Well, as if being soaked in wastewater wasn’t bad enough. Apparently there were a few folks that didn’t quite follow the directions given in news reports detailing a study found in the Journal of Environmental Health. (If you didn’t read my earlier entry regarding this subject, you can find the details here.) Failing to wet their sponges before zapping them in the microwave, some “sponge testers” smoked up their homes after setting the sponges on fire.
The original study was conducted at the University of Florida. Therefore, the university felt it necessary to issue this warning:
To guard against the risk of fire, people who wish to sterilize their sponges at home must ensure the sponge is completely wet. Two minutes of microwaving is sufficient for most sterilization. Sponges should also have no metallic content. Last, people should be careful when removing the sponge from the microwave as it will be hot.
Although the results of the sponge study just came out in December, I read a similar study several years ago that stated the same thing. I can personally attest to having practiced (wet) sponge sterilization via the microwave for years without any adverse effects to me, my home, my sponges, or my microwave.