleaning the bathroom or kitchen sink. If they are made of recyclable materials, you can also recycle them in accordance with your local recycling guidelines.

Top Photo by Artem Makarov on Unsplash