This is the filthiest thing in your kitchen

Sarah Carty

Kitchens can get pretty gross.

From the grease in your oven to the bits of random food in your fridge - it definitely needs a good scrub from time-to-time.

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However it turns out that you may be making it even dirtier by giving it a surface clean because new research has revealed your sponge is the filthiest thing in your kitchen.

New research has found a sponge is the dirtiest thing in your kitchen. Photo: Getty Images

Yes, that’s right, the thing you use to wipe up any spills and make your worktops shine is actually filled with bacteria you’re simply spreading around every day.

According to new research, published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, a whole colony of bacteria could be living on your sponge and you should actually replace it every week.

The researchers took 28 samples of bacteria from 14 different used sponges and tested them to see how harmful they were.

They found that because sponges are usually left wet and moist after they’re used, they are a natural breeding ground for unwanted bacteria.

Research shows you should throw it out every week. Photo: Getty Images

And while you may think you’re exempt from this research because you throw your sponge in a bowl of boiling water every week, then we’ve got some bad news for you.

The research showed that sponges, which were ‘sterilised’, were actually no cleaner than the sponges left out on the kitchen bench.

During the study, the people who supplied their sponges were asked if they cleaned it on a regular basis and most said they replace it about every month.

It's a playground for nasty bacteria. Photo: Getty Images

"Our work demonstrated that kitchen sponges harbour a higher bacterial diversity than previously thought," the researchers wrote in the study.

They also found that most of the sponges were filled with Gammaproteobacteria, which could potentially lead to E. coli infection, food poisoning and cholera.

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