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For the love of your kitchen sink, buy a new pack of sponges.

When was the last time you swapped your kitchen sponge for a new one? For many of us, the answer to that question is: Too long ago that I can’t even remember. Unfortunately, that’s not the best strategy for keeping things clean in the kitchen. Kitchen sponges collect bacteria like few other items, and that bacteria can have harmful effects on your health—it also makes it difficult to get your dishes truly clean when it’s time to wash up.

We’re always looking for new ways to keep our spaces spic and span, and we’ve often wondered if our methods of sponge cleaning truly do the job. That’s when we heard this news: According to a study out of Germany published in Scientific Reports and as reported by Today, widely used methods of sanitizing sponges—like microwaving them and cleaning them with boiling water—don’t always get rid of all the harmful bacteria and pathogens that accumulate on sponges with use. In fact, strains of bacteria with high resistance levels can live on and on in the wet sponge environment.

That’s bad news for the sponges we have been using for weeks and weeks. So, what’s the solution? The study suggests swapping out your used sponge for a new one at least every week. Also, be sure to clean your sponges after each and every use. These strategies should keep your kitchen sink fresher, your kitchen accouterments cleaner, and your family healthier.

Check out our more of our cleaning tips and tricks for strategies to keep your space sparkling.

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How often do you swap out your sponges? Let us know your tips for keeping your kitchen as clean as can be.