The Dangers of Washing Your Dishes- And What to do About it

Most people think of their homes as safe places. They are sanctuaries that protect us from the outside world. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are many places in your home that play host to dangerous bacteria that could be harming your family, especially the kitchen.

While you may scrub your kitchen until you believe it’s the cleanest area in the house, it might not be if you’re using sponges or dishrags to wash your dishes.

The Danger of Sponges

A relatively recent study, performed in America by two microbiologists took a look at kitchen dish rags and sponges from thousands of kitchen in five different cities. Each of these scrubbers were tested for bacteria, and more than two-thirds were found to be harboring bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus.

It turns out, sponges and dish rags are the perfect environment for this bacteria to live and grow. Sponges are porous, making it easier for bacteria to cling to them. Both are constantly used to clean dirty dishes, offering them an endless supply of new bacteria. In addition, both are also kept moist, which is exactly what bacteria needs to stay alive. While bacteria on a dry surface lasts for only a few hours, bacteria present on a sponge can last for up to two weeks.

So, what should you do? Should you buy a pack of sponges and use a new one every day? While this may keep you safe from harmful bacteria, it isn’t necessarily good for the environment. No, ther eare other options you can take advantage of when it comes to washing dishes and home cleaning.

Sponge Solutions

  • Microwave it- You don’t have to live in fear of the germs living on your sponges. Before you use them, place them in the microwave for two minutes. Studies show that doing so will remove most of the bacteria living on the sponge. Be careful, though; check first if your sponge is made out of plastic materials, as these can melt in the microwave.
  • Mesh Bags- Another alternative is to get rid of the sponges in the kitchen altogether and use dishrags. If they don’t offer enough scrubbing power to satisfy you, consider cutting a portion of a plastic mesh bag, such as the ones used to hold your oranges or onions. Wrap the mesh around the dishcloth and scrub with it. When you’re done, wash the dishrag immediately, rinse the mesh bag, and let the bag hang to dry. This can be used over and over again until it becomes too worn.
  • Boil Them- Once a week, place your sponges in a pan of water on the stove, add two capfuls of vinegar, and bring to a boil. This will not only help to get rid of any dangerous bacteria left on the sponges, but will also improve their odor.

Are the sponges and dishrags in your home making you sick? While they may not be yet, they have to potential to. Don’t play host to bacteria, whether you’re washing your dishes or taking on any other home cleaning task. Use these tips to get rid of the germs and help from Greenapple House Cleaning to ensure the rest of your home is just as safe as your kitchen sink.

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