Sponges are handy helpers in the kitchen, cleaning everything from stovetop spills to dinner dishes. They're also great, unfortunately, at growing bacteria (yuck!). Instead of throwing out a dirty sponge, extend its life by disinfecting it in the microwave. First, moisten the sponge, then set it in the microwave for two minutes. Let it cool before using. Safety tip: Never put metal scrubbers or steel wool in the microwave.