Over 6 million Americans are affected by foodborne illnesses every year; one common culprit is the unsanitary sponge used to clean dishes, pots and pans. In a study in the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers took sponges and soaked them in a cocktail of raw wastewater containing fecal matter, viruses and bacterial spores. Then the wet sponges were microwaved on high for two minutes. The result? Ninety-nine percent of all the living pathogens and bacteria on the sponges were eradicated. Using the microwave to disinfect your sponges before you wash the dishes is a surefire way to protect yourself and your family. Just be sure to use a wet sponge and microwave for no more or less than two minutes for maximum results.