I Love My Sponge Holder — But I Just Realized It’s Seriously Disgusting

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

We all know by now how much nastiness lurks in our kitchen sponges. In fact, I now can’t bring myself to use one. Who wants to wipe bacteria all over their kitchen surfaces? I’m all set, thanks. But there are times a couple of other little cleaning implements come in handy — namely, a pan scraper and a dish scrubber.

These guys are most useful after a heavy-duty cooking session, and since my husband and I cook quite a lot, they stay in use more days than not. You know what that means: They’re accumulating all the gunky, gross bits from pots and pans. I know to run them through the dishwasher as often as possible, but I recently learned I was overlooking something pretty key.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

Yep, they have to rest somewhere in between uses, and I thought I was super clever for getting a little wire basket that attaches to the inside sink wall with suction cups. It’s out of the way, tucked up high at the back of the sink, and, because it’s wire, can easily be rinsed every time you’re washing dishes. So that’s what we did.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

Then one day I happened to notice something behind the scrubber. I emptied the basket to get a better look, and ugh! The little food particles we’d been rinsing off the scrubber and scraper didn’t all make it down the drain, apparently. Some had clung to the sink wall behind the basket, where they’d dried and hardened and stuck even more stubbornly. I peeled the suction cups off and blech! They left sticky, discolored circles behind, I guess from where we rinsed grease and other gunk and it collected all around the cups.

What had we done? Basically, we’d made a little science experiment right there in our sink. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before to remove the basket and clean behind it, but thanks to this oblivion all the funk was just growing its merry away along. We’ve probably all seen the same stories about how the kitchen sink is germier than your toilet bowl (I know, right?) so I’m kind of obsessive about cleaning the sink — at least the parts I could see!

Now that I know about this little hiding spot for leftovers to turn into crud, I’m adding a step to the sink cleaning process: Move that basket!

Do you have a sponge holder? When was the last time you cleaned it — and behind it?