Two easy and effective DIY ways to clean and sanitize a sponge
As an object that holds soap, you wouldn’t think that a kitchen sponge needed to be cleaned.
Not so fast. Kitchen sponges are one of the dirtiest objects in your entire home. You read it right: One.Of.The.Dirtiest.
Newspaper article and studies populate the internet about dirty sponges and the number of bacteria that lives in your kitchen sponge. The Daily Mail, back in 2012, published the article The kitchen sponge is 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat – and could even lead to PARALYSIS that cites a study that “found there are around 10million bacteria per square inch of a kitchen sponge (…)”
The now well-known article claims that the average kitchen sponge carries 200,000 times more bacteria than a toilet seat: “Professor Hugh Pennington, one of Britain’s leading microbiologists, agreed the kitchen and in particular the sponge was among the dirtiest places in the home. He told MailOnline: ‘It would be fine to use the sponge to wash up with, wiping food off the plates in hot water, but never, never use a sponge to wipe a plate clean.”
If that wasn’t enough, a study published by Scientific Reports claims that “Kitchen sponges not only act as reservoir of microorganisms, but also as disseminators over domestic surfaces, which can lead to cross-contamination of hands and food, which is considered a main cause of foodborne disease outbreaks.”
Now we’re not going to bore you with all the science behind the studies, because it’s pretty obvious that we should sanitize our sponges. But we do want to show you two quick and simple ways to kill up to 99.9% of the germs in your kitchen sponges.
Use one of these methods once every few days, for the safety of everyone in your home.
Soak in a bleach and water solution
Mix 3/4 cup of bleach with one gallon of water and let sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly.
Unfortunately, vinegar, which is great for different chores around the house, is not strong enough to kill the bacteria in a sponge this quickly. That’s why bleach comes in. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly, non-bleach solution, then move on to method 2.
Zap in the microwave for 2 min
Place your sponge or sponges in the microwave and microwave them on high for 2 minutes. This should kill almost all the bacteria in your sponge.
You can also use this method for some of your kitchen towels; they also are great at picking up and harbouring many different kinds of bacteria.
By taking a few minutes to sanitize your sponges and towels, you’ll know you’re keeping a healthier home for you and your family.
There are other actions you can take to maintain a healthy environment at home: Keeping your cleaners clean (vacuum, dishwashers, etc.) and cleaning your smelly front load washing machine are easy places to start.