CAUTION: PEOPLE ARE DUMB
But . . . seems that the non-scientific, home version of the sponge + microwave formula leaves out an essential ingredient: Water. I'd assume this was self-explanatory, but you know what "they" say about assuming. Indeed, Reuters reports that:
A study that found microwave ovens can be used to sterilize kitchen sponges sent people hurrying to test the idea this week -- with sometimes disastrous results . . .As to the specifics of the disaster, let's just let a couple of those who suffered tell their tales, via actual e-mails sent to Reuters:
* "Just wanted you to know that your article on microwaving sponges and scrubbers aroused my interest. However, when I put my sponge/scrubber into the microwave, it caught fire, smoked up the house, ruined my microwave, and pissed me off."Whoa. Ruined microwaves, burning tires, pissed off people. Sounds like the West Bank. Anyhow, a press officer from the University had the follwoing to say, when he spoke to reporters:
* "First, the sponge is worthless afterwards so you have to throw it out instead of using it. And second your entire house stinks like a burning tire for several hours, even with windows/doors open."
"We figured, 'wow, we better let people know right away that the sponge should be wet.'"Wow, dude, like maybe you should, like, tell people something, you know. Finally, since the University of Florida had experience putting out fires every time Steve Spurrier opened his mouth, it was quick to release the following press statement:
"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."Hotter than a McDonald's apple pie filling.