Many of these pose no harm to humans, it should be said, but among the species the researchers also found varieties of E. coli, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and others implicated in food-borne illnesses. Let the sponge dry after each use to avoid an overgrowth of bacteria. The ideal way to sanitize your dishes is to use a dishwasher. If not properly cleaned, your kitchen sponge can transfer these germs to your countertops, appliances, and food preparation surfaces. Here's how to sanitize it in just a couple minutes or less. A recent study published on Scientific reports proved that your kitchen sponge contains more bacteria than your toilet. When they looked inside the sponges through a microscope, the results were even more startling and disturbing. Yes, your kitchen sponge is a huge and shady nightclub for bacteria. Here’s How to Wash Your Dishes Instead, Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of used kitchen sponges reveal massive colonization by Acinetobacter, Moraxella and Chryseobacterium species. The whole medical … Looking at 14 different used kitchen sponges, the researchers found up to 54 billion bacteria per cubic centimeter, spanning 118 genera. There's been evidence that using a bleach solution is the best way to clean a sponge, but truly, the only way to ensure you're working with a clean sponge is to replace it once a week. An NSF study found that one in three countertops was riddled with harmful coliform bacteria. For the first time, scientists have made it clear that bacteria on this sponge can also eliminate viruses that do not die under the influence of common medicine. Apparently, even these researchers had not considered that there could be a world of nasty bacteria living inside those sponges. That’s about the same amount found in an average human stool sample. The cleaning did seem to alter the composition of the bacterial population, though, shifting it toward Moraxella and Chryseobacterium, both of which can cause disease. 1. That’s about the same amount found in an average human stool sample. So, it’s probably the kitchen, right? New Delhi: Kitchen sponge is used to clean the kitchenware in all houses. The hot water and heat will kill bacteria, as long as you use the full energy cycle, not the energy-saving settings. Alina Bradford. What’s the germiest room in your house? “One problem we have with bacteria and microbes is that we cannot see them. First, if you use that sponge on a daily basis, then stock up. So, what can you do about the fact that the thing you’re using to clean your dishes is actually full of disease? People can become ill from the germs on the kitchen sponge because they easily collect bacteria from food and any other dirt that is wiped clean, and these can then be transported from the sponge onto the hands and the body. Many of those also used only a single sponge for their analysis, compared to over a dozen here. Allow it to cool 15 minutes. The results aren’t surprising, but they are illustrative of just how tenacious household bacteria are. 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 … In a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, the German researchers were able to expand the list by taking advantage of new developments in gene sequencing technology, which they paired with a type of high-precision imaging. Check the sponge and try to remove any food debris left after washing the dishes. Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine. Many are, of course, harmless. Researchers squeezed out a bunch of kitchen sponges and found at least 362 different types of bacteria living inside. If you have any health concerns or concerns about potential risks, you should always check with your physician, licensed health provider or health care practitioner. However, it made much of the fact that some of th… If, after all this, you’re still terribly attached to your kitchen sponge, here are some things you should do to minimize your exposure to microbes. The latest insights come from a team of researchers in Germany who use genetic sequencing to compile the most comprehensive list of sponge bacteria to date. Microwaving and boiling sponges were shown to reduce bacteria by 60 percent, but this only worked in a lab setting, not in used kitchen sponges. It’s a hidden world of 5.5 trillion microbes that can make you sick. According to the recent study, one type of bacteria, Moraxella osloensis, which survived the sponge’s run in the microwave, is also attributed with making dirty laundry stink, according to a 2012 study. Food that sticks to a brush can’t bury itself inside and is easily spotted and removed. The perils of dish sponges are well known by now, with many turning to alternative options for cleaning dishes to avoid the grimy, bacteria-ridden sponge. The best way is to soak it for five minutes in ¾ cups of bleach poured into a gallon of water. Your kitchen sponge: A world of disease. First things first: throw away your kitchen sponge. A 2017 study found that the kitchen sponge you’re using may contain as many as 45 billion bacteria per square centimeter. Your kitchen sponge is a bacteria-growing nightmare. Cleaning. Even the authors of this study were surprised by this number. In terms of raw numbers, kitchen sponges are teeming with bacteria. This is expected. STK Heavy Duty Silicone Scrubber S-Sponges (10 Pack) - Modern Antimicrobial Kitchen Sponges - 100% Mold Mildew and Bacteria Resistant - Zero Smell Technology - Silicone Sponge - 10x More Durable 4.1 out of 5 stars 111 This is because the sponge is used to wipe away food scraps. It’s steeped in warm water and foamy suds every day, so it’s basically self-cleaning, right? Not great. 7+ sweeteners as sweet on your health as they taste, The painful post-cancer side effect no one talks about, You Should Throw Away Your Germy Kitchen Sponge Immediately. A lot, actually, if you’re willing to make a few changes. So ignore the brown stains and the smell, like a dead mouse behind the dryer. More studies of kitchen sponges are still needed as well, to explore how dangerous the bacteria on sponges actually are (especially given that there are no recorded cases directly linking sponge bacteria to an infection), find better sponge sanitation methods and more fully explore the “sponge microbiome.” The field of sponge science is alive and well. Deadly Sponges. We’re surrounded by bacteria, and many won’t hurt you. Read our privacy policy. You should throw it away at least every two weeks, possibly sooner. Home » Why you need to get rid of your kitchen sponge… TODAY! Like a smelly kitchen rag, dirty sponges are ideal breeding grounds for certain organisms including yeast, mold, and bacteria.Surprisingly, they also collect fecal contaminants, including e. Coli, probably from peoples’ hands.. COVID-19: A Basic Guide to Different Vaccine Types and How They Work, What Monoclonal Antibodies Are — and Why We Need Them As Well As a Vaccine. Prevent It With These Tips, Why Silk Is One of the Best Materials For Face Masks, Why a COVID-19 Vaccine Is Key For Returning to Normalcy. Kitchen sponges are the No. You wipe it all over your kitchen counter and inside of your fridge, and you bathe your dishes in its dowries. Struggling With Maskne? If the utensils or dishes are greasy from animal fats, clean them first with a paper towel before using a sponge. They stay drier (you can stand them up and let them drip), are easier to clean thoroughly, and they don’t have the crevices that sponges do, where microbes can set up housekeeping. Kitchen sponges, due … Fortunately, there are “workarounds” that can purge this repository of germs … IF you’re willing to change your habits just a bit. 2020 Easy Health Options®. Best to go on living in quiet fear. In between, there are three ways to clean it. Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news. Wiping that sponge on other surfaces – your hands, for instance, or the kitchen counter – can leave a trail of microbes in its wake. How COVID-19 Measures Might Be Impacting Your Microbiome — and What to Do About It. “It was one to two orders of magnitude more than we initially expected to find,” says Markus Egert, professor of microbiology and hygiene at Furtwangen University, who led the study. And if you think 'cleaning' with hot water or a stint in the microwave helps, you're wrong. Best of all When a recent study suggested that cleaning your sponge can promote the growth of harmful bacteria, coverage went viral in no small part because most everyone has one sitting next to their sink. The dirtiest places in your kitchen. Although it’s true the world is full of bacteria, the sheer concentration of bacteria found in a commonly used kitchen sponge can be shocking. If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. This super-absorbent sponge absorbs 3-times more water than traditional cellulose sponges, while deep cleaning grooves provide constant contact with the scrubbing surface. The third and least effective choice is to soak it in full-strength vinegar for five minutes. Wiping the countertop with a used dishcloth or sponge only exacerbates the problem. Egert and his team analyzed 14 used kitchen sponges, collected from households in southwestern Germany. CLEAN KITCHEN SPONGE OF BACTERIA GERMS AND SMELL Read Package some sponges say DO NOT PUT IN MICROWAVE! 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.'. Like a nightclub, regular cleaning may help but many sponge owners don't seem to be cleaning their sponges adequately. But really, wouldn’t you rather just use a nice, clean brush, avoid the hassle, and know that your dishes are really clean and germ-free? The latest insights come from a team of researchers in Germany who use genetic sequencing to compile the most comprehensive list of sponge bacteria to date. The kitchen countertop, the place where fresh fruits and vegetables and other ready-to-eat food items are set to rest, is frighteningly dirty. Want it all? They found that the bacteria appear most often on the surface and visible cavities of the sponge, and their analysis indicated rapid growth. The best option, the researchers say, is to simply replace your sponges regularly, on the order of once a week. Read on… I think you’ll agree it’s worth it. Some survive, and become more resistant; if you do this a couple of times, you might select for more pathogenic communities.”. It’s the kitchen sponge, that workhorse of culinary clean-ups, and it is absolutely overrun with bacteria. 1 source of germs in the whole house. The Mail Online carried a reasonably accurate report of the research. If bacteria all glowed the way some bioluminescent species do, you’d probably go blind walking into your kitchen. But dishcloths may be just as bad, as they can still collect deadly bacteria such as … A sponge can be a medium for the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi, especially when it is allowed to remain wet between uses.. Even after you wash it and rinse it. $10.99. "Your Kitchen Sponge Is Gross, and Cleaning It Isn't Helping," New York magazine's headline read. When using this method, always soak the kitchen sponge in water first because a dry sponge can start a fire. Previous research has shown that kitchen sponges contain more active bacteria than anywhere else in the house—including the toilet. Not great. Another method consists in leaving the kitchen sponges to soak for at least half an hour in water and bleach or in sterilized water and hydrogen peroxide; the proportion must be 30% of water and 70% of hydrogen peroxide, in this way the sponge will be perfectly clean and free of bacteria. We are not responsible for the content and performance of these web sites or for your transactions with them, and our inclusion of links to such web sites does not imply endorsement. Using the microwave is another great way to kill bacteria in a kitchen sponge. May 24, 2017 3:10 p.m. PT. