Sponges are often used for the dirtiest jobs in the house. Sterilizing them is the best way to make sure they are free of germs and viruses. This is a guide about sterilizing sponges.
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I put kitchen sponges in my dishwasher and run the cycle with a cup of bleach. After the dishwasher disinfects of the kitchen sponges, I spray them with a disinfectant spray and place in the microwave for about 50 seconds on high power. After completion of using the sponges to wash the counters, stove and other areas of the kitchen, I once again wash the sponges thoroughly in hot water, spray with a disinfectant spray and place in the microwave for 1 minutes at medium/high power. Make sure that there is no metal elements on the sponges before placing them in the microwave for disinfecting purposes.
I also use the same method for micro-fiber cloths. The sponges and the micro-fiber cloths are laundered in hot water in the washing machine once a week; otherwise, they are washed in the dishwasher with bleach; the bleach also disinfects the dishwasher.
Whenever you run your dishwasher, tie or clip your dishcloth to the top rack of your dishwasher. It will get clean with your dishes! My mother does this. It saves both time and money on washing.
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Here are questions related to Sterilizing Sponges.
I have seen comments regarding cleaning kitchen sponges in the microwave. How does one go about cleaning sponges with Teflon "scrubbie" on other side of sponge? Can you put that in microwave?
By Gayle from Rochester, NY
I have had no problems with sterilizing sponges with a scrub material on one side. I always do it with the sponge side down and the scrubbing material face up, but I don't know if that is necessary.
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Cleaning kitchen sponges? Soak the sponge in water and microwave for a couple of minutes. The heat will kill any bacteria. Use a tong to remove sponge. It will be VERY HOT.
Source: I just thought of this myself, as the microwave gets very hot.
By Robin from Gothenburg, Sweden
Editor's Note: The University of Florida researchers recommend making sure the sponge is very wet and microwave it for 2 minutes. Never walk away from the microwave during this time, just in case of a fire.
The heat of microwaving a wet sponge will surround all bacteria in the sponge, killing it. Bacteria cannot live without food and moisture, and must be in an environment from 40 degrees to 140 degrees F to grow successfully (human bodies are right in the middle of that range). Getting rid of a growth medium (food), drying the bacteria (salt, alcohol, etc.) or raising the temperature above 140 degrees will kill the bacteria. (11/25/2008)
Same thing with toothbrushes, plain boiling water in a glass or cup sterilizes it. Swish it around before you take it out to shake off debris. Whenever you' re sick, you should sterilize your toothbrush every time you use it. Otherwise you're reintroducing the germs from the toothbrush every time you use it. (03/01/2009)
Love sponges in the kitchen but not the spread of household germs? Keep your sponges neat and clean simply! Each morning, rinse your sponge with a little soap. Leaving it wet, microwave it for three minutes. Be careful as it will be steamy!
By I don't think I would try it