Around the House: Billions of Bacteria may be Lurking in your Sponges
One kitchen sponge can hold more bacteria than there are people on this planet, Norwegian researchers have said.
As over 7 billion humans occupy the earth, we may now look at those squishy little things in our sinks a bit differently.
While remaining saturated with water and humidity all day, sponges collect food residue in what is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow, Brooklynnews 12 reported.
It turns out that while your kitchen sponge may wipe away surface grime it is, in most likelihood, spreading lots of bacteria onto those countertops at the same time.
Baalabustes who want to stick with sponges should change them at least every two weeks, the US Centers for Disease Control recommends, but other experts say to toss sponges once every week.
In addition, sponges that do not smell good should be thrown away immediately, as bad smells are a sure sign that germs are thriving.
If throwing away sponges once a week or every other week sounds wasteful, microwaves can serve as powerful weapons to protect against disease-causing bugs, webmd reports.
Placing your sponge in a bowl of water and zapping it in the microwave for two minutes can kill almost all of its bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, which can potentially cause gastrointestinal distress.
"Basically, what we find is that we could knock out most bacteria in two minutes," says researcher Gabriel Bitton. "People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave."