Sponge Safety: The Dos and Don’ts You Need to Know to Keep Your Sponge Clean

kitchen spongeSponges 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!


9 Simple Cleaning Tips to Keep Cross Contamination in Check

avoid cross contaminationWhether you’re in the car, at work, or at home, cleaning is an essential part of your living routine. But did you know that conventional cleaning methods might not be getting the job done correctly? Improper cleaning could even lead to cross-contamination, the spreading of dirt and germs from one source to another. Your food contaminants from the kitchen don’t belong in the living room, but you could be unknowingly carrying them there!

So how do you prevent cross-contamination? Here are 9 tips to keep your living spaces as clean as possible!

Quick Clean – Kitchen and bathroom counters are the most important locations to hit with this tip. Setting a toothbrush, a bar of soap, a dirty utensil or dish, or food can contaminate that surface, allowing bacteria to begin growing, ready to be swept up by the next thing or person to touch it. Prevent this by wiping up any residue right away!

Germ Prevention – Keep hand sanitizer and wipes easily accessible in high traffic locations, and put down dirt-trapping rugs in entryways. Keeping dirt and germs out of the space in the first place helps keep them at bay for when it’s time to begin cleaning the right way!

Mighty Microfiber – Regular cotton towels and cleaning products don’t pick up dirt and residue nearly as well as microfiber cleaners. Because of its synthetic engineering, microfiber is meant to pick up any dirt and residue and hold on to it! Cotton towels and rags will only push dirt around and will drop it on other surfaces if used in multiple locations. So swap out those old cotton rags with some long-lasting and effective microfiber towels!

Swap Your Towels – It’s handy to have a kitchen towel on hand to clean up accidental spills and messes. Just be sure to swap it out for a clean one frequently! Especially if it gets wet, it can be a hotbed for mold and bacteria and will spread them to surfaces it touches. Throwing it in the wash and replacing it regularly can help prevent its dirt from getting on other surfaces!

Color Coordinate – Have multiple colors of microfiber towels on hand so you can organize your rooms and surfaces by color! Keep blue towels in the kitchen, red in a bathroom, white in the living room, etc. This way, you can ensure that any germs in one room won’t be able to hitch a ride on your cleaning products to other parts of your living space!

Sanitize Surfaces – It’s not enough just to clean. After you’ve eliminated all the grime on surfaces, make sure you sanitize them with something strong enough for the job! After you’ve applied it, make sure you let it air dry. Sanitizing cleaners need time to do their job, and drying them off prematurely lets bacteria and germs survive on a surface you thought was sanitary!

Touch Points – Hand hotspots such as door handles and switches can carry germs and dirt like no other spot in the living space. Wipe down those surfaces with cleaning and sanitizing agents. Be sure to do these last so you don’t re-contaminate the surfaces when leaving the room!

Keep Yourself Clean – Your own hands could be carrying germs from one space to another without you realizing it! Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after cleaning each space to avoid cross-contamination. Once you’re done cleaning, wash out and sanitize any sinks you may have used to wash your hands to keep those clean as well!

Try New Things – New cleaners and cleaning methods are being introduced all the time that are designed with your health in mind. Using old cleaning tactics ignores the existence of germs only recently discovered. By using new products and techniques, you can ensure you’re getting the deepest and safest clean!

In order to lead a healthy and productive lifestyle, you want to ensure the spaces you spend your time in are keeping you as healthy as possible, whether it’s your home, car, or workspace! By keeping them clean, you’re doing yourself a big favor. And by using US Wiping products, you’re making sure that what looks clean really is! Check us out today at http://uswiping.com/ for all your cleaning needs – we have so many fantastic cleaning products for you to use, including color-coordinated microfiber towels!