The most germ-infested object in your house was discovered by the researchers. And it’s very probably not what you think.
It’s not flooring… It’s not door handles… Even it’s not the toilet seat. Actually, this object carries 200.000 times more germs than the average toilet seat.
Dozens of household objects and surfaces in 22 homes were tested by researchers at the University of Arizona. The items were swabbed and then they measured the disease-causing bacteria.
It turns out that the kitchen sponge is the germiest object by far in most homes.
An average, 10 million bacteria per square inch were found by researchers on kitchen sponges. With a million bacteria per square inch, dishcloths came second. Meanwhile, only 50 bacteria per square inch are found on the average toilet seat.
Dr. Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona is part of the team that worked the household bacteria research. He explains that it is surprisingly how toilet seats are germ-free and it is because they usually get cleaned regularly.
He says that when it comes to germs there are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat. Cold and smooth surfaces like toilet seats provide a poor environment for bacterial growth. Contrary sponges and clothes are usually moist and warm which are perfect conditions for germs.
John Oxford, a professor of virology at the University of London and chair of the Hygiene Council that is an international body that compares hygiene standards across the world said that always the kitchen sponge is the dirtiest thing. Kitchen sponges are often used for wiping up residues from raw meat and other kinds of foods that contain bacteria.
Two types of life-threatening bacteria were found on kitchen sponges. These were staphylococcus and E. coli.
Sponges were also tested positive for shigella and salmonella. They can cause severe sickness and usually are not fatal.
2 Best Ways to Disinfect the Biggest Germ Risk in Your House
Researchers from the USDA tested 4 ways to rid your kitchen sponges of germs.
First, the sponges were saturated in germs. Then they cleaned them in four different ways:
- Cleaning in a dishwasher.
- Soaking in a 10% bleach solution.
- Soaking in a lemon juice solution.
- Heating in a microwave for one minute.
The dishwasher and microwave methods were equally effective. In both of them, 99.999% of bacteria was killed. And both methods successfully killed over 99% of molds and yeasts as well.
The lemon and bleach solutions killed only 37-87% of bacteria. Up to two-thirds of molds and yeasts survived those cleaning processes.
So you can do yourself and your family a favor… Throw your moistened kitchen sponge into the microwave regularly. Or each time you run your dishwasher, throw in the kitchen sponge as well.