A week ago, news outlets across the world reported that you could sterilize sponges by microwaving them. When we first heard this, we worried that people would start killing gentle sea creatures, but apparently there were other concerns, as well. People were microwaving dry sponges, with disastrous results. Reuters immediately caught flack for omitting a crucial bit of info — microwaves work on water. To sterilize them with microwaves, the sponges need to be wet:
“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,” one correspondent wrote in an e-mail to Reuters.
“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,” complained another.
Over at Engadget, a robust discussion has arisen over dry-sponge-nukers, who demonstrate fundamental misunderstanding of microwave ovens. One commenter summarized:
If in former days you failed to grasp how certain systems within your surroundings work, you were likely to freeze, die from hunger, or get eaten by a bear. Advances in the “quality” of living have allowed for our genepool do degenerate. The burnt sponge – just another example of how mankind promotes its own extinction.
Fortunately, at least the sea sponges will survive.
CBS is reporting additional problems with blindly trusting the microwave to sterilize sponges. We at Medgadget say: buy new sponges, because, you know, they’re not that expensive.