THE DIRT ON SPONGES
Quick: how long have you had your kitchen sponge? If it’s more than a week, your sponge may be home to as much bacteria as your toilet. New research on sponges suggests that there are over 360 types of bacteria found in the common kitchen sponge, and that attempts to sanitize your sponge (using the microwave or the dishwasher) kill the weaker bacteria but leave the stronger strains to spread across your counter or cutting board the next time you wipe it.
We recommend discarding sponges once a week, and avoid using them for especially bacteria-laden substances like meat juices and dirt. Better yet, ditch the sponge completely and switch to wash cloths. These can be washed more frequently, dry faster to reduce breeding conditions for bacteria, and are more environmentally friendly.