When it comes to the toughest room to clean in your home many people think of the bathroom. While in many cases this may actually be the toughest room to clean, it doesn’t necessarily make it the dirtiest. In fact, the kitchen is often times the dirtiest room in your home. Think about it, the kitchen is the room with the most visitors on a daily basis, not to mention the area where food is prepared and discarded. This also means your kitchen probably has the most dirt and germs. In this article from Enviro Maids, they discuss the areas in your kitchen which are most likely the dirtiest, and ways to clean them.
The Dirtiest Spots in Your Kitchen
Of all the rooms in your house, the kitchen gets the most foot traffic and use. The kitchen is the hub of the home where meals are prepared, children tackle their homework and friends are entertained. It’s no surprise that with so much use, the kitchen is a breeding ground for germs, dirt and grime. It’s important to be aware of some of the common spots in your kitchen that can harbor dangerous germs and bacteria and to learn how to sanitize them.
Kitchen sponge and dish rags
These cleaning aids do a great job of getting the oily, sticky residue off dishes and pots and pans, but if they’re not routinely sanitized they quickly become overloaded with bacteria. According to NSF International, a public health organization, 75% of sponges and dish rags contain disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli. When using these microbe-filled sponges and rags to wipe countertops you are unwittingly spreading harmful bacteria around to surfaces in your kitchen. The solution? A quick and effective way to sanitize a sponge is to dampen it and zap it daily in the microwave on high for two minutes. Let your dish rag dry out completely between uses and use a clean one about once a week. Wash and dry rags on the hottest setting.
Many people don’t think about washing their sink. Hidden areas in and around your kitchen sink such as the faucet handle, the gasket around the garbage disposal and the drain stopper are holding onto dangerous disease-causing pathogens. According to Woman’s Day, lower your chances of foodborne illnesses by cleaning your sink immediately after washing raw chicken, meat and vegetables. Use a disinfectant around the entire sink, faucet, faucet handle, garbage disposal gasket and the drain stopper.
Your coffee maker is routinely brewing cups of coffee, but it may not routinely be getting cleaned. In addition to hot coffee, your coffee pot reservoir can be serving up mold and yeast. To remove the ick factor, wash the individual parts of your coffee maker daily. Once a month, run a cycle with just vinegar followed by several cycles of clean water.
Drawer knobs, refrigerator handles and light switches
These areas fall under the “I didn’t even think to clean them” category. Think about how many times a day someone is grabbing the cabinet handles or pulling on the refrigerator handle. Imagine all the bacteria and grime that accumulates over time. Make a note to include these areas as part of your regular cleaning routine.
Even with a bag lining your kitchen garbage can, food particles, liquids and contaminated chicken, meat and fish juices can leak through. That unpleasant odor emanating from your trash can is a telltale sign that bacteria is lurking and your garbage can is in need of a good scrubbing. Take it outside once a week and spray it inside and out with a disinfectant and give it a good scrubbing.
Reusable grocery bags
Using reusable cloth grocery bags is an important step in helping to eliminate the use of plastic grocery bags. However, according to a University of Arizona/Loma Linda University study, half of the reusable cloth bags they tested came back positive for E. coli. What many fail to realize is that most reusable bags are made of porous, non-washable materials so they soak-up contamination from food and liquids. Look for bags made of washable cotton and launder them after each use (especially when transporting meat and chicken), or at least once a week.