Stinky dish cloths

Why the stink?
That sour smell isn’t just unpleasant — it’s the aroma of bacteria breeding. Between food particles, grease, stuff rubbed off of your hands while using it, and moisture, there’s plenty of food to help bacteria grow.

To make matters even more disgusting, that bacteria will get transferred to any surface you wipe with a smelly dishrag: your counters, sink, appliances, even your hands. From there, it’s a short step to food contamination.

Researchers from the University of Florida have discovered that our good old friend the microwave kills up to 99 percent of all bacteria commonly found in homes. Even the most stubborn viruses, which can cause us to become really ill, don’t survive the microwave. Now, don’t go putting your dry dishcloth into the microwave, because that can be a bit of a fire hazard. If you do it the right way, though, you’ll see (and smell) that your dishcloth is ready to use once more without all the bacteria.

Here’s what you need to do: drench the dishcloth in water. Then, put it into the microwave and turn it on for 1 or 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on the microwave, because like we said; a dry cloth poses a fire hazard. This trick doesn’t work for sponges that contain metal; you’re not supposed to put those into the microwave under any circumstances!

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