The focus of this research was to assess the microbiological contamination of used kitchen sponges as well as the efficacy of natural and chemical disinfectants. Twenty sponges were collected from households in the Ayyampilly area near Vypin in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India. The total viable bacteria (TVC), faecal coliforms (TCC), and fungus (FC) were then quantified. Two prominent isolates, denoted as KSBT18 and KSBT32, were identified as Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus caprae, respectively. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene validated the result. The disc diffusion method was used to test the antibiotic sensitivity of isolated bacterial species on Muller-Hinton agar. Acinetobacter baumannii KSBT18 were resistant to all antibiotics tested, and Staphylococus caprae KSBT32 was found to be resistant to ampicillin, while sensitive to tetracycline and erythromycin. The sponges were disinfected, with both pure natural products (ginger extract, lemon juice and vinegar) and chemical disinfectant (3 % hydrogen peroxide, 0.1% Phenol, and 100% alcohol) for upto15 min. Natural disinfection approaches did not lower bacterial counts, however phenol disinfection (Himedia) demonstrated a larger reduction in total viable bacteria (TC) than the Lysol disinfection method. We found that treating badly polluted kitchen sponges with phenol (0.1 percent) was the most effective way to eliminate bacteria. After 15 min of exposure, bacteria were decreased to 28 CFU/mL, significantly (P < 0.05). The majority of households (65%) cleaned to make their homes 'look clean, smell fantastic, and eliminate germs; nevertheless, householders' perceptions of cleanliness did not always reflect microbiological reality. In terms of home hygiene, more investigation and awareness are required.
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