Keep those kitchen sponges clean

(KOMO file photo)

Germs and bacteria can hide anywhere in your kitchen. A favorite place is the kitchen sponge. It's nice and moist and has plenty of food for them to eat.

You can’t see them, but these microbes can make you very sick and it doesn't take many of them.

So each time you're done using the sponge, wash it off, wring it out and put it in a dry location. This will slow down the growth of any germs and bacteria.

You also want to clean your sponges every day.

"Two ways you can clean your sponge. You can put a damp sponge in the microwave and heat it for one minute or you can run it in the dishwasher with your load of dishes,” said registered dietician Amy Reuter at SeattleFoodNut.

Remember: You don't want to use the sponge from the kitchen sink to clean your countertops or other kitchen surfaces.

“If we're using the same sponge that we used to clean out a pot or pan and then try to clean the countertop with it, we may take the bacteria from the food and distribute it to our countertop,” Reuter explained.”And then, if we set some food down there and eat that food, we could get sick."

The best way to clean your kitchen counters – especially if there’s a spill of meat or poultry juices – is with a single-use paper towel or disinfectant wipe. You could also use a dish cloth as long as that cloth goes directly into the washing machine afterwards.

More Info: Dos and Don'ts of Kitchen Sponge Safety

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