We pride ourselves on keeping a very clean kitchen. Each time we cook on the stove, we clean it, as there is nothing I hate more than a spattering of oil on kitchen surfaces.

My wife is the queen of using counter-top cleaner and I always tease her as it is more often than not left on the kitchen counter, which frustrates the heck out of me. We also are big sponge purchasers and feel we are vigilant in replacing them often. A few weeks back we enjoyed a weekend at a friend’s camp, which also runs a successful restaurant in our area. We teased her about using a “dish rag” which we felt was “old school” vs. a sponge. She said that sponges are havens for bacteria and why she uses dish rags and changes them daily vs. a sponge.

Hearing this information from a restaurateur I had to do some research myself, and I was shocked to see what I learned. My fear began when I learned that it’s the kitchen that harbors more bacteria than any room in your home. I hope you’re sitting down because if your a sponge user like I was this will be an eye opener for you. What I learned was one single bacteria cell can multiply and become more than 8 million cells in only 24 hours…that’s enough to scare anyone. What added insult to injury is the fact it takes as few as 10 million bacteria to spread infection. For example, if you use your sponge to wipe your cutting board all you are doing is transferring the germs from one location to another.

An easy fix for this problem; use dish rags and change them every single week. Additionally, allow them to dry out between each use, as bacteria only survive a few hours when moist. The good news…I can take sponges off of my weekly grocery list and the bad news is I have to go buy more dish rags and do a bit more laundry!

To learn more about keeping you and your home free of germs go to WebMD.

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