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And The Dirtiest Thing in Your House is…

posted: 08/27/15
by: Courtney Reimer
Little girl sweeping the floor
iStock

When you think of dirty things in your house, your mind probably goes to places like the bathroom or even the baby-changing area. But nope: this dirtiest of dirty household items can be found in your kitchen. Behold: the poor, overused kitchen sponge.

If you've ever had to deal with that lingering, stinky-sponge odor on your hands, you might not be that surprised. In the aptly titled article "Your Kitchen Sponge is as Revolting as it Smells," the Huffington Post explains how and why the sponge is so filthy. (They also kindly offer some tips on how to clean it -- more on that to come.)

Due to its constant contact with intensely germy areas like cutting boards and countertops, where it's used to wipe up things like raw meat juice and vegetable detritus, the sponge is the repository for some of the stinkiest and most bacteria-heavy bits in your home. To get rid of them, you have to go beyond mere rinsing. The answer is to sanitize them, according to germspert (not his official title) Dr. Philip Tierno, author of The Secret Life of Germs. Here's his pretty simple sanitization recommendation:

Make a disinfecting solution by mixing one part bleach with nine parts water and drop the sponge in the mixture from 10 to 30 seconds (or longer).

And, voila! Cleaner, fresher-smelling sponge. And once you've done that, try preventing it from sitting in too much germ-breeding moisture by using this binder-clip trick.