I’m practically obsessed with keeping my hands clean in the kitchen, especially if I’m working with meat. I also need to clean my favourite knives and other utensils frequently as I’m cooking, using the dishwasher only for a large load at the end of the meal.
To make things easy, I fill an old hand soap dispenser with dish detergent. This allows me to pump a small amount without getting my dirty hands all over everything (particularly important when working with raw poultry). I keep it in a small container along with a fresh sponge or two so I’m not searching all over for a clean sponge when I need one. The container keeps things neat so there aren’t soapy drips all around the sink. Fancier hand soap pumps are often sold at kitchen and bath stores but you can easily re-use an old dispenser. I prefer a clear one so I know when it’s time for a re-fill.
Sponges should be replaced frequently, as they can harbour a lot of bacteria. To help keep them clean, you can soak them in bleach that has been diluted with water. Another popular method is to microwave damp, metal-free sponges for one to two minutes at full power. However, this must be done with caution because sponges can catch fire if heated too long. Luckily, sponges are very inexpensive so the best way to keep things clean is replace them often.