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The one spot in your kitchen that is dirtier than your toilet!

The kitchen’s the heart of the home, but, according to Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at University of Arizona, it’s also the heart of its germs. Between prepping and cleaning, the kitchen is a veritable incubator for bacteria. Here, Gerba (his nickname is Dr. Germ BTW) reveals the 5 germiest places in your kitchen.

Kitchen sponge

“The kitchen sponge is wet and moist, always soaking up coliform bacteria. It’s like bacterial heaven,” says Gerba. In addition to coliform bacteria, Gerba also found 15 percent of sponges in a random study had salmonella growing in them.

Solution: Use paper towels to wipe up spills. Clean counters with an antibacterial kitchen wipe like Lysol or Clorox. Make it a habit to microwave thoroughly wet sponges for 1 to 2 minutes every day to sanitize them.

Kitchen sink

“Kitchen sinks are full of germs,” says Gerba. “Think about it, everything is slopped into it. You cut raw meat then rinse off the cutting board in the sink. There’s more fecal bacteria in a sink than there is in a flushed toilet! That’s why dogs drink out of the toilet. They know better than to drink out of the kitchen sink,” he laughs.

Solution: Wash the sink with hot, soapy water, especially after handling meat and poultry. Every day, wipe out the sink using disinfectant kitchen wipes.

Cutting board

With 200 times more coliform bacteria than a toilet seat, cutting boards are hot beds of germs. When used to cut up poultry and meats, they can also have salmonella and campylobacter bacteria.

Solution: Wash the board in hot, soapy water after each use, then, to kill remaining germs, put it in the dishwasher or disinfect it with bleach (2 tablespoons of bleach to 1 gallon of water) or a good disinfecting kitchen cleaner like Lysol. To minimize cross-contamination, Gerba recommends using colored cutting boards: one for meats, one for veggies and one for poultry.

Read more about this at Today.com

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