Microbiology: about that sponge on your kitchen sink

August 7, 2017 (Windy Hill Beach, South Carolina) — Do you keep a sponge on your kitchen sink to help clean dishes and whatnot? Well, it’s probably become home to trillions of bacteria. Washing it in boiling water or microwaving it isn’t the answer. If you want to minimize the spread of germs, replace it with a new one at least weekly. Check out this story in a London paper today:

Scrub that washing up sponge… it’s home to five trillion bacteria (Daily Express, Aug 7 2017, Page7)

Scrub that washing up sponge... it’s home to five trillion bacteria
By Thea de Gallier
Daily Express
Aug 7 2017

KITCHEN sponges harbour up to five trillion germs and are dirtier than a toilet, a study has revealed. Householders are being urged to throw away their sponges every week to avoid the possibility of becoming ill. Even attempts to sterilise it by...read more...

I spent many years as a radiation protection technician at nuclear power plants. Many of my friends and family worried about the danger involved in my being exposed to radiation. One of the things I told them was that radiation is very easy to detect, and that makes it pretty easy to minimize your exposure. I’ve bought several radiation detection meters for use at home over the years. But there is no easy way I know of to detect microbes. If you have a baby in your home, or an elderly person, or a person with a compromised immune system, you should take special care not to expose them to a sponge containing literally trillions of bacteria.

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