Why You Should Throw Away Your Kitchen Sponge Immediately

Your kitchen sponge makes contact with dirt and bacteria every day — after all, that's its job. Sure, you replace it when it starts to show some wear and tear, but is that really enough?

Your kitchen sponge is dirtier than you think. (Image: vitapix/iStock/GettyImages)

Science says: Nope! That sponge is teeming with germs, and those germs are extremely resistant to being destroyed. You can try to sanitize the sponge with boiling water and soap, but this could actually increase bacteria. Yikes!

According to a new study published by Scientific Reports, the best way to maintain sanitation in the kitchen is simply to replace your sponge every week. Sponges are extremely porous, retain water and are kept in damp environments, which creates an ideal environment for microorganisms to fester. But there's more.

"Kitchen sponges not only act as reservoir of microorganisms, but also as disseminators over domestic surfaces," the study writes. As a result, sponges can harbor bacteria that lead to cross-contamination and food-borne illnesses. In other words: GROSS!

Previously, a study published in the Journal of Food Safety revealed that regular dishwashing products most kitchen sponges come into contact with did not reduce microorganisms like yeast, mold or E. coli. The only thing dishwashing soap reduces is salmonella — a bacteria found in 10 percent of kitchen dishrags.

In 2012, microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba gave a lecture at the Food and Drug Administration where he explained that kitchen sponges and sinks carry a thousand times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

So, yeah. You might want to seriously think about throwing out that smelly sponge. Meanwhile, here are the top 10 natural cleaning brands to help keep your kitchen and home nice and clean!

What Do YOU Think?

Are you going to replace your kitchen sponge ASAP? Or do you think that the suggested course of action is too excessive? Do you believe your kitchen is probably the dirtiest place in your home? Let us know in the comments below!

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