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9 Places Germs Hide in Your Home

Reader's Digest Logo By Liz Kennedy of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 9: Your kitchen sponge is the germiest thing in your house. When researchers at the USDA tested common methods of disinfecting sponges—soaking them in bleach or lemon juice, microwaving, or washing in the dishwasher—they found that microwaving for one minute zapped the most germs, followed by a trip through the dishwasher. Place wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes once per day and replace often (every two weeks or more as needed). Cheryl Luptowski, the National Safety Foundation's International Home Safety Expert adds that you should also sanitize dishcloths, towels and kitchen rags by washing on the clothes washer's hot water cycle with bleach. Replace washable linens every one to two days. Your kitchen sponge is just one of your many everyday items that are actually dirtier than your toilet seat. Ick!

Kitchen Sponges

Your kitchen sponge is the germiest thing in your house. When researchers at the USDA tested common methods of disinfecting sponges—soaking them in bleach or lemon juice, microwaving, or washing in the dishwasher—they found that microwaving for one minute zapped the most germs, followed by a trip through the dishwasher. Place wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes once per day and replace often (every two weeks or more as needed). Cheryl Luptowski, the National Safety Foundation's International Home Safety Expert adds that you should also sanitize dishcloths, towels and kitchen rags by washing on the clothes washer's hot water cycle with bleach. Replace washable linens every one to two days. Your kitchen sponge is just one of your many everyday items that are actually dirtier than your toilet seat. Ick!

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