Many of us take pride in having a clean kitchen; gleaming stovetops, spotless floors, countertops that you could eat off of. But how clean is your kitchen really? Appearances can be deceiving. As clean as your kitchen may look, there is more than meets the eye.
One thing that we use a lot of in the kitchen is sponges. We use them for washing dishes, for wiping surfaces, for mopping up spills, etc. And while we may think that washing them with hot water and giving them a rinse after is good enough, there is actually more you can do to ensure that your sponges are sanitised and not harbouring any germs or bacteria.
First of all, do remember to change your sponges regularly. Depending on how heavy your usage is, you may want to change your sponges as often as every week. As sponges rarely get the chance to dry properly in between uses, it is a hotbed for germs and bacteria.
There are several ways to clean and sanitise your sponges.
Use The Dishwasher
Just rinse the sponge to get rid of the visible bits and grime, and then put the sponge in along with your plates, cutlery, and others. Use the hottest setting you have for the cycle. Once the cycle is done, you’ll have clean dishes, and a sanitised sponge.
Soak It In Bleach
Use one part bleach to nine parts warm (not hot) water. Soak the sponge in the liquid for about five minutes, then rinse. You can do this in the kitchen sink, then you’d be cleaning the sink as well; killing two birds with one stone!
Use The Microwave
Zapping your sponges in the microwave is a super effective and easy way of sanitising them. Make sure you wet the sponge thoroughly before putting it in the microwave as a dry sponge may catch fire. Microwave it on high for a minute or two; you should see steam rising from the sponge. Let it cool before handling the sponge as you don’t want to burn yourself. Take note that sponges with metallic surfaces should NOT be microwaved.
Soak It In Vinegar
This environmentally-friendly method is great for sanitising sponges. Just soak your sponge in full strength white vinegar overnight and then leave in the sun to dry.
While all these methods are great for sanitising your sponges, there are other things you can do to ensure that your sponges aren’t harbouring any nasty stuff.
When it comes to wiping up spills from meats, you may want to use paper towels instead which you can then throw away. You should also let your sponges dry whenever possible. For this purpose, you may want to employ a rotation method which allows one sponge to dry while you use another.
Using different sponges for different purposes should also be the practice. While this may seem like common sense to some, you’d be surprised at how others may think nothing of using the same sponge for counter tops and floors. Buy different coloured sponges so you can colour code your sponges; for example, blue for the floor, pink for the countertops, yellow for the dishes.
Employ these methods to keep your kitchen as germ-free and as bacteria-free as possible for the sake of your family’s health!