You may clean your countertops using a dish cloth, paper towel or sponge. If your method reuses the same cleaning aids again and again, they can become potential breeding farms for bacteria, molds and yeasts. Sponges have the worst reputation, but kitchen dishrags come in close second.
You don't have to stop using these handy and often cost-effective aids. Just make sure to clean them after every use, dry them thoroughly between uses and replace them every couple of weeks. Your best option for cleaning sponges is to zap them in the microwave. Microwaving sponges kills 99.9 percent of bacteria. Just wet the sponge and nuke it for two and a half minutes. The sponge will be hot, so let it cool down a couple of minutes before you use it. Get in the habit of tossing dishrags in the dishwasher or washing machine every time you clean. You can also sanitize sponges and dishrags using disinfectant or a bleach solution we'll get to in just a second.