NSF International is a non-profit agency that sets safety standards for water filters and other equipment. Before using your microwave to disinfect a kitchen sponge, it’s imperative to make sure your sponge is wet enough to cause enough steam to penetrate all of the sponge fibers. Now, on the other hand, Dollar General bleach doesn’t list the active ingredients on the packaging at all. STK Heavy Duty Silicone Scrubber Sponges (10 Pack) - Modern Antimicrobial Kitchen Sponges - 100% Mold Mildew and Bacteria Resistant - Zero Smell Technology - Silicone Sponge - 10x More Durable 4.2 out of 5 stars 699 Don't keep sponges around for too long. Putting your sponge in the dishwasher is a very easy and effective disinfection method. That’s crazy! due to the different materials that make up each type of sponge 2. Keep the sponge away from raw meat. In the new study, cleaning apparently boosted the levels of two species. I’d love to know what the other 94% is. There turns out to be a huge number. Back in August, a study came out about bacteria in kitchen sponges that sent home chefs into a frenzy. "There's hardly any habitat on Earth where you'll find similar densities of bacteria, except for the human intestinal tract.". If you’re going to use a kitchen sponge, use it specifically for one purpose only. With all of that, you’re probably wondering how to kill bacteria in a kitchen sponge? Microwave Sterilizes Sponges In the study, published in the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers evaluated the effects of zapping sponges … Is it just laying in the sink? The drier it is the better. The login page will open in a new tab. The study, conducted by researchers based in Germany, found that kitchen sponges have 'the capability to collect and spread bacteria with a probable pathogenic potential.'. The kitchen is a breeding ground for a number of bacteria. Of course, this method will leave many still alive since there are billions in the sponge. Your kitchen sponge: A world of disease. Although the microwave will kill most of the bacteria, it’s not going to kill all of it. « How to Understand Food Best Used-By, Sell-By, and Use-By Dates, 3 Utterly Disgusting Things You Should Avoid Like The Plague At A Restaurant ». Another important factor is, if your sponge isn’t thoroughly wet, it can cause a fire, regardless if it has synthetic metallic properties in it. Therefore, you want to make it your mission to disinfect a sponge in the best way possible to avoid illness, especially now with COVID-19 adding to our collective misery. Why are kitchen sponges such germ magnets? A kitchen sponge can tend to harbor unwanted bacteria such as salmonella, pseudomonas and E. coli. The only issue with this is, most household bleach ranges anywhere between 5.25% to 6.0% sodium hypochlorite. Just five species of bacteria are responsible for more than 90 percent of hospitalizations due to food-borne illnesses. In a 2017 published article in Scientific Reports it explains your sponge contains a little ecosystem. 7. And these bacteria are actually quite rare in sponges, Quinlan says. Despite recent news reports, there is something you can do about it. Hey, that’s great but what about that other teeny-tiny percentage it doesn’t kill? But the heat targets the dangerous ones, Quinlan says. Researchers from Furtwangen University described kitchen sponges as a "common microbial hot spot," International Business Times reports.The study included DNA analysis of 14 kitchen sponges taken from private … Some sponges are made up of a synthetic metallic property that can catch on fire in the microwave. Place your freshly rinsed kitchen sponge on the top rack nestled between two slats. The kitchen sponge that does not smell is the first priority of every person who is health-conscious. According to the USDA, microwaving sponges kill 99.9999% of bacteria, while dishwashing kills 99.99998%. Are you tired of spending oodles of money on food storage systems that don't work? By starting today, and implementing these simple food storage solutions, you can save time, money, headaches, and give you peace of mind by learning the simple & actionable techniques to store your food properly. Kitchen sponges: the dirtiest items in your home. I love my kitchen. Are the findings upturning decades of public health recommendations? It must remain in the microwave for no less than 2 minutes; however, due to the variance in wattage of microwaves, 2 minutes may not be long enough. "That's a very huge number of bacteria, indeed," Egert tells NPR. By Alexis Hobbs. But that finding isn't what got people riled up. Although sponges absorb a lot of water, the absorption level only goes so far. "If you're dealing with raw juices from meat or poultry, you should be using paper that can be disposed of," Quinlan says. Joy Ho for NPR When we do the dishes, we generally wring out the kitchen sponge after use. Something smelled fishy here. The study stated that the sponges were either microwaved or put in hot, soapy water. This new trick is the most effective way to prevent food poisoning, by far. It has also … But when we looked carefully at the study, we realized much of the news coverage about it was incorrect. Sponges can spread harmful bacterial all over your kitchen. They are weaklings. To prevent cross-contamination, each sponge should have its specific job and you shouldn’t intermingle them with other duties. That’s about the same amount found in an average human stool sample. Let’s say you have a sponge you use for cleaning off the counter; you wouldn’t want to use that same sponge to clean the sidewalls of your refrigerator. Neither of these relatives are known to cause food poisoning. If you think your cell phone is dirtier than your toilet, the kitchen sponge has that one beat. For the first time, scientists have carefully analyzed all the critters in a kitchen sponge. By some estimates, they are dirtier than toilet seats. This is because the kitchen provides the perfect environment for different types of bacteria to breed and thrive. Strains of germs range from campylobacter, salmonella, and … One strain of bacteria stood out: Moraxella osloensis. Why do you ask? "It doesn't sterilize the sponge," she says. Ring it out as best as you can to remove all of the excess water. Wet sponge lying on the counter is the favorite habitat for bacteria to grow rapidly and produces smell, mildew, and mold. SMELL RESISTANT: Antibacterial & Antimicrobial SKURA style sponges are crafted from a patented polyurethane foam base, with an antimicrobial agent in the foam and scouring surface that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew on the sponge. It becomes problematic when the body is confronted with (too many) pathogenic germs. "Cleaning a Dirty Sponge Only Helps Its Worst Bacteria, Study Says," The New York Times put it. The study also looked at only five sponges that people said they "cleaned" regularly — and study participants did not say whether this cleaning took place in the microwave or in soapy water. Kitchen sponges “Sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, so they need to be replaced relatively often,” Berliet says. But when we looked carefully at the study, we … I'm so happy you stopped by. "That could actually encourage the bacteria.". So what in the heck is going on with this new sponge study? And in a study published earlier this year, Quinlan and her colleagues detected pathogens in only about 1 to 2 percent of sponges collected from kitchens in Philadelphia. Print. "Even then the methods were very vague.". While in theory, the utensil holder sounds like the best option, there’s a slight possibility the hot water and detergent won’t be able to reach the folded part of the sponge. 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