Okay, so I was going to just post a link to this story I saw on Digg.com.
“Sponges that you clean your dishes with are almost constantly wet and don’t really get a chance to dry, which makes them a breeding ground for germs. What’s the best way to sanitize them? Throw them in the dishwashing cycle? Nope. Pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes. I actually tried this and found the sponge to be like new once it came out!”
Well, I was but…
The Manchester Evening News reports on a man from Telford (Shropshire, UK) who set fire to his kitchen after microwaving a cloth!
Microwaved cloth sets fire to kitchen
FIRE chiefs today warned against sterilising dish cloths in the microwave after one man set fire to his kitchen. The blaze broke out in Telford, Shropshire, after he followed instructions he saw on a news programme.
A spokeswoman for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze broke out at 1pm yesterday when the occupant put the cloth in on full power in a bid to kill bugs.
She said: “Our advice is please don’t do it, it is dangerous. Apart from setting fire to the microwave, you can scald yourself.”
The fire came as hygiene experts recommended zapping dish cloths to prevent food poisoning. It was suggested that as many as 10,000 bacteria can live on each square inch of a kitchen sponge.
Scientists in America found that putting a household sponge in a microwave for two minutes killed more than 99% of the harmful bacteria which caused illness.
The experts from the University of Florida discovered that a short blast in the microwave killed a range of bugs including E.coli and salmonella.
Yesterday, Gabriel Bitton, a professor of environmental engineering at the university, said putting dish cloths or sponges into the microwave for two minutes was much more effective than using a dishwasher, which was a common trend among householders.
He said: “The microwave is a very powerful and inexpensive tool for sterilisation.”
Sponges and dish cloths carry huge amounts of bugs because they often remain damp, helping the bacteria to survive.
It is the heat of the microwave – not the radiation – that kills the germs on the sponge, which needs to be damp so it does not catch fire, the scientists said.