Study says to clean your sponge, microwave it
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Studies done on germs and bacteria performed by researchers at the University of Florida show that a dirty kitchen sponge can be cleaned and "sterilized" by microwaving it for 2 minutes, but researchers warn to wet the sponge first.
"People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave," said the professor who was in charge of the study that discovered the results, Gabriel Bitton.
"Basically what we find is that we could knock out most bacteria in two minutes. The microwave is a very powerful and an inexpensive tool for sterilization," added Bitton.
The sponges that researchers studied, were placed in "raw wastewater" and then put into a microwave to be "zapped," according to Bitton. The wastewater was a "witch's brew of fecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores, including Bacillus cereus spores," said Bitton.
Researchers say that at least 99% of the bacteria, viruses, spores and parasites in kitchen spongees can be destroyed or "inactivated" by simply microwaving the wet sponge, on the highest power, for two minutes.
- "Microwave zaps germs on sponges, study finds" — , January 25, 2007
- "Microwave Oven Can Sterilize Sponges, Scrub Pads, Researchers Say (press release)" — , January 25, 2007
- "Food 411 for One: Microwave Sponge Disaster" — , January 29, 2007