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2 minutes in the microwave sterilizes sponges, scrub pads: study
"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," lead researcher Gabriel Bitton, a University of Florida professor of environmental engineering, said in a release.
Bitton soaked sponges in wastewater containing fecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores. Researchers found that putting the sponges in the microwave for two minutes on full power killed more than 99 per cent of the living pathogens on the sponges.
The more resilient Bacillus cereus spores, which can cause diarrhea, needed to be zapped for four minutes to be killed.