Your Kitchen Sponge Is As Nasty As You Think It Is—More So, In Fact

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We don’t know about you, but kitchen sponges really gross us out. They are, in fact, the number-one reason we avoid doing dishes and won’t eat off an office plate that hasn’t been run through the dishwasher (as opposed to being hand-washed). There’s just no way your plate is getting cleaner after rubbing it with the accumulated debris from other dirty dishes—right?

Right. Mythbusters has gone so far as to claim kitchen sponges are dirtier than toilet seats, which is something we really could have gone our whole lives without verifying. If you, like us, kind of always suspected this and therefore go out of your way to clean your sponges, we have more bad news. Researchers in Germany determined that most cleaning techniques—such as boiling in water—are ineffective in terms of killing the bacteria that creep up on them. Instead, they suggest you replace your sponge weekly, which has us thinking like entrepreneurs and wondering if we shouldn’t start a Dollar Shave Club–esque subscription company for this household item. Our sponges would definitely be sold in fun, millennial-appropriate shapes like avocado and, erm, that’s all we can think of … so they’d essentially just be oval-shaped. Shark Tank, here we come!