Unbeknownst to all, a kitchen sponge harbours more than 300 types of bacteria and germs, making it a notorious and silent disease-causing household tool.
We use the sponge to clean the dishes and all sorts of kitchenware, but we oftentimes forget to properly clean it too. So the next time you or a family member complains of an upset stomach, you may want to look into the condition of your kitchen sponge.
According to a 2017 study, the sponge we use in our sinks contain more than 300 types of bacteria and they tend to proliferate to up to 45 billion per square centimetre. This just shows that the concentration of germs in one sponge is far greater than in any other areas of the house.
And yet we use the same sponge over and over again to clean the plates and the utensils we put in our mouths. We also use the same sponge to clean the things we use in preparing our meals every day.
Among the microscopic creepy-crawlies in our sponge, there are species that cause diseases to man. E. coli and salmonella are among them, and these two cause the very common foodborne illnesses. Other pathogenic microorganisms present in sponges are campylobacter and staphylococcus that cause mild to severe gut and skin infections, according to Reader’s Digest.
Fortunately, Clean Mama founder Becky Rapinchuk has shared via Women’s Health three tips on how to properly clean the sponge regularly and stop the spread of germs in the kitchen.
The first tip is to clean the kitchen sponge in vinegar. This means soaking the sponge in vinegar, one with a higher acidic concentration than your regular white vinegar. Before doing so, remove any solid particles that are visibly stuck in the sponge, give it a good rinse and squeeze it several times before putting it in a container filled with vinegar. Soak for about five minutes, then rinse and squeeze before putting it back in the sponge holder.
Nope, we are not going to cook our sponge here. We’re just going to heat it up so that the germs would die a horrible, horrible death. No kidding. To do this, you need to make sure that the sponge is free of any food particles.
Rinse it a couple of times, then soak it with enough water but not to the point that it’s dripping. Pop it in the microwave and turn on high for about a minute. Be sure to let it cool before putting it back in its holder.
Clean it in the dishwasher
If you have a dishwasher, then there’s no excuse for you not to do this one. Since you’ll be running the cleaning machine anyway, why not grab the opportunity to include the kitchen sponge in the batch of items you’re washing in it?
This is the simplest option out of the three. After rinsing and squeezing sponge and removing any food debris, just place it in the top rack of the dishwasher and let the machine do its job. If your dishwasher has the heated dry option, use it in cleaning your sponge as well.
Source: Medical Daily