Whenever I use a sponge and any soap-like product to clean a surface, I get the unfortunate effect that the sponge seems to always be full of that product afterwise.

I can repeat dozens of "fill with water => compress sponge" cycles and the sponge still seems to contain an endless flow of soap.

This is problematic when I then need to reuse my sponge to absorb water after rincing the cleaned surface, as all I'm doing then is putting the soap back on the thing I just rinced.

The only way I have found to "empty" the sponge is repeated use over multiple days (or have two sponges obviously).

Is there any way to quickly (i.e. not more than a few minutes) get rid of any soap-like product that gets absorbed by a sponge?

5 Answers 5


I sometimes set the sponge in the sink directly under the faucet, turn the water on, and leave it for a few minutes. All that water running through the sponge will wash out anything that isn't water (except for crumbs & particles that are wedged in, but that's not the issue here). The sponge may need to be repositioned under the running water once or twice, depending on the shape & size of the sponge and the size of the stream of water.

After a few minutes, you just wring the rest of the water out of the sponge and you're done.


Use less soap.

Most of us use far more soap than is necessary. You don't need extravagant lather to clean something.

  • 1
    Apply the soap directly to the surface needing cleaning rather than to the sponge, makes more effective use of the soap and makes cleaning the sponge easier.
    – Willeke
    Jan 7, 2017 at 15:51

Garden hose with a nozzle. (if the sponge will hold up to the nozzle)

It is probably easier to have a dedicated rinse sponge.


I always squish the sponge as good as I can while holding it under running water. Then after I squished it hard enough I resale it and let it soak as much water as possible. I usually repeat the steps 3-4 times and then the sponge will be soap free.


A chemist once told me the answer to this but I have to confess I've never tested it.

Apparently, "real" soap and other non-soap detergents work by completely different mechanisms which are contradictory. When this problem occurs, try adding some real soap to the sponge and it "neutralises" the detergent, allowing it to be rinsed away much quicker.

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