Even microwaving a kitchen sponge won’t sterilize it of all harmful bacteria, a study from the University of Furtwangen in Germany found, countering some earlier research.
“Because sponges are primarily moist and designed for absorption, they have the potential to pick up bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus,” the AARP says.
The association suggests how to keep a kitchen sponge cleaner and safer:
- Replace it regularly.
- Dry the sponge after each use in a dry location, instead of on the counter or bottom of the sink.
- Do not wipe up spills from raw fish, poultry or meat with a sponge.
- Do not use a sponge to clean kitchen counters after preparing food.