The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International once filed a report that over 75 percent of all kitchen sponges had traces of coliform bacteria, a family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E. coli.
This means that you can get food poisoning just from washing plates using your kitchen sponge!
Now we don't need to go full length into how dangerous these and many other bacteria can be to human health. Our greatest concern is spreading awareness about the threat that is your kitchen sponge.
1. Change Your Sponge Very Often!
Experts advise that a kitchen sponge should be replaced as frequently as every week. If you perceive any bad odor, which is a sign of bacterial growth, on your sponge before that, toss it immediately!
2. Clean Your Sponge Everyday!
This will prevent the growth of dangerous microbes. Make sure the sponge is only used in the kitchen and only to clean plates, countertops, and your cutting board.
Never use this same sponge on raw food like vegetables, eggs, fish, or meat!
How To Clean A Kitchen Sponge
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises using a microwave or dishwasher because it can kill over 99 percent of all harmful bacteria.
To use the microwave:
- Place the sponge in a dish and transfer it to the microwave.
- Make sure the engine is at full power.
- Let it sit for a minute to kill 99.9999 percent of all harmful bacteria. Some studies say two full minutes is better.
- Once done, let the sponge cool then squeeze out the excess water.
To use the dishwasher:
- Run the sponge through a wash and dry cycle.
- Make sure to set the dishwasher to "heat dry" to rid the sponge of microbes entirely.
On a final note, experts advise that you ditch cellulose sponges, which easily retain food bits when used. Instead, buy a sponge made of synthetic material like a silicone scrub.
Remember, health is wealth!