How to Keep a Clean Natural Sea Sponge – Step by Step

Whenever you find an image of a sea sponge online or a magazine, you may have wondered, how they make them look that pristine? There is a process to making them look this good. Only then are they ready to be presented to the public.

The point between the sea sponges’ natural habitat and your bath is when the sponge least resembles its splendid self. Here it’s full of sea debris – such as tiny shell fragments – and the smell is that of low tide.

Before buying a clean natural sea sponge, you expect it to be free of the sea debris and smell. This is accomplished by following a number of steps. Even when finally owning it, it is still recommended that you continue to ensure its quality endures by regularly sanitizing your sponge. The sponges that you buy have gone through a rigorous process to ensure they appear and smell immaculate.

Sea sponges naturally resist bacterial growth and hence odor. However, it’s recommended that you clean your sponge regularly.


On a  Large Scale

In commercial sea sponge farming, such as in iconic Tarpon Springs Florida, the sponges are put through a series of rigorous steps. Once harvested they are left submerged in water, or otherwise overlaid in wet burlap. This is done in order to let them rot and therefore allow all the organic matter within it to die off.

Then the sea sponges are beaten, squeezed and rubbed. As you might have imagined, this step ensures the removal of the dead organic matter. This procedure is repeated many times until all that is left is the skeleton. We are all familiar this part of the sponge, which is very soft and highly absorbent.

If You Find a Sea Sponge

If you ever find yourself walking down the beach and spot what you believe to be a sea sponge, it may not be immediately apparent. Well, its going to be full of sea debris, discolored and smell like what it is – a sea creature. In order to transform it into the exquisite sponge we are accustomed to, we’re going to have to clean it thoroughly by following several steps.

  • Make sure the sponge is not already rotten – you can tell by smelling it. It will have a scent similar to many other sea creatures – remember the sea sponge is an animal.
  • Wrap it with paper towels in order to keep it wet. Then you’re going to need a clear pitcher full of tap water. Submerge and squeeze it while also agitating the water. Replace the water and repeat this process until the water is as clear as possible.
  • Now it’s time to let the sponge soak in clean tap water overnight. The next day will be time to rinse the sponge – remember to squeeze it and disturb the water well. Next, place the sponge on a rack to dry for a day or two.
  • Now get a hold of 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent and gently wash the sponge. You might still notice a bit of debris at this point. It is now time for the last rinse.
  • Now remove it from the water and give it a strong squeeze to get out as much water as possible. Now it’s time to place the sponge on a rack to dry for a second time. After one or two days you are ready to enjoy your clean natural sea sponge.


Keep Your Natural Sponge Clean

Natural sea sponges are naturally stiff. Before you are ready to use your new sea sponge rinse it under warm water. It’s not out of the question to notice a bit of sea debris, coral or bits of shells.

To continue to keep your natural sponge clean, drown it in a solution containing 1 tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water. Besides fully cleaning, the baking soda also reinvigorates your sponge. Do this about once or twice a week.

Besides thoroughly cleansing, baking soda also revitalizes the sponge’s cellular structure. This will make your sea sponge last longer and look great.


Preventing Bacteria

Sea Sponges naturally inhibit bacterial growth and hence odor. Regular cleaning and air drying will maintain it in the best condition. To ensure the lack of any odor, you may want to disinfect your sponge. The following tips will help.

  • One Tablespoon of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and one cup of warm water
  • One quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and one cup of water. This will revitalize your sponge if it became discolored.
  • Add one teaspoon of colloidal silver to one cup of water. There is no known pathogenic organism that can survive – six minutes or less.
  • Mix a small number of tea tree essential oil drops in one cup of warm water. It is an excellent germicide and will eliminate any odors.

It only requires minimal care in order to keep your natural sea sponge in pristine condition.

Versatility with Ease

There’s no question that sea sponges are one of the world’s best natural resources. They are a pivotal part of our oceans and our homes. They are one hundred percent natural and come from oceans teaming with life. This means they have to go through a thorough process before they are ready for our use.

The steps are similar whether it is a commercial process or something you do at home. The main difference is in the scale.

Large scale harvesting allow the sea sponges to rot in order to let the living matter in it do expire. If you decide to clean a natural sponge yourself, you will not want a decayed sponge. You will be extracting the microorganisms yourself during the cleaning process.

Whenever purchase a natural sea sponge, make sure you run it under warm water before you use it. Don’t be surprised if you find a slight amount of sea debris.

Your sea sponge will serve you well for months and even years.


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Let me know if you have ever cleaned you own sea sponge and how you did it. Please leave a comment below.


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