60% of kitchen sponges and rags contain living bacteria similar to E. coli.
More than 85 % of people don’t wash their kitchen sponges at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria, according to experts from the British Council Global Hygiene. According to their research, sponges and rags contain six times more bacteria than doorknobs of toilets, which are considered to be a great source of infection.
Kitchen rags are the ideal breeding grounds for bacteria because they are almost always wet, according to scientists. They found that 90 % of British kitchen sponges have a high concentration of bacteria, while 10 % are “absolutely unsatisfactory” to use because of the health risks they carry.
About 7 % of the sponges have more than a billion bacteria per square meter, 60 % of them contain dangerous E. coli, and 25 % of them contain sporadically high concentrations of the bacteria Pseudomonas spp., which is associated with infections of the eye and skin, but also with fatal diseases.
Tips for higher hygiene and health protection:
– After washing the dishes, rinse the rag with hot water, and wash it with antibacterial detergent every second day;
– Replace the sponge every two weeks;
– You can use the sponge for longer if you boil it or wash it at a temperature higher than 60 degrees in the dishwasher;
– When washing workspaces, use antibacterial wipes instead of a sponge, especially after preparing raw meat.