What Might Be Hiding In Your Kitchen Sponge

If you thought your bathroom was the dirtiest room in your house, you would be wrong!
Germs and bacteria are everywhere and some of the worst spots might be places you would never think to clean.

1. Kitchen Counter Tops

Kitchen counter tops see it all… keys, grocery bags, raw meat, unwashed produce, your handbag, napkins, and much more!
According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), countertops had coliform bacteria in about 30% of homes tested.
This type of bacteria is usually used as an indicator of the sanitary quality of food and water because it is usually found in the feces of human beings!
(Gross when you think about the surface that you might put your hands, silverware and even food!)
To clean, wash your countertop at least once daily, if not more frequently, with hot and soapy water… NOT with a sponge! (Keep reading…)
A mixture of one part bleach, four parts water can be used less frequently. Clorox wipes and other commercial cleaning products are also very effective!

 2. The Kitchen Sink

Everything goes into your kitchen sink… from the dishes and silverware that we eat off of, to raw meat scraps and the dirt and pesticides that we wash off from fruits and vegetables!
According to the NSF, 45% of kitchen sinks tested had harmful coliform bacteria.
You can sanitize your sink and drain with a mixture of one part bleach and four parts water solution.
 Always avoid washing other household items in your kitchen sink.
There are many ways to prevent or get rid of a bad smell…
Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Heat a large pan of water to a boil and pour it down the sink drain to flush down the baking soda.
Don’t have baking soda? Just simply pouring a couple quarts of boiling water down the drain should do the trick as well! About five minutes after poruing the hot water down the drain, pour an equal amount of cold water to force any grease stuck to your pipes own! 
White vinegar is also great to power through any small clogs that you may have in your pipes.
Place half a lemon in your disposal. If you have an older disposal, you may want to slice up lemon or orange peels before. The acidity will help remove any greasy buildup, in addition to the citrus smell!

3. Cutting Boards

From veggies, to meat, to fish… your cutting boards may see it all.
It is important to designate individual cutting boards to meat, fish and veggies to prevent the spread of bacteria.
The NSF found that many cutting boards tested had strains of E. Coli and Salmonella.
Also, make sure that you cutting board is made from a nonporous material, if not, germs can easily fester.
Always wash between uses, either by placing them in the dishwasher or with hot, soapy water. For wood cutting boards, they should be made from a hard wood, such as maple and can also be cleaned using salt, white vinegar, or lemon juice which helps to get into the cracks or below the surface. Then, rinse with hot soapy water!

 4. TV Remote

Your TV remote is probably dropped on the floor and touched by multiple people and rarely cleaned. The NSF found that about half the remote controls tested were positive for cold viruses.
Occasionally, wipe your remote down with a Clorox wipe. 

5. Kitchen Sponges & Rags

Before reading this, you may want to go ahead and throw all of your sponges away!
 The single germiest item in your home is your kitchen sponge.
The NSF found that over 75% of sponges and kitchen rags tested had coliform bacteria on them. 18% were found to have staph bacteria!
They are commonly used to wipe everything, from dishes, to the stovetop to our extremely dirty and bacteria infested countertops! In addition, the moisture stays inside of the sponge which creates a great environment for the bacteria to grow!
Microfiber clothes are a much better alternative as they absorb liquids and grab dirt, then they can be thrown in the washing machine.
It is important to clean your sponge daily…. This can be done by placing it in the microwave for two minutes and the heat will kill the bacteria. Or, your sponge can be placed in the dishwasher when you are doing a load. 
Also, wash your rags or dish towels very frequently.
Designate one rag for dishes and one towel for wiping hands. Never wipe your face or contaminated hands on the towels. If left damp, the towels will provide a great environment for bacteria to grow.

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