Kitchen Sponge: Do’s and Don’ts

When was the last time you replaced your old kitchen sponge? Studies by German researchers found out that the kitchen sponge has more bacteria than a toilet seat…Yuck! And you clean your dishes with it.  According to research report, 362 different bacterial species were detected in the 14 sponges investigated.  

Your kitchen sponge is an ideal breeding ground for microbes because it is warm, it is moist, bacteria can get into those crevices, often times you have food hanging out it. It is a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. 

How to sanitize your kitchen sponge: 

  • You should clean your sponge daily by tossing it in the dish washer with a drying cycle, or microwave it damp for one minute. However, the smallest and strongest bacteria can survive the microwave. So according to The Good House Institute, the best way to clean your kitchen sponge is with bleach and water: mix 3 quarters of a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, soak the sponge for 5 minutes and rinse.

Do:

  • Remember to replace it frequently (every 2-3 weeks) and If your sponge starts to smell at any time, toss it out immediately
  • Wring out your sponge completely after each use and wash off any loose food or debris, then store it in a dry location

Don’t:

  • Clean up spills from ground beef or poultry with your sponge to decrease your chances of spreading harmful foodborne pathogens. Instead, clean with a paper towel or disinfectant wipes
  • Use your sponge to clean your countertop. Germs and bacteria can spread from the sponge to your countertop, so use a paper towel or disinfectant wipes instead.
  • Ignore your dish cloths. You should launder frequently in hot water and dry them on high heat in the dryer. Because they can also harbor harmful bacteria

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