How Long Can You Use a Kitchen Sponge?

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If you take a look on almost any kitchen sink in the United States you'll find a sponge that gets used for everything from wiping down counters, to scrubbing pots and pans to wiping splatters off of the wall.

History

  • Soft, natural sea sponges had been used for household cleaning tools for centuries until the extinction of the sea creatures inspired the development of synthetic sponges. Manufactured from cellulose wood fibers, or plastics, these synthetic sponges are used for cleaning purposes because they are efficient at absorbing water and other fluid cleaning solutions.

Misconceptions

  • Most people use a sponge in their kitchen to wash dishes and clean up messes, but they are often unaware of the fact that these sponges can harbor and spread harmful bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens that get picked up as they come in contact with the many different dirty surfaces in your kitchen.

Potential Hazards

  • The sponge you use to clean your kitchen could be a source of contamination for food-borne illnesses.

Warning

  • Do not use your kitchen sponge to wipe down any other surfaces outside of the kitchen, and never use the bathroom sponge in the kitchen.

Solution

  • After washing in hot soapy water and rinsing it out, place your wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes and then let it cool completely before you handle it. You can also place your kitchen sponge in the dishwasher along with a load of dishes and the heat will kill all of the bacteria on the sponge.

    You can use your kitchen sponge for as long as it holds together if you are careful to sanitize it daily in the microwave or dishwasher.

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References

  • Photo Credit photo credit: Nazreth
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