The kitchen sponge is one of the main culprits for housing bacteria. This bacteria can be spread throughout our kitchen if you don’t clean or better yet change your sponge. When to replace your sponges will depend on how often you use them to wash the dishes. If you wash the dishes at least once a day, then you should replace your sponge at least once a month.
If you’re using your sponge every day, try to replace sponges after 30 uses. To maintain cleanliness in between replacements, you can place your sponge in the dishwasher with your other dishes each time you run the cycle. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can wash your sponge in hot water and bleach to kill any residual bacteria. If you want to take it even further you could then rinse the bleach out of the sponge and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. It must be wet or else it will just burn and won’t work as a sponge again.
Nylon scourers are similar to sponges. They can also be cleaned in the same way. However, metal scourers, on the other hand, can’t be microwaved, for obvious reasons. To clean a metal scourer simply use warm water and bleach. Then leave it in there for an hour or two and rinse out. This will leave the scourer clean and fresh from most of the bad bacteria that will have gathered up in there.
Cloths or dishcloths should also be replaced about every month or after about 30 uses. Sponges are often considered to be more susceptible to bacteria, but dishcloths can be just as bad. They both share similarly moist and warm environments that are ideal for bacterial growth.
There is no hygienic reason to choose a dishcloth over a sponge, though it’s easier to clean a dishcloth than replace a sponge. To clean dishcloths, simply wash them in the washing machine.
Be sure to use bleach and hot water for the ultimate effect. You can also eliminate bacteria through heat exposure by hanging dishcloths in the sun to dry or by running them through the dryer.
Of the kitchen scrubbing tools mentioned, brushes are actually the most hygienic choice. Brushes are easier to clean and have faster drying times, which makes them less likely to have as much bacteria. Clean them by tossing the dishwasher-safe models in the dishwasher.
You also can soak the bristles of the brush in vinegar for a couple of hours and then rinse it off with hot water. This will help loosen any remaining debris and kill any leftover bacteria. If necessary, you may have to use a fork to fully remove any particles that might remain.
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