Dos and Don’ts with Kitchen Sponges

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It’s so easy ladies! Just buy a sponge from your local grocery store, apply soap, and make your dishes sparkling clean every time! But wait. Just stop and think about the dirt and germs collecting on your kitchen sponge. Using that sponge over and over again on plates caked with mac and cheese or smeared with mashed potatoes, and then simply setting it out to dry and use tomorrow can be problematic long-term. According to Eat Right, here are the Dos and Don’ts with kitchen sponges.

Do

1) Replace kitchen sponges often

Depending on how tough you are on your sponge, it may need to be replaced more often than you think. If you smell a foul odor and realize it is your sponge, get rid of it immediately! The porous texture of kitchen sponges make it easy for germs and other nasties to hide inside. Replacing your sponge regularly will ensure that your dishes are actually clean and don’t just have a “clean” appearance.

2) Clean kitchen sponges after doing the dishes

Your plates aren’t the only things that need to be cleaned! Your kitchen sponge deserves a bath after all its hard work. According to Good Housekeeping, there are a few effective ways to sanitize your kitchen sponge. Here is the list from the best methods to the worst:

  • Bleach– Soak the sponge for about five minutes in a mixture of 3/4 cup of bleach and one gallon of water
  • Dishwasher– Simply throw the sponge in the dishwasher along with the other dishes. Easy and simply.
  • Microwave– Put the sponge in the microwave for one minute on high after soaking it with water.
  • Washing Machine– Although this option is better than nothing, tossing the sponge in the washing machine proved least effect for killing germs.

3) Wring out the sponge and keep it somewhere dry

Allowing a wet sponge to sit in a small puddle of water on the counter promotes a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Instead, ensure that the sponge is wrung out completely and place it somewhere that isn’t wet. Sponges shouldn’t be kept in the sink or on the sink ledge where it can get repeatedly wet. If you choose to store it in a sponge holder or container, ensure to wash the holder occasionally.

 

Don’t

1) Use sponges to wipe down and clean countertops

The paper towel commercials are correct on this one. There are a lot of germs and bacteria that end up on our countertops that we aren’t aware of (especially if you have kids!) Wiping off the counter with a sponge and then proceeding to scrub your dishes can spread bacteria. Instead, use paper towels to wipe of counters, or use a wash cloth that you plan to wash.

2) Mix sponges and meat juices

Everyone panics when they spill the disgusting meat juice all over their shiny countertops. But don’t be tempted to grab the kitchen sponge! Using sponges to wipe up uncooked meat juice is an easy way to harbor bacteria on your sponge and transfer it to your dishes.

Using a sponge in your home is a personal choice. Personally, I don’t use a sponge in my kitchen (honestly I don’t trust myself to remember all these rules!) However, don’t let all of these rules discourage you if you are a sponge lover. Honestly, there are so many ways to spread germs and bacteria, all we can do is try our best to prevent it when we can.

Keep on scrubbing and cleaning!

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