Thursday, December 5, 2013


In my years of caregiving, I found a great number of "generational differences". Some of the most contentious dialogues I've had with older people are about the use of sponges, mainly in the kitchen. One time I threw away a kitchen sponge and the client was furious with me; I bought another but it went unused by me! When I said they weren't "sponge-worthy", I found it difficult to explain the reference from Seinfeld from the character Elaine! (see YouTube segment below)

Recently, I was helping a nephew set up in his apartment. Another family member (just a year older than I) had kindly brought many cleaning supplies, among which were sponges. I told my nephew to use them only once and stated that they were the "dirtiest household item". The other family member took exception and said that she'd used them "all her life". My exclamation of "EEWWWW" was not greeted warmly. She said that they can be put in the dishwasher and I countered with the argument that the water didn't get hot enough to kill the bacteria. She said that they could be put in the microwave or boiled. Another "EEWWW" was my counter-argument.

See the lengthy BLOG article here from "The Parsimonious Princess": The Dirty Truth: Get Rid Of Your Kitchen Sponge.

Also see the article below from THE WISE GEEK:

The dirtiest household item is often a kitchen sponge, with more than 75% of all sponges containing potential fecal bacteria, research has shown. Kitchen sponges have been found to be more than 200,000 times dirtier than toilet seats. The average kitchen sponge is thought to contain more than 10 million bacteria per square inch (6.45 square cm), which is typically the result of its moisture levels and small crevices that allow germs to breed. The risk of spreading germs with a kitchen sponge can be reduced by microwaving it to kill bacteria.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

EWWW is right! I can't stand those germy sponges. I know many people who have them at their kitchen sinks! One time I asked for a dish cloth to help clean up after a meal and the hostess became irate when I told her about the filthy sponge! ML