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Old 12-21-2007, 12:04 PM   #61
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I really think that forgetting sponges altogether, using dish clothes, preferably those made of bamboo, putting them in the wash after a day's use, or less, is by far the best way. You can bleach them or the drying temperature should be high enough to kill the bacteria.


I USED to use dishcloths for the kitchen. But now, I can't seem to break the habit of using sponges to wipe up spils on the table and the dishwasher's wood look top, as well as for washing dishes by hand.

I mainly use the dishwasher when I cook big meals like for Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, etc..
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:46 PM   #62
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My dishwasher, on the other hand, raises the temp of the water to get an extra hot steamy 140-degree temp for washing and rinsing the loads. It takes care of the problem of not haveing water that's hot enough to get rid of grease, germs and bacteria, which will die in 140-degree water.
Actually Corey, 140 is still in the danger zone (40-140). You might want to crank that heat up a bit more.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:54 PM   #63
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Actually Corey, 140 is still in the danger zone (40-140). You might want to crank that heat up a bit more.
Sanitizing of dishes by heat takes water at 180 degrees F by law in a restaurant. I don't see how the bacteria would act any different in a home
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:04 AM   #64
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Yes. Bacteria IS killed at 140 degrees.

That is where the temp starts for killing germs.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:20 AM   #65
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Yes. Bacteria IS killed at 140 degrees.

That is where the temp starts for killing germs.
Scroll down to the Food temperature chart here Importance of Kitchen Thermometers - FAQs for Pressure Cooker Users

As you can see, 140 degrees stops the production of bacteria, but doesn't kill all bacteria. Even 165 degrees will not kill all spore forming bacteria like botulism.

The reason why your dishwasher is "safe" at 140 degrees is because bacteria die very quickly without moisture and most things put in a dishwasher are smooth and non-porous and therefore dry quickly.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:19 AM   #66
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Hi Suzy,

Putting a sponge in the dishwasher is like putting it in an incubator. You are giving it the perfect conditions to grow bacteria; moisture, and heat.

The water in you dishwasher is not likely to be hot enough to kill bacteria, particularly those embedded in a sponge. Most home dishwashers only provide water as hot as the water that come out of your tap, 120-130 for most homes. The "heat dry" function is often turned off for fear of melting the "sponge" (which of course isn't really sponge) and even if it isn't, it may not get hot enough to kill all those germs you just bred in the sponge before.

Worse, as the water drips out of the sponge, you are spreading these germs to all your other dishes.

Bleach and water mix, or microwaving a wet sponge (which essentially amounts to putting it is boiling water) are the only to cost effective ways to sanitize a sponge I know of.

And because the microwave uses no chemicals that may cause other problems, that would be my way of choice.

Thanks so much. That makes sense. I'll stick to my weekly microwaving then. And I agree with you about the Lysol. The first thing that I thought when I read that suggestion was that I do NOT want more chemicals in my life, especially at the amount you'd need to saturated the sponge.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:01 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by mozart View Post
Scroll down to the Food temperature chart here Importance of Kitchen Thermometers - FAQs for Pressure Cooker Users

As you can see, 140 degrees stops the production of bacteria, but doesn't kill all bacteria. Even 165 degrees will not kill all spore forming bacteria like botulism.

The reason why your dishwasher is "safe" at 140 degrees is because bacteria die very quickly without moisture and most things put in a dishwasher are smooth and non-porous and therefore dry quickly.


140 degrees will kill most bacteria, but put simply, it needs more time to do it more effectively - hence the longer-running final rinse cycle on my machine.

I once read where dishes rinsed in a temp of about 180 degrees needs only 3 minutes to destroy bacteria, and 140 degrees needs at least 20 to 30 minutes to destroy bacteria.

In the case of botulism, a boiling temp of at least 212 is needed to sterilize the clean jars and lids such as for canning for long-term food storage like veggies, fruits, soups and stews. Everything must be kept impeccably clean and tongs must be used to preclude contamination of the jars and lids - inside and out.

Your hands must ALSO be kept clean and germ-free.
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:47 PM   #68
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Quit using the yellow sponges with green Scotchbrite on one side.
green Scotchbrite will scratch! Switch to the light blue sponges with dark blue Scotchbrite.
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:10 AM   #69
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I don't use either of those.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:58 AM   #70
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I do microwave my sponge, but it definitely has to be the sponge that DOES NOT have that scrubber on the back side.

And in knowing that it kills that much stuff, that is why rarely if ever microwave my food. Not that I was a super huge microwaver, I have just gotten to the point that I just don't feel the need to microwave my food.

It has been a difficult transition, but I am liking how I feel about not doing this to my food.
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