Sanitize these brushes by soaking

Update:22 Dec 2018

Every time I wash my dishes, I face the eternal question: Am I making my plates more dirty by using this week-old sponge? Perhaps my dining ware gets dirtier than average, but sponges seem to go bad about 3.4 minutes out of the package. But, what am I, a millionaire? I can't go buying new sponges every other day.The bristles of dish brushes tend to shed moisture faster than sponges, meaning they don't develop as much bacteria and bad odors," Stapf says.

They're also very easy to clean!" Put the brush on the top rack of the dishwasher and wash with the rest of your plates. And if you don't have a dishwasher, wash the brush with hot water and soap and use a fork to pick out errant food particles. Also, you should sanitize these brushes by soaking them in distilled white vinegar once a week, according to Stapf. With that kind of care, the kitchen brush will last one to two months.

Though it's great (and environmentally friendly) to try to clean and reuse sponges and other household products, some of them just can't be sanitized. For example, an old kitchen sponge holds about 82 million germs per square inch, according to. And don't even bother with the old "zap it in the microwave" trick. The study also found that regularly sanitized (via microwave, boiling, and bleach) were just as contaminated as never-cleaned sponges.Does that mean every sponge is one-and-done?

What about loofahs, razors, and other limited-use products? To answer these questions (and stop potentially spreading E. coli all over my dishes), I asked cleaning and lifestyle experts to find out how long we can use these household items before they need to go. Luckily, most things don't need to be thrown out immediately, though there are a few items that'll need to take a quick trip to the garbage can.

Microfiber towels