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Top Hot Spots for Germs

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The Kitchen Sponge

Sponges make it easy to wipe up spills and messes, but they also make it easy for bacteria and germs to grow. Sponges stay wet long after they aren't being used anymore, creating the perfect environment for budding microbes to flourish. Add these to the millions of little buggers the sponge picked up on the countertop, sink, and stove, and you've got yourself a bacteria-infested minefield.

Disinfecting and cleaning a sponge is easy. Toss it in the dishwasher, or wet and microwave it for 1-2 minutes. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), microwaving your sponge for 1 minute significantly reduces bacteria, mold, and yeast counts. Microwaving your sponge for 2 minutes kills 99% of the bacteria living in it. Keep in mind, you don't need to kill every bacterium out there - only the ones that can make you sick.

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