Microwave ovens can be used to quickly kill harmful bacteria and viruses on kitchen sponges and plastic scrubbers, say University of Florida researchers.
They found that two minutes in the microwave destroyed most of the bacteria and other bugs that can cause food poisoning and other illnesses.
"People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave," study co-author Gabriel Bitton, professor of environmental engineering and an expert on wastewater microbiology, said in a prepared statement.
For their study, the researchers soaked sponges and scrubbing pads in raw wastewater that included faecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores. They then used a normal kitchen microwave to zap the sponges and scrubbing pads.
Two minutes on full microwave power killed or inactivated more than 99 percent of all the pathogens on the sponges and pads. It took four minutes to totally inactivate certain bacterial spores.
The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Environmental Health, the most recent issue of the journal. – (HealthDayNews)
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