A common kitchen companion, the kitchen sponge, is actually one of the dirtiest items to have in your kitchen when not used properly. We use sponges to clean food residue or wipe down our counters. This process allows for food remainders to absorb into the sponge and combine with the moisture, creating an environment that can lead to all sorts of bacterial growth. This bacterial growth can range from yeast and mold, salmonella, E. coli, and so on. You may be thinking that you’ve never seen mold on the damp sponge you’ve been using for the last few months, but the problem with bacteria and microbes is that we can’t see them….unless you commonly take a microscope to your sponges….which probably isn’t in your daily list of things to do.
It seems to be a bit contradictory that we need to clean an item we use for cleaning, but it’s necessary. Just rinsing and squeezing your sponge isn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, there are ways to work around these germs in your sponges if you’re willing. Try these quick and easy cleaning tips:
Clean sponges with vinegar: Soak your sponges overnight in a bowl of vinegar. Rinse thoroughly the next morning.
Clean sponges with bleach: Mix ¾ cup of bleach with a gallon of water in a bowl, soak sponges for 5 minutes. Make sure to then rinse thoroughly, and to ensure no leftover bleach, throw the sponges in the dishwasher.
Clean sponges in the dishwasher: Simply add your sponges to your dishwasher. Make sure to use the heat dry setting to ensure it maximizes the effect.
Throwing away sponges when dirty gets expensive, and there are more environmentally-friendly alternatives to choose from. But the next time you go to scrub down your kitchen counters with your kitchen sponge, think about how clean your sponge really is. Keeping your kitchen sponge clean can help keep your kitchen as cleanly as possible and ensure you and your family are healthy.
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