Food & Wine once published an article citing that many kitchens are dirtier than toilet seats. For instance, did you know that a lot of sponges contain bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and even small amounts of fecal matter?
Many cutting boards are also full of fecal-based bacteria due to raw meat. And kitchen sinks contain more E. coli than toilets do after a good flush.
These facts are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to kitchen-related germs. That’s why it’s important to understand the importance of kitchen cleanliness. Keeping this in mind, here are six tips that will make cleaning your kitchen something that you can feel good about.
Get the Right Cleaning Tools
You can’t achieve the goal of a clean kitchen without having the appropriate kitchen cleaning tools. So, make sure that you have the following:
- Scouring pads are ideal for stainless steel cookware
- A whisk wiper makes it easier to clean your whisks and mixing bowls
- A dish brush with a soap dispenser dispenses soap as you need it
- A silicone scrubber cleans delicate items and can be sanitized in the dishwasher
- Microfiber towels are super-absorbent
- Bar Keepers Friend quickly cleans countertops, sinks, and cookware
There are many other cleaning tools for your kitchen to choose from. However, if these are in your possession, you’re off to a great start.
Make Sure Your Trash Containers Are Big Enough
Is dealing with the trash one of the things that you hate most about keeping your kitchen clean? If so, get yourself a motion sensor trash can. It opens and closes without you having to touch it, so that your hands remain bacteria-free.
Just make sure that your trash containers are big enough or that you’re prepared to change your trash cans daily. Lingering trash not only leaves odors behind, but it can attract bugs and pests too.
A Tip for Kitchen Sinks: Wash Your Sink After You Wash the Dishes
It might surprise you to know that 15 percent of homes have E. coli in their kitchen sinks. That’s why it’s important to disinfect your sink daily. That’s how you reduce the spread of germs.
For instance, if you’re used to washing raw meat in your sink, you should wash your sink afterward. If you don’t, your dishes and other foods (like produce) could become contaminated.
You can sanitize your sink by washing it with antibacterial dish soap and water. Then follow that up with some disinfecting wipes. Make sure to also sanitize your drain by pouring a mixture of a quart of water and a tablespoon of bleach down it.
Clean kitchen sinks should be a top priority when it comes to maintaining kitchen cleanliness.
Do Not Overload Your Fridge
If you’re not giving your refrigerator a thorough cleaning every 3-4 months, now would be the time to start. That’s because it’s an appliance that potentially has lots of germs and bacteria in it. Plus, not cleaning it regularly can block air vents and overwork your fridge’s condenser.
If cleaning your refrigerator is not your favorite thing to do, here are some helpful tips:
- Use distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water because they sanitize and deodorize without the use of harsh chemicals
- Clean with microfiber towels because they absorb water and are more efficient
- Soak the refrigerator drawers in your sink so that you can get the “grime” around their edges
- Use a toothbrush to remove crumbs and spills from your refrigerator’s seals
- Defrost your freezer
- Clean the outside of your refrigerator with vinegar or anti-bacterial wipes
Sanitize Your Faucet on a Regular Basis
We’ve already talked about how important it is to clean kitchen sinks. But how much thought have you given to cleaning your kitchen sink’s faucet?
Since the COVID-19 virus can live on stainless steel for up to three days and salmonella can survive on surfaces for up to four hours, cleaning your faucet is essential. In fact, you should clean it once a week and sanitize it once a month. You should also replace your faucet annually.
One of the easiest ways to disinfect your faucet is to implement these few steps:
- Fill a small plastic bag with one-part water and one-part distilled vinegar
- Attach the bag to your faucet with a rubber band
- Let the bag sit on the faucet for 30 minutes
- Remove the bag
- Let your faucet run with hot water for one minute
Out of the tips for keeping your kitchen clean, this is one that is underrated and can make a big difference.
Cover Food When Using the Microwave
Here’s something that might surprise you: microwaves don’t kill bacteria. The heat from the microwave may kill some of the bacteria in food, but you must be hypervigilant about keeping the appliance germ-free.
Since E. coli and salmonella can survive in a microwave, make sure that you cover your food whenever you use it. That will keep food from splattering, which keeps the appliance clean and prevents germs from spreading.
When it comes to cleaning your microwave, here are some steps that work like a charm:
- Put some lemon or orange slices in a microwave-safe bowl
- Add a cup of distilled water
- Put the bowl into the microwave
- Run it on high for seven minutes
- Allow your microwave to cool for five minutes and clean the interior with a sponge
The citrus will clean your microwave as the heat makes it easier to remove any residue. Once you do this (and sweep and mop your kitchen floor), you will have a clean kitchen — one that is bacteria and germ-free
Now you know how to clean your kitchen easily and efficiently. As you can see, it’s all about implementing the right steps.
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