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. A 2017 study found that the kitchen sponge you’re using may contain as many as 45 billion bacteria per square centimeter. Disclaimer: While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. © A recent survey by the Hygiene Council found that the average kitchen drain has 567,845 bacteria per square inch (second only to the toilet). Each fresh revelation of microbial infestation spawns a new round of horrified media coverage, as every study seems to add to the list of potentially deadly diseases lurking in our households. Several methods have been used to clean sponges. Sponges and dishcloths. Most kitchens are swimming in bacteria, and it isn't just the kitchen sponge that's to blame. This helps you remove all debris from stuck-on surfaces. Microwave the damp kitchen sponge 5 minutes. Kitchen sponge "The kitchen sponge is wet and moist, always soaking up coliform bacteria. In Egert’s study, sponges that were cleaned with soap and water actually ended up with colonies of bacteria that had developed resistance to detergents. Easy Health Options does not sell or recommend any particular nutritional supplement, product or treatment option for any condition. “Improper cleaning may make the situation even worse,” he says. An abundance of organic material and damp surfaces allows microbial life to flourish around spaces where food is prepared, but one particular item shines brightest in the bacterial firmament. Next. It's like bacterial heaven," said Gerba. Of course, not all bacteria in the kitchen or elsewhere are dangerous -- some can even be beneficial. “Cleaning, especially by non-cleaning experts at home, usually does not clean all the bacteria inside because there is such a large amount of microbes. "Cleaning a Dirty Sponge Only Helps Its Worst Bacteria, Study Says," The New York Times put it . When they attempted to replicate these findings with their own sponges, the researchers found very little difference in terms of bacteria numbers between sponges that had been cleaned and those that hadn’t. Related: The deadly E. coli germs in your kitchen. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally. The results aren’t surprising, but they are illustrative of just how tenacious household bacteria are. Even after you wash it and rinse it. The study comes with another, more provocative claim as well: cleaning sponges doesn’t seem to help at all. Kitchen sponges is a product you're most likely to find bacteria growing. The kitchen sponge. It was funded by the Institute of Applied Research (IAF) of Furtwangen University and published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports on an open-access basis, so it can be read free of charge online. Kitchen sponges have been picked out as bacterial strongholds for quite a while, though that hasn’t stopped new studies from surfacing. Based on a new study from a team of German researchers, their estimates show that a sugar-cube sized piece of the most bacteria-dense part of the sponge would have 54 billion bacterial cells. You know it’s not the bathroom since that just seems too obvious. Up to 200,000 bacteria live in dirty kitchen sponges - YouTube The information contained on EasyHealthOptions.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment and is for educational purposes only. Buy GoPro HERE! Your water bottle Why you need to get rid of your kitchen sponge… TODAY! Does Wearing Glasses Protect You From COVID-19? The study was carried out by researchers from Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Furtwangen University and the German Research Centre for Environmental Health, all in Germany. En español | Dangerous bacteria can linger in a dish sponge even after attempts to sterilize it, according to a new German study published in the journal Scientific Reports.. Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. If you don’t use a dishwasher, get yourself a plastic or silicone brush. According to a study in the journal Scientific Reports, 'regularly sanitised sponges did not contain less bacteria than uncleaned ones'. Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Get unlimited access when you subscribe. Kitchen Sponges Breed Bacteria. The Libman Antibacterial Sponge fights odor-causing bacteria and mold build-up. It's disgusting. And if you don’t see them, you don’t believe they are there.” It’s just the way we humans are. Place it in a shallow microwave-safe container. As if housework wasn't unpleasant enough, here's some horrifying news about the humble dish sponge. Results from following the information contained on EasyHealthOptions.com will vary from individual to individual. Based on previous studies, conventional wisdom held that microwaving or boiling sponges helped to kill off bacteria. This likely happens because the sanitization kills some species of bacteria but not others, allowing the survivors free rein to spread and grow. Alternatively, you can microwave it after soaking it in a ¼ cup of water (for scrub sponges) or a ½ cup of water (for cellulose sponges). In fact, you may be helping them to thrive and multiply. As an Amazon Associate, Easy Health Options may earn from qualifying purchases. You can’t clean a sponge enough to get rid of all the bacteria. Even the authors of this study were surprised by this number. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition. Here’s a hint: the most microbe-ridden thing in your kitchen is the one thing that’s supposed to be making things cleaner and more sanitary. 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