Sponges are fantastic for wiping up messes and absorbing liquid quickly. They can even absorb harmful foodborne pathogens and help scrub down sticky messes in the kitchen in no time. What would we do without our handy sponges? Unfortunately, while sponges are quite handy, they can also quickly begin harboring millions of germs right under your nose. If you aren’t careful, this could mean a much higher chance of cross-contamination in the kitchen.
Though you can’t eliminate 100% of the germs that are hiding in the nooks and crannies of your sponge, there are many ways that you can drastically cut down the risk of cross-contamination and keep your kitchen workspace clean. Check out our super-easy dos and don’ts of kitchen sponge safety – tips that you need to know to keep your space clean and free of disease and infection!
Clean Your Sponge Daily – Want to really lower the risk of cross-contamination? Sanitize your sponge every day! To back this up, researches at the USDA found that over 99% of bacteria, yeasts, and molds were killed when damp sponges were heated in the microwave for one minute and also when they were run through a dishwasher (complete with drying cycle). Easy as that!
Store Them In a Dry Location – Germs and bacteria love wet, dark places, so take that environment out of the equation by storing your sponges in a dry location. Just make sure to wring out the sponge after each use and wash off any loose food particles before doing so!
Replace Them Frequently – Even after 2-3 uses, your sponge can be absolutely filled to the brim with bacteria. While it’s true that cleaning your sponge daily will help eradicate these germs and reduce the risk of food poisoning, you should still strongly consider replacing your sponge regularly. As soon as you start to notice the sponge smelling at any point, throw it away and bring out a new one.
Wipe Up Meat Juices – This is a huge no-no! Cleaning up any spills from poultry or ground beef is a recipe for disaster because it increases your chances of spreading harmful foodborne pathogens. That job should be reserved for a paper towel or disinfectant wipe.
Use Them on Countertops – Sponges can contain millions of bacteria – yes, millions! You don’t want to spread those on your countertops where you place your food, plates, and utensils. Avoid spreading those bacteria by using a paper towel or disinfectant wipe on your countertops. This helps keep cross-contamination in check!
Ignore Dishcloths – Once again, your sponge is a powerful tool, but it shouldn’t be considered as a catch-all for kitchen duties. That’s where dishcloths come in! Much like your sponge, though, your dishcloths should be laundered frequently because they harbor plenty of germs themselves. Remember to wash them in hot water and dry them on high heat in the dryer to keep them nice and germ-free!
Want a sparkling kitchen in your home or in your business (or both)? Stop by U.S. Wiping in beautiful St. Louis! We have all of the latest and greatest cleaning products to make sure that your space is clean and germ-free, no matter how big or small the job is. Check out our stock online as well at www.uswiping.com!