Does Your Kitchen Sponge Have More Bacteria Than Your Toilet?

Is your kitchen sponge a petri dish for billions of bacteria? According to a recent study published in Scientific Reports, your kitchen sponge is a microscopic universe teeming with countless bacteria. After evaluating the DNA and RNA in 14 used kitchen sponges Markus Egert, a microbiologist at the University of Furtwangen in Germany, identified over 360 different species of bacteria living in the tiny pores. He and his team estimated that there are 82 billion bacteria in once cubic inch! Bacterial densities of this degree are usually only found in human stool samples. Yikes, now that’s scary. Yes, your kitchen sponge could contain more bacteria than your toilet!

How does your kitchen sponge attract bacteria?

Sponges are perfect reservoirs for bacteria. Bacteria comes from food left on the counter, other counter surfaces and your own skin. The moist, warm and nutrient space allows bacteria to thrive.

Can micro-waving your sponge help?

According to Egert, trying to microwave your sponge only kills some of the bacteria, allowing the most pathogenic (causing disease) to survive – creating an almost super-species, if you will. One of the bacteria, Moraxella osloensis, is commonly found on human skin and is the most populated on sponges that had been “cleaned” (microwave or dishwasher). This species of bacteria is responsible for the putrid smell that your sponge can emanate–as well as your dirty laundry.

3 Tips to Decrease your risk of bacteria-laden sponge

  1. Wash your hands regularly and properly. This also goes for any and all other household
    members.
  2. Clean your sponge daily using warm water for at least one minute.
  3. Replace your kitchen sponge every 1-2 weeks. Some researchers recommended once a month –
    I’ll go with every week!
  4. In health and happiness,

     
    Dr Diana Hoppe OBGYN in encinitas, CA. signature- hormones, menopause, weight loss, pap smear, total women's health care

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