Views: 76 Author: KWORLD Publish Time: 2019-06-20 Origin: Time
You might be surprised to learn that it’s not the bathroom. Microscopic bugs and bacteria actually favor the kitchen, where you eat and prepare food. And the nexus of all that microbial activity could be sitting right next to the kitchen sink: on the sponge. If you’re washing dishes by hand, your cups, plates and flatware may not be as clean as you think.
The ideal way to sanitize dishes and cups is to run them through the dishwasher. Since a dishwasher cycles both hot water and hot heat during the drying phase, it’s an effective way to get your eating utensils clean. But it’s important to use the full energy cycle to get the best results. Energy savers use less energy and therefore generate less heat for sanitizing. (The heat is important to destroy the microbes.)
If you don’t use a dishwasher, you’re likely to choose a kitchen sponge. But sponges are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, given the amount of food residue that can stick on and inside the porous surfaces, and the numerous moist havens that lure the bugs and provide fertile ground for them to breed. “The sponge never really dries,” says Leslie Reichert, a green cleaning expert and author of Joy of Green Cleaning. “It’s the perfect environment for bacteria…you never totally rinse the food out of the sponge.”
The good news is that the bugs residing in these sponges aren’t generally the ones that can make you sick. Egert did not find the common bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter. Still, it’s possible that these disease-causing bugs were simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of other bugs; Egert suspects that if researchers look hard enough, they would find them in some sponges.
Use a plastic or silicone brush. Brushes tend to stay drier when they’re not used, and they don’t have as many deep crevices as sponges where water and bacteria can grow. “You can stand brushes up, or put them in a caddy where they are likely to dry out,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the home appliances and cleaning products lab at Good Housekeeping Institute. “The material is not as porous as a sponge is, and if something is stuck to the brush, you can see that and rinse it out.” They’re also easy to clean; you should run them through the dishwasher once a week or so.