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This is the dirtiest object in your home

If you’re curious what is the leading culprit in harboring bacteria in your home, you’re about to be grossed out. It’s not your shoes, your purse, or even the toilet. It’s an object you actually claim to use for cleaning — the kitchen sponge. A new study published in Scientific Reports found that the kitchen sponge, given its constant contact with water and food particles, is a good place for bacteria to grow. The results may be unsurprising, but the amount of bacteria is where we might underestimate the situation. Sponges showed a density of 54 billion bacteria per cubic centimeter — about equivalent to the number of bacteria in human feces. Yikes. “Despite common misconception, it was demonstrated that kitchen environments host more microbes than toilets,” the researchers wrote in the study. “This was mainly due to the contribution of kitchen sponges which were proven to represent the biggest reservoirs of active bacteria…

Experts say this is the best way to load silverware in a dishwasher

At some point it’s likely that you’ve opened a dishwasher to find your spouse or roommate loaded or rearranged it in a way you felt very strongly about. Chances are, how you load a dishwasher is nearly ingrained in you at this point, and whether grounded in truth or not, you have ideas about how the task is done most efficiently. This includes the decision to load silverware handle side up or handle side down. An ongoing poll on Houzz shows that people are split nearly 50/50 on the debate. The handle-side-up argument states that knives and forks can cause serious injuries to the person who will be unloading the machine. The handle-side-down camp insists that cutlery doesn’t get nearly as clean when it’s hidden in the basket, and also that handle side pointing down allows for less silverware overall to fit in each load. So which is the correct way? TipHero looked at various…

Stop bacteria from building up in your knife block

How to Clean a Knife Block Your floors, fridge, countertops and even oven make in on to your regular cleaning checklist, but there’s one surface in your kitchen you have probably never even touched. Consider your knife block. Sure, your knives are clean when you stow them in the slots, but dust and other debris can accumulate in these small spaces anyway. Despite our usual disregard for them, knife blocks should actually be washed and sanitized monthly if use frequently. Moisture can lead to mold and bacteria build-up, so to avoid larger cleaning issues, wash knives after each use and dry each thoroughly before sliding back into the knife block. Sanitize a knife block by following these simple steps: Step 1: Remove any knives stored in the block and set aside. Turn the block upside side over the sink and shake lightly to remove large debris. Step 2: Use a…

Dirty Dozen: Fruits, vegetables with the most pesticides

Nearly 70 percent of sampled produce was found to have significant pesticide residue, according to a new report by one government agency. The biggest offender? Strawberries. The Environmental Working Group released its 2017 list of the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” items in the produce isle. Strawberries, spinach and nectarines took the top spots of shame, while sweet corn, avocados and pineapples were rated the “cleanest.” At least 178 different pesticides were found on the produce, even after they were washed, and in some instances, peeled. Pesticides have been known to cause a number of health issues, including short-term problems like headaches and digestive troubles to chronic conditions like cancer and endocrine disruption. “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior analyst. It’s particularly important to reduce young children’s exposures to pesticides, says Lunder. “Even low levels…