Disinfecting Your Kitchen Sponge
Real quick, when was the last time that you actually cleaned your kitchen sponge? I'm not talking about simply rinsing and wringing it out, but getting it really clean and disinfected? The sad truth is that most people don't really stop and think about doing this, disinfecting your kitchen sponge isn't that difficult, and can help ensure that you reduce or eliminate one of the leading causes of food poisoning, Just use one of these effective methods.
- Soak it. A fairly effective method for disinfecting your kitchen sponge is to periodically soak it in some disinfecting solution for a period of time. To use this method you need to start off by cleaning the sponge as well as you possibly can, and then rinse out the soap that you used to clean it with. In an old plastic bowl that you are planning on getting rid of soon, make a solution that is about 10 percent bleach, and 90 percent hot water. Place the sponge into the bowl and allow it to soak for no less than five minutes, and no more than 10. Squeeze the sponge a few times while it is soaking to work it through the sponge. After the time has passed, remove the sponge from the bowl, and completely rinse it out under hot running water.
- Clean it daily. Another method that you can use to help disinfect your kitchen sponge is to clean it on a daily basis. While this may not get an old sponge 100 percent disinfected, it will help a newer sponge from getting too bad. The first step in this method is remove any and all organic material that you find on your sponge. When you have done that, rinse out the sponge using some hot running water, and then check it again for organic material. After doing this a couple of times, wring out the sponge as much as you possibly can, and then place it in a sunlit area that will allow it to dry completely.
- Nuke it. Only place your kitchen sponge into the microwave if it is completely free of any metal. In this method you will need to get your sponge nice and wet, but do not wring it out. After it is wet, place it into a microwave safe bowl, and then place them both into the microwave for at least one minute. The heat and the steam will clean and disinfect your sponge, just make sure that you allow enough time to pass for the sponge to cool off before you wring it dry. If you don't you can pretty much count on getting burned. Place the sponge in a sunlit area so that it can dry out.
- Wash it. Most, if not all, dishwashers have a utensil compartment that is designed to hold your utensils while they get washed. Place your sponge into this area, and then have your dishwashers go through a regular complete cycle. This will kill off any bacteria (just like it does for your dishes) and then remove the sponge from the dishwasher.
While each of these methods will work, there is one sure fire way to ensure that you are using a clean sponge, that method is to simply throw away the old grungy one, and use a new fresh one every couple of weeks. This way you don't have to worry about cleaning and disinfecting, and sponges are actually rather inexpensive.
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