This common kitchen tool is a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria

In an unfortunate turn of events for sponge users, a recent study revealed that these soapy rectangular squares may be more optimal for bacteria growth than even a Petri dish in a lab.

When thinking about a sponge’s composition and environment, some obvious aspects can help explain why; take into account the constant humidity, the presence of food particles and the lightness of the sponge itself.

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But this specific study, published in the scientific journal Nature Chemical Biology showed that these small individual craters and pockets in the sponge structure appeal to a very specific bacterial crowd; those who prefer a little more personal space.

Because these pockets are separate, the bacteria within them don’t have to compete for resources and space as much, but are still close enough that they can take advantage of other types nearby.

The result is an almost beautiful moment of harmony and unity within your kitchen sink microbiome. However, this hand grip of microorganisms can pose health risks to your health or that of anyone using a bacteria-filled sponge.

So what can you do to prevent peace and love between your sponge organisms? Well, there are several different options. The USDA recommends microwave the damp sponge for about a minute or put it in a dishwasher with a dry cycle.

In both scenarios, their research has shown that it kills the vast majority of bacteria, yeasts, and molds that you might otherwise encounter. The other useful thing is to be honest with yourself about the condition of your kitchen sponge. If it looks shabby, musty, or has that musty smell you know all too well, the safest and most effective option is to throw it away and use a new one.

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