So I love using sponges to wash dishes and scrub up the splatters I make while cooking (which is why I could never be a "real" chef - I'm much too messy). However, sponges bother me because after a couple days, they start to change color and smell sour. And that sends off an alarm bell in my head, telling me that they are becoming filled with bacteria.
Which then grosses me out to think that I'm rubbing bacteria onto the pans I cook with. Ick.
So for a while there I was buying and throwing away sponges like crazy. Since part of what is used to create kitchen sponges comes from trees, there's a good chance I was doing my part to speed up global climate change.
Sorry polar ice caps!
But! About a year ago, I read in a magazine that if you put your sponge into your dishwasher, it'll get it super clean.
So I do. Every time I run my dishwasher, I throw my sponge(s) into the dishwasher and let the dishwasher's heat and soap do their job.
Try it today. You'll be thrilled to have good smelling and clean sponges. Okay, probably just happy. But you'll also be more environmentally-friendly. It's a win-win really.