Ever get frustrated that you open a brand-new dishwashing sponge and in about a day or two it's all germy and has a nasty odor? Here are two great ways to make that sponge usable again by killing-off the germs that cause the odor (and keeping things sanitary in the process).
Method #1 - Dishwasher
Most dishwashers run at temperatures hot enough to kill germs. When loading-up a batch, tuck your sponge in-between two fingers on the top shelf and let it go through a cycle. When it comes out, wring it out thoroughly and put it back to use. It should smell and look much cleaner.
Method #2 - Microwave
This method was shown to me by a co-worker. Simply wet the sponge and microwave it on high for a minute or two. Keep a close watch on it--steam is okay but burning is not. Allow it to cool before removing and wringing it out and rinsing with cool water. Do not do this for any sponge that has a metal-based scrubber attached to it. The blue no-scratch Scotch Brite ones are fine. I have not tested the green/yellow ones.