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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.

SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 10 years
oops, it looks ugly, but the link does still work. :)
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 10 years
I read an article this morning that people were setting their microwaves on fire by zapping DRY sponges. Uh-oh! Just a reminder, make sure they're wet! Here's the article/>
Marci Marci 10 years
my brain is so scary........................FS. Geez!
Marci Marci 10 years
Ooops.............thanks for the shout out, FT! :o
Marci Marci 10 years
Thanks for the shout out, TS! :)
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
lol, it's not like i bought new ones everyday! once or twice a month is fine. ::the platypus is proof that god has a sense of humor::
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
Haha, they are cheap in essence, but if you're spending .99 a day for a new sponge, that's $30/month! If I had 30 extra dollars a month, I wouldn't be wearing these rags!! :) Thanks, txhottie...I mentioned this to my hus last night and he asked "Wet or dry?" Hmmm...better go find out! So, yeah, thanks! This seems like a much better way than bleaching them. I always make a mess with bleach.
islandmama islandmama 10 years
those Gators think of everything!!!First it was gatorade and now this.....terrific idea, but sponges are cheap to buy anyway.....
Beaner Beaner 10 years
I'm totally going to do this - great idea Fit.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
OR, don't use sponges. They are germ farms. But if you must, then YES please do microwave them and txhottie has great tips.
txhottie txhottie 10 years
I have always done this! Note to people doing it for the first time, if you make sure the sponge is damp, put it on a paper plate so it doesn't pick up anything from the micro tray and it makes it easier to remove from the oven, since it will be REALLY hot. :)
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
my roommates in college did this...i always thought it was weird. i just threw them away when they got icky and spent the $.99 to go buy new ones. ::the platypus is proof that god has a sense of humor::
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