We use kitchen sponges all the time to clean our dishes, but we don't realize just how dirty these sponges really are! Unless you are cleaning or changing out your kitchen sponges frequently, you may be inadvertently spreading germs around your kitchen. But fear not, we've got the facts you need to know, plus tips on how to keep your sponge safe to use. Here are 5 important facts that I learned about kitchen sponges.
1. A kitchen sponge has more germs than the average toilet seat!
Say what?! This fact just seemed totally counterintuitive to me, but according to the DailyMail.co.uk it is true. However, considering how many substances in the kitchen that your sponge comes across it does make sense. Add to that the fact that sponges are porous and they sit wet for hours. It's no wonder that they are the perfect breeding ground for germs to flourish.
2. A sponge that has been in use for just a couple days already has millions of bacteria!
Germs develop very quickly, so be sure to sanitize your sponges often. Every 2 days tops is recommended.
3. Microwaving a cellulose sponge kills the bacteria.
Take your sponge and put it in a microwave safe bowl full of water. Put it in the microwave and heat it up allowing the water to bubble and boil so that it is hot enough to disinfect the sponge. This usually takes about 2 minutes in the microwave.
4. You shouldn't use your sponge to clean countertops or kitchen surfaces
Using your sponge on countertops is a recipe for potential food poisoning. You are introducing your sponge to E. coli and other potentially dangerous germs. Instead clean your counters with disposable items such as paper towels or antibacterial wipes.
5. Running your sponge through the dishwasher is another good way to sanitize it.
Experts suggest having 2 sponges that you use in rotation. That way you can run one through the dishwasher while having your second sponge available for use when you need it. Put your sponge in an area of the dishwasher where it will have plenty of space around it to for the water to circulate.
These facts certainly opened up my eyes about kitchen sponges. Rest assure that I will be sanitizing my sponges often now going forward, and that I will be swapping them out regularly. Researchers also mentioned that cutting boards and kitchen towels can also be breeding grounds for lots of bacteria. Yikes! Let's be sure to remember to sanitize these frequently used items often.