I like to keep my kitchen sparkling and often reach for a sponge and some sort of surface cleaner. And although I don't get grossed out easily, the kitchen sponge is something that freaks me out if I think about it too long. All those gross germs hanging around, spreading themselves from surface to surface *shudder* I really can't handle it. However, I know that a sponge is a great kitchen tool - it's a reusable, quick way to wipe down dishes, clean countertops, etc. So what's a gal to do? Do I rinse it under warm soapy water or do I clean it with bleach? What's the best way to keep a sponge in rotation, while keeping the spread of bacteria to a minimum? Well, lucky for us, scientists at the Agricultural Research Service tested several methods for reducing risks in reused sponges. They did this by soaking sponges at room temperature for 48 hours in a ground beef/lab growth mixture, then they went about "cleaning" them. To learn what they discovered, read more
Is that sponge looking (and smelling) a little suspicious? Nuke it!
New research from the University of Florida has found that microwave ovens can be used to quickly kill harmful bacteria and viruses on kitchen sponges and plastic scrubbers. In fact only two minutes in the microwave destroyed most of the bacteria and other bugs that can cause food poisoning and other illnesses.
If you're like me and you usually pop your sponges in the dishwasher, you may want to rethink that since it is not as effective as putting them in the microwave oven.
How'd they find this out? Well the researchers soaked sponges and scrubbing pads in raw wastewater that included fecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores (so gross). Then they put them in a microwave -- Two minutes on full power killed (or inactivated) more than 99% of all the germs. Want to be absolutely sure the germs are gone for good? Go for four minutes, which will totally inactivate certain bacterial spores. Looks like sugar user Marci is a bit ahead of her times since she's been nuking her sponges for a while
Fit's Tip: Don't have a microwave? Sponges are relatively cheap, so it's best to start with a fresh one every other week.