Have you noticed Salmonella and other food borne illnesses are on the rise---everywhere.    While we rely on government agencies to keep our restaurants inspected and food handling industries regulated, at the home level, it's up to us!.  The kitchen is the germiest room in the house-- teeming with billions of microorganisms on countertops, refrigerators and cutting boards. And the worse culprit:   the kitchen sponge!

If you are a sponge user, you are likely  using it to wipe out the refrigerator, spills on the counter top, cleaning out your sink.  So unless you change your sponge daily, you are basically moving germs from one place to another.  Microwaving them or putting then in the dishwasher cycle, according to experts, does not guarantee germ removal unless you have sterilization cycles.   Better options are to use paper towels or a clean cloth that can be thrown into the clothes washer after each use.  If you can't break the sponge habit, soak them in a solution of bleach (one cup bleach per gallon of water) or vinegar and let air dry.

I confess that I use a sponge in the kitchen but limit use to  soapy dishes--and I buy lots of sponges at discount stores in bulk so they can be discarded weekly.  Paper towels are my choice for countertops and spills---though my recycling friends frown on this excessive use of paper!  Any other thoughts?

 

 

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Comments

I haven't hear the salmonella before read this article, thank you for this article!

I also make sure that I use different sponges. I have one for each, the kitchen, the table, and the dishes. I also tend to replace my sponges often knowing just how much they harbor germs.

I, too, was a paper towel vs. sponge person. But then we decided to do more 'green' things in the house and I now use cloth rags that I throw in the washing machine when I have a full, dirty load of them. Whenever I see a sponge near a sink, I always think 'bleah' because I've read so many articles like this :)

I have different sponges, which I use in different ways. One for dishes, another one for the kitchen, another one for the table, etc. When they are too dirty or oily I put them in a bowl with hot water and vinegar for a while. I use paper towels for cleaning too dirty surfaces.

It's easy to miss the obvious while cleaning! We change our sponges and cloths every day to ensure they are germ free, which I feel is important with corporate clients

Kitchens can be a hotbed for bacteria and it is always important to take the necessary steps to make sure your kitchen remains a clean environment.

I have different sponges, which I use in different ways. One for dishes, another one for the kitchen, another one for the table, etc. When they are too dirty or oily I put them in a bowl with hot water and vinegar for a while. I use paper towels for cleaning too dirty surfaces.

I microwave our sponge at least twice a day for 2 minutes, and discard it after a week. Used sponges can be re-used by placing them in the bottom of flower pots where they'll keep plants moist even on hot days!

Sponges are indeed carriers of bacteria and other problems. They should be changed every day if used. However, paper towels are a much better option.

Hello, I have several sponges for dishes, for the floor, for the bathroom and for the toilets. I think it's more green to use sponge than paper towel.

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