December 18, 2022
Used kitchen sponges are microbiological hot spots!
Most kitchen sponges are mainly made of foam, such as polyurethane. The sponge's inner surface is extremely large due to the numerous pores. This offers microorganisms plenty of room to grow.
Bacteria are collected in kitchen sponges where they are able to incubate. The picture (adapted from Cardinale, M., Kaiser, D., Lueders, T. et al.) shows the bacteria (red dots) in a very small probe of a used kitchen sponge (cyan). Billions of bacterials cells can were identified in a 1cm square area.
By using the sponge, they spread on kitchen surfaces.
These surfaces are in contact with your hands and food. Finally, the bacteria make their way into your body.
The bacterial microbiome can have significant impact on your health and well-being. For example, they can cause food–borne illnesses (food poisoning).
Recently, Lena Brandau (Furtwangen University) even identified viruses in used kitchen sponges.
People believe that boiling or microwave treatment reduces the bacterial load in sponges. This is a misconception, as shown by Professor Markus Egert and his researchers!
Sanitation methods are not sufficient to reduce the bacteria load in dish sponges.
Quite the contrary, they actually increase the concentration of RG2 bacteria species, such as Moraxella osloensis.
Moraxella is the bacterium that generates a bad smell in dirty laundry and it is assumed to be responsible for the bad kitchen sponge smell.
Therefore, sanitised kitchen sponges paradoxically smell even stronger.
Air can flow through their diamond mesh structure which makes them dry quickly. Therefore, they do not act as a reservoir of microorganisms and do not stink.
Fischnetz with Benefits are the best dish sponge alternative that doesn't hold bacteria and definitely doesn't smell.
✔️ Very easy to use
✔️ Reaches more spots
✔️ Doesn't smell
✔️ Lasts for years
✔️ Saves money
Cardinale, M., Kaiser, D., Lueders, T. et al.
Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of used kitchen sponges reveal massive colonization by Acinetobacter, Moraxella and Chryseobacterium species
Nature, Scientific Reports 7, 5791 (2017)
Brandau, L., Jacksch, S., Weis, S. et al.
Minority report: small-scale metagenomic analysis of the non-bacterial kitchen sponge microbiota.
Arch Microbiol 204, 363 (2022).