I no longer own a microwave (woo hoo!) but I do have sponges. I don't want to run them through a dishwasher (don't have one of those at the moment anyhow). What do you use to scrub your dishes with? Countertops?
I can only think of those bristle brushes and washcloths - anything else that people find better and less germy?
I have dishcloths, and plenty of them. They get changed pretty frequently (at least once a day, more if needed). I am kind of OCD about that. If I handwash dishes, I grab a fresh rag. I can't stand to pick up a cold wet rag that was sitting on the sink.
Rags/kitchen towels for countertops. Those rags get washed frequently.
For dishes, I have several long-handled dish brushes (one for meat, one for dairy, one for bottles, one to use on the sink itself, etc.) I keep them in a jar that holds them upright, and I'm not worried about germs because they get washed whenever I use them to wash anything, and they dry pretty thoroughly between uses.
I use dishcloths, the knitted kind. I use a fresh one more or less every time I do dishes. I also hang them over the edge of the laundry hamper so they dry and don't get funky while their waiting to get washed.
we use 100% cotton hand knit washcloths, cheapo terry washcloths, sponges, scrubby sponges and a scrubber brush.
everything but the scrubber brush gets a place in the sun after its used. i keep an old dishsoap squirt bottle full of a mix i make with Charlies soap, i put 1/8-1/4 cup Charlies laundry powder in the bottle, then fill with hot water and shake to disolve (takes like two seconds!) i keep that on the back of my sink. i use it to wash out my washcloths and sponges after every use. and i use HOT water, then i put them in the sun, either hanging from cabinet knobs or on the windowsill. the sun kills all the germs and they NEVER ever smell badly.
infact my used sponges often smell better after a wash and sun than a new sponge does coming out of the package.
the scrub brush we run through the dishwasher once every other day.
Sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria/viruses that multiply like crazy on the huge , warm, wet surface with food particles to munch on.
I just read in Cook's Illustrated that putting a wet sponge in the microwave for 2-3 minutes killed the most bacteria, as in millions, as compared to putting it in the dishwasher or boiling it for ten minutes, too bad the sunshine method was not tested. I try to zap mine daily, and I also use cotton washcloths and the microfiber towels which I purchased at Target, and are made by 3M.
Am I the only one that washes my sponges with the rags? LOL
I have the bar mop towels for drying hands, I change those daily also. Then I have the smaller bar mop washcloths for countertops (I like that they're thick cotton with the ridges). Then we use a sponge for dishes. I change all these daily, and wash them with the whites. My sponges never smell or anything!
I have special rags for the counters and sink that are tossed in a basket after one use and then washed together as a group. We also have one of those sponges with the attached soap handle for dishes, and I think they are pretty gross. We usually use a dishwasher, but it drives me bonkers to see DH cleaning the sink up with it. I try not to worry about it or wash DD's stuff with it. Or really use it at all!