In a study published last month it was found that if you keep your sponge longer than a week it's just sitting there breeding bacteria (the kinds that can cause food poisoning and make you sick) and the germs are having a party on what essentially touches the plates you eat off.
Think about it. You use your sponge every day and what touches dirty plates, cups and possibly kitchen benches picks up food scraps and liquids (yummo, raw chicken juices!). Even though you rinse the sponge afterwards the bacteria is not washed away or sterilised.
"Our study stresses and visualizes the role of kitchen sponges as microbiological hot spots in the BE (built environment), with the capability to collect and spread bacteria with a probable pathogenic potential. Within a domestic environment, kitchens and bathrooms have a high potential to function as 'microbial incubators' due to the continuous inoculation of new microbial cells, e.g. by food handling and direct body contact to the domestic surfaces...Despite common misconception, it was demonstrated that kitchen environments host more microbes than toilets. This was mainly due to the contribution of kitchen sponges, which were proven to represent the biggest reservoirs of active bacteria in the whole house. Kitchen sponges not only act as reservoir of microorganisms, but also as disseminators over domestic surfaces, which can lead to cross–contamination of hands and food, which is considered a main cause of food–borne disease."
Sounds gross, huh? The study also revealed that the germiest part of your whole house is the actual drain in the kitchen sink (which you probably 'clean' with the same sponge) not the toilet!
Washing the sponge in boiling water or doing the old microwave trick' will work but only to a degree.
"Microwave and boiling treatments were shown to significantly reduce the bacterial load...however no method alone seemed to be able to achieve a general bacterial reduction of more than around 60 percent.”
We don't know about you but 40 percent of germs left after employing those cleaning methods doesn't really cut it for us.
So what to do?
The consensus from both an environmental and sanitation perspective seems to be that efficient modern dish washer machines are your best bet.
But back to the point we were trying to make in the beginning.
Sponges are gross.
Source :Huffington Post, 11 August 2017