The kitchen has more places for germs than anywhere else in your home — even more than your bathroom, on average. We are going to look at those spots where bacteria love to hide and give you some tips and tools to keep them clean and sanitary.
It’s no surprise that germs are lurking in your kitchen sink. From raw meat juices, dirty dishes and leftover food particles, the kitchen sink is a hotbed for bacteria. Therefore, any day that you use your sink for preparing food or soaking dishes, pots and pans, it should be washed down with hot soapy water and a sponge.
Speaking of sponges, there have been many discussions online about the germs found in sponges and what will work to clean them. You handle a wider variety of substances like food and rubbish more frequently in your kitchen, while also touching yourself, which is a major cause of bacteria build up on sponges. Washing your hands as regularly or as correctly as you should before, during, and after food preparation will help cut down on germs.
To clean your sponge, you can either put it in the microwave on high for a minute or try a tool called a SpongeBath that uses citric acid to keep the sponge clean and disinfected.
3. Hand Towels
Hand towels are magnets for nasty germs. More often than not, we mindlessly wipe our hands on our towels, without thinking what we’re leaving behind. Raw meat juices, raw eggs from batter or even rotting food can often be found on a kitchen towel.
The trick is to change them at least once a week — more often if the towels get a lot of use — and wash dirty ones in hot water. You can also add a teaspoon of bleach to the wash to kill bacteria.
4. Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards also can harbor bacteria. If used for cutting raw meat, they can also contain salmonella, which can lead to cross contamination.
To clean a cutting board, submerge it in hot soapy water immediately after each use. You can also disinfect it with a mix of distilled white vinegar, lemon juice and salt. When cutting meats, consider plastic cutting boards that can go in the dishwasher.
5. Salt and Pepper Shakers
Bet you never thought of your salt or pepper shakers as a place where germs are being transferred, but when was the last time you wiped them down with something other than a wet cloth (if that). These items are being handled by everyone in your family, and therefore germs are being spread to everyone.
6. Knobs and Handles
Every kitchen has more than a few door knobs and handles. Between everyday germs that are on your hands and the food germs you find in the kitchen, those cabinet knobs and handles can be full of bacteria. Don’t forget about your appliance either. The handles of your refrigerator are touched countless times a day. Add in the fact that you are opening the fridge with hands that are preparing a meal and you can imagine all the germs and bacteria that are on those handles.
You can use a simple solution of distilled white vinegar and some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and wipe with a microfiber cleaning cloth. The vinegar alone kills 98% of the bacteria, and the alcohol should kill the rest.