Your kitchen sponge may not be as clean as you think it is. Here’s what you need to know.
As gross as it is, your kitchen sponge is most likely ridden with bacteria. A study found that kitchen sponges, both cleaned and uncleaned, had more bacteria than on your toilet. Let that ‘sink’ in. How? It’s easy for bacteria to thrive in your sponge, due to its porous material. It’s also touching your hands and food in between preparations, which also traffics bacteria.
It’s easier to keep cross-contamination if you use one sponge for one specific task. Try color-coding your sponges by using one color for the bathroom, one for the kitchen ect. This way there’s no chance you’ll ever get them mixed up!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest cleaning your sponge daily. For cleaning tips, make sure to not leave any food bits when you’re finished using it. Ring out the water and store it in a basket so it can dry quicker. The longer it’s wet, the more bacteria can grow! For an extensive clean, the USDA recommends placing the sponge in the dishwasher for a full wash and drying cycle, as it is one of the most effective methods for killing food-borne pathogens in the kitchen. You can also soak it in bleach for a minute, too!
When it comes to replacing your sponge, its best to do it more frequently than not. The same study as before suggests replacing your sponge weekly. Even if your sponge doesn’t look dirty, it’s better to be safe and replace. Happy cleaning!