Sourdough starter lifeless
OK. So I am only about two weeks into breadmaking and am working on my first sourdough starters. I actually started two which in hindsite was not a good idea as they weren't on the same schedule and (in addition to 4 kids and a dog) this was too confusing. Anyway, one starter I was working on suggested to let the starter rest for 24 hours each time (regardless of what was going on) and this recipe (started with all rye flour) completely took off after the first feeding. It probably tripled in size (overflowed) my 4 cup measuring cup which I was using for the starter and was very stringy and elast, which is exactly what I would have expected based on what I read. In any case I was very optimistic and though I was off to the races. Wrong. Somehow after the second feeding it stayed completely flat and showed very little activity. I have since divided and fed it twice with still very little activity although there were some bubles still in there although very little elasticity to the starter.
I am mostly looking for either encouragement that there is still hope for this starter (it still smells good (I think but don't really know)) or someone to tell me to scrap it and start over. The only thing I can think of that may have caused problems was that I did wash the container between second and third feedings because it had overflowed. I don't recall using soap but either way used a sponge which could have had soap in it. I'm still surprised that could have had such a drastic effect on such an active starter but this is my first time.