By Jeffrey the Barak
The sponge in your kitchen is not merely stinky, it may also kill you. Smell does not come from nowhere, it is produced by living organisms that appear and develop in sponges thanks to contact with the organic matter on your plates, moisture, light and warmth. In fact if you looked for a better way to grow these organisms, it would be difficult to find a better place than your kitchen sponge, the one you wipe your plates with.
In Frank Zappa’s great song, The Dangerous Kitchen, there is a line, “The sponge on the drainer, is stinky and squirty”. He goes on to warn about what might happen to you if you squeeze it.
Fortunately, there are two simple ways to eliminate almost all of the harmful substances, repeatedly and frequently. The smell goes away, indicating that the cause of the smell has been temporarily neutralized.
The toxins in question include E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, yeast moulds, Pseudomonads, and S.Aureus. These are not things you want on your hands or in your drinking glass. All can be defeated by these two methods.
Place a wet stinky sponge in the microwave for a minute. When you take it out, be careful not to scald your fingers on the boiled water, but notice that the radiation has removed all of the smell.
You can use bleach on its own, but if you run a dishwasher frequently, just load the sponge and pour a little bleach directly into it, before running the cycle. It will come out smelling like nothing, which is our goal.
So there we have it. There is no reason for that dangerous and stinky sponge to remain so, and it will serve us until it falls apart.