Solutions for smelly sponges
DEAR MARY: I was wondering if you know of a quick and easy method to prevent dish scrubbers (like the kind with a sponge on one side and a scrubber pad on the other) from smelling like mildew. The ones we use start smelling after just a few days. We try to always run them in the dishwasher, but we don’t always remember. I sometimes spray them with bleach, let them sit for a minute or two and then rinse them off. That seems to work, but I was wondering if there is a better way. I tried microwaving a wet sponge, and that just made it hot and smelly. — Bronson
DEAR BRONSON: Putting kitchen sponges in the dishwasher daily — or as often as you run a load of dishes — is the best solution. The heat and detergent kill bacteria and prevent mildew from growing. I’m going to assume that you only use one sponge at a time. That may be the problem. I suggest you rotate between at least two sponges instead. That way, one will always be available for use while the other is being sanitized. Force yourself to run a sponge through the dishwasher every time, and soon it will become a habit. I hope that helps!
DEAR MARY: Can I use your floor cleaner recipe to clean my wooden cabinets? — Millie
DEAR MILLIE: Cleaning wooden cabinets with my EC Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner (1 part rubbing alcohol to 4 parts distilled water, plus a few drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid) will not harm your cabinets. However, if you want to deep clean your cabinets and condition the wood to look as beautiful as new, that would not be my first choice.