If you think your toilet is what requires the most scrubbing and disinfecting in your home, you might be surprised (and grossed out) to learn that there's something germier lurking in your your kitchen: the everyday dish sponge.
After use, a kitchen sponge stays wet and moist, which is the ideal environment for bacteria to multiple like crazy. A University of Arizona study surveyed 1,000 kitchen sponges and dish cloths and found that nearly 10 percent had salmonella; in addition, the most E.coli and fecal-based bacteria was not found in the bathroom but instead in the kitchen on a sponge or dish cloth. Gross.
To keep your kitchen as safe and clean as possible, make a point to regularly disinfect your counters and sink, and don't be frugal when it comes time to toss that sponge away — a damp and stinky sponge is a sign of bacteria running amuck, so don't wait until that happens to toss yours out! If you wash dishes daily, replace your sponge every two weeks to a month. To sanitize your sponge in between replacements, zap it in the microwave for one minute, or toss it in with your dish clothes in the washing machine on a hot cycle. When you take matters into your own clean hands, (99 percent of) those gnarly germs don't stand a chance.