Even if you are slogging