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Nuke 'Em: Microwave the Bacteria Away

Nuke 'Em: Microwave the Bacteria Away

Is that sponge looking (and smelling) a little suspicious? Nuke it!

New research from the University of Florida has found that microwave ovens can be used to quickly kill harmful bacteria and viruses on kitchen sponges and plastic scrubbers. In fact only two minutes in the microwave destroyed most of the bacteria and other bugs that can cause food poisoning and other illnesses.

If you're like me and you usually pop your sponges in the dishwasher, you may want to rethink that since it is not as effective as putting them in the microwave oven.

How'd they find this out? Well the researchers soaked sponges and scrubbing pads in raw wastewater that included fecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores (so gross). Then they put them in a microwave -- Two minutes on full power killed (or inactivated) more than 99% of all the germs. Want to be absolutely sure the germs are gone for good? Go for four minutes, which will totally inactivate certain bacterial spores. Looks like sugar user Marci is a bit ahead of her times since she's been nuking her sponges for a while

Fit's Tip: Don't have a microwave? Sponges are relatively cheap, so it's best to start with a fresh one every other week.

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