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Do you have a washing machine?

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Keep Sponges Clean

Why Do This?

A study of 30 different surfaces in 22 homes found that the kitchen sponge has the most bacteria – harboring more germs than your toilet seat or bathroom faucet! Over 75 percent of these sponges tested positive for coliform bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. Keep your family safe and germ-free by keeping sponges clean.

Difficulty:
Time: 15 minutes

How To:

Note: If your sponge has seen better days, it's a good idea to replace it instead of tossing it in your dishwasher. Old or worn out sponges may break apart and possibly damage your dishwasher.

  1. 1

    Keep in a dry place. Bacteria thrives in moist environments, so it’s important to keep your sponge dry. Wring out your sponge after every use and store it in a dry place.

  2. 2

    Run it through the dishwasher. Place your sponge on the top shelf with the rest of your dishes. Run the sponge through the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Be sure to dry the sponge thoroughly afterwards.

  3. 3

    Microwave it. A study from the USDA’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center found that the microwave is the best at killing bacteria, yeast and mold in kitchen sponges. If you don’t have a dishwasher, microwave a wet sponge on the highest setting for two minutes. Carefully remove the sponge and let it cool before use.

  4. 4

    Replace it. Replace your sponge every two weeks. Tip: Try sponges made from natural and sustainable materials to reduce waste.

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