Your dish sponge has MORE bacteria than the door handle of a public bathroom. Here’s how often to replace it!

Dish sponges contain a crazy amount of bacteria. Just think about it, the only time you use them is to clean dirt, leftover food pieces, grime or bacteria off of surfaces. Due to the physical composition of a sponge, which is meant to absorb stuff, and the fact that it is used to clean up messes makes it a perfect home for bacteria.

According to the Global Hygiene Council, sponges are the most commonly contaminated items in the home and have been fond to contain more than 450,000 microorganism of bacteria. According to them, this bacteria residue often contributes to the spread of viruses that cause the cold and the flu.

According to professor Charles P. Gerba of the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, the sponge is a nurturing environment for fecal bacteria that comes from raw meat. The fact that it constantly comes into contact with bacteria from raw meat and other foods, and that it is usually damp and warm and stays in a similar environment, makes it a perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella.

Although it may seem like your kitchen sponges are now ticking time-bombs of harmful bacteria, there are things you can do to keep them  as clean as possible without having to constantly replace them. Here are some of the best ways to keep your sponge as fresh and clean as possible.

In order to avoid these risks which sponges for dish washing can cause, follow these tips:

  • After you finish using your sponge to wash the dishes, rinse and soak it in very hot water in order to kill of the the harmful bacteria that it may have picked up.
  • Replace every two weeks, or when smelly.
  •   Washing it at a temperature of over 60 degrees in the dishwasher is also an effective way to clean your sponge.
  • When cleaning tables and counter tops used anti-bacterial wipes instead of your sponge. This will ensure that your sponge isn’t exposed to as much bacteria as it normally would be, increasing it’s longevity
  • Soak your sponge in a variety of natural disinfectants

Sources:

Global Hygiene Council: http://www.hygienecouncil.org/Portals/1/pdf/FINAL_CF_Consensus_Statement.pdf

Charles P. Gerba: https://ag.arizona.edu/media/archives/6.11.html