Did you know a simple kitchen sponge often houses more germs than the toilet seat!? In most homes our sponges are not being cleaned enough and they end up hosting a large number of very yucky germs that end up getting spread over any surface they touch.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the average kitchen sponge is 200,000 dirtier than a toilet seat and can be a home for around 10 million bacteria per square inch. Now that you know that, how do you feel about using your sponge to clean your dishes? Ew! It makes us shiver.
There is good news for those of us that like to utilize a sponge in our daily cleaning tasks, there are three simple rules you can use to keep your sponges, and really any cleaning tools, clean and sanitary so they continue to clean and sanitize your home.
Just Smell It
If something doesn’t smell right with your sponge or any cleaning tool, this is definitely time to give it a cleaning. This is probably the easiest way to determine if you are spreading germs around instead of picking them up.
If your sponge smells a little sour, this is a sign that bacteria have made a home there. If this particular sponge is being used as your dish sponge it may be past its useful life and should be tossed in the garbage. A sour smelling dish cloth can just be tossed in a warm washing machine cycle with some bleach and reused.
Sponges are NOT Multi-Purpose Cleaning Tools
It is really nice to have one go to trusty item to get several tasks done, but a sponge just isn’t up for that load of work. One thing you really don’t want to do with your sponge is use it to clean the dishes and the counter tops. This is a fast way to fill your kitchen full of bacteria and can lead to illness if you are cleaning up juices from raw meat on the countertop with your dish sponge.
The best way to prevent harmful cross-contamination is to use a separate sponge for each task. Color coding them makes this task even easier. As for those meat juices, they are best cleaned up with a paper towel and some disinfecting cleaner safe for food surfaces.
Use the 1:1:4 Rule
To keep your sponges as clean as possible and prevent them from filling up with nasty bacteria use the 1:1:4 rule. 1: Dry your sponge out completely at least once a week to inhibit bacterial growth. The best method to dry it out is setting it in the sun as the sun gives extra antibacterial power. 1: Sanitize your sponge at least once a week in the top rack of the dishwasher or heat it up in a bowl of water in the microwave. 4:Completely replace your sponge with a brand new one every four weeks. (This method should be applied to cleaning tools for dish washing as well.)
For more cleaning tips and advice please browse our website. For natural stone cleaning in Mill Creek and surrounding areas make an appointment online or over the phone with All Kleen.