We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Which Household Item Is the Best Incubator for Bacteria?

Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Kitchen sponges are meant for cleaning, but just how clean are they? According to Duke University researchers, because sponges are typically porous, damp, and filled with food particles, they are the perfect place for bacteria to live and thrive – and they can hold 54 billion bacteria per cubic centimeter (.06 cubic inches).

Different types of bacteria can thrive in different holes in a sponge, since the holes range in size. Some bacterial strains prefer isolation, whereas others thrive in more "social" environments. Through testing, the researchers learned that a sponge's bacterial community is more diverse than bacterial communities in liquid cultures, such as those developed in laboratory settings.

Although most of the bacteria that inhabit kitchen sponges are relatively harmless, that's not necessarily always the case. In fact, sponges can serve as ideal breeding grounds for bacteria such as Salmonella. “Sponges are not really well-suited for kitchen hygiene,” said Markus Egert, a microbiologist at Furtwangen University in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. “There’s hardly any sterile surface at home, but the kitchen sponge is probably the most densely populated item at home.”

Fortunately, by simply switching your sponge for a brush, you can make your cleaning implement much less hospitable to bacterial invaders.

Bacteria basics:

  • A single gram (.035 ounces) of soil contains about 40 million bacteria.

  • The average human has roughly the same number of normal body cells as bacterial cells.

  • Bacteria are the oldest-known life form, having survived on Earth for 3.5 billion years.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.