To avoid the slightest risk of contamination, you must not only learn how to clean them properly, but also make sure not to make certain mistakes. Did you know that sponges should not come into contact with certain products such as milk? Find out why.
Kitchen sponge: the target of bacteria
We all know that it’s important to wash certain types of meat before cooking (not chicken!) and that it’s especially important to properly disinfect the sink, cutting boards, and used utensils to remove any risk of bacterial cross-contamination. However, despite our best efforts, we cannot always guarantee a completely clean environment. Many germs can still spread freely.
The most common danger comes from kitchen sponges, which are commonly used to clean dishes, the stove, or to collect food scraps left in the sink. Know that loads of germs and bacteria hide in these sponges. However, we shouldn’t lie to ourselves, we don’t have a systemic reaction to purging these accessories. Unfortunately, this can harm our immune system. Particular attention should be paid to dangerous intestinal bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, Klebsiella and Staphylococcus aureus, which are found in various food products.
What is the alternative to a sponge for cleaning?
Therefore, it is preferable not to use sponges to clean some food and liquid residues, such as meat juice, unpasteurized milk, or even dirt from fruits and vegetables. Instead of a sponge, it is recommended to use absorbent paper and then throw everything in the trash. Likewise, we must forget to use a rag or towel for this type of cleaning!
As you understand, always make sure to keep your sponge as clean and as hygienic as possible. How to proceed? After each use, wash it with washing-up liquid and rinse it well. To disinfect it well, you can use white vinegar. Finally: it is important to squeeze it well and dry it so that it does not retain moisture.
If you don’t maintain it properly, you’ll have to throw it away before it’s time to use a new one. In order to avoid waste and unnecessary costs, you know what you need to do!
Good to know : To remove the remaining milk in the pan, instead of using a damp sponge, opt for some natural ingredients: a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda will do just fine. After rinsing, the pot will be free of all traces of milk. You can then use a paper towel to dry the bottom of the pan.
When should the sponge be changed?
Ideally, if cared for properly, a kitchen sponge can last up to two weeks. But, if you don’t have time to sterilize them properly, if they wear out too quickly, or start to smell bad, you’ll have to get rid of them sooner. In particular, know that according to the CSC (French Consumer Safety Committee), sponges get dirty after only two days and in that time they can contain almost 50 billion bacteria! What greatly motivates you to change your usage habits. Also, in order not to take risks, even with impeccable maintenance, it is better to replace them every week. Of course, its life can be extended if you only use it to wash dishes and if it always looks in good condition.
How are sponges deeply sterilized? Above all, avoid putting it in the microwave, as the heat may aggravate the situation. After you’ve disinfected them thoroughly with bleach or hydrogen peroxide (wash your hands immediately if you touch these things!), let them air dry. Low humidity environment will help bacteria disappear.
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