Do cleaning supplies like sponges carry bacteria?

sponge bacteria
If you’re a cleaning supplies freak like us, you may not want to hear this – but that kitchen sponge you’ve been using to clean your dishes may actually be one of the dirtiest items in your home.

In fact, you may be better off just cutting your veggies on a toilet seat rather than that chopping board you just wiped down. According to a new study, common cleaning supplies like kitchen sponges and dish rags carry around 10 million bacteria per square inch, and are “200,000 dirtier than a toilet seat”.

Sponge Bacteria May Cause Serious Health Conditions

Though much of the bacteria lurking on sponges are thought to be harmless, Hugh Pennington, one of Britain’s leading microbiologists wants consumers to know that dirty cleaning supplies like sponges can actually be dangerous.

A bacterium called campylobacter remains a big concern for the Health Protection agency. Campylobacter, which naturally occurs from poultry, can result in Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Guillain-Barre syndrome, a potentially deadly muscle disorder, can cause paralysis, severe pain, difficulty breathing and rapid heartbeat. Don’t worry too much though – Guillain-Barre syndrome is rare, at only 1-2 cases per 100,000 people annually and the majority of those affected recover.

If you don’t have access to a dishwasher and sponges are your only option – just remember to sanitize them on a regular basis.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons