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Kitchen sponges: Not so clean

Kitchen sponges: Not so clean

How clean are our kitchen sponges?

As a nurse I know a thing or two about keeping clean and about the importance of hygiene. I take this approach in the home, ensuring that everything I do, whether it is cooking dinner or sprucing up the house is achieved with that same kind of mentality.

Imagine my horror then at learning that the humble kitchen sponge, which we use on a daily basis to keep everything looking nice and tidy, is in fact one of the dirtiest object in the home.

Researcher at the University of Arizona found that such a sponge is 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat – I know! How wild is that!

Dr Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the university, noted that what we assume to be the dirtiest place is in fact anything but. Whether you will chop your fruit and vegetable on a toilet seat is another thing, but it does make you wonder.

"It's one of the cleanest things you'll run across in terms of micro-organisms," the expert told the BBC. "It's our gold standard – there are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs."

It really is insightful knowledge as it tells us revelatory things about stuff we take for granted. We don't often bat an eyelid when it comes to sponges, or in fact chopping boards – also a host to lots of germs.

Professor Hugh Pennington, a leading microbiologist concurred with the findings of the research.

"It would be fine to use the sponge to wash up with, wiping food off the plates in hot water, but never, never use a sponge to wipe a plate clean," he told the Daily Mail.

"There is a science to this sort of thing, and it's not rocket science. There is a certain amount of common sense."

How often do you change your kitchen sponge?

Posted by Margo Hunter

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