You might hope the things you use to rinse your dishes or wipe your counters are some of the cleanest objects in your home. But often, they are unfortunately some of the dirtiest.
Microbiologists have repeatedly found various strains of bacteria known to cause food poisoning inside dishcloths and kitchen towels used in average households.
Because the sponge or cloth you use to clean up gets used several times a day, it winds up full of water and old food, meaning there’s plenty of food and moisture for bacteria to grow.
The germs multiply at room temperature and often, even after a short time, the cloth or sponge may start to smell unpleasant – a sign of a heightened risk of food poisoning.
The same goes for kitchen scrubbers, where bacteria will quickly multiply between the bristles.
That’s why hygiene experts say you need to replace or clean your washing-up sponge or cloth regularly – ideally every other day.
If you want to avoid having to keep replacing the cloth, then you can always put it in the dishwasher and let them dry out thoroughly afterwards. That also applies to washing-up brushes.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, then the washing machine is just as good, preferably at your next 60°C wash. Use a universal detergent as the bleaching agents they contain will help address any smells and unpleasant odours. – dpa
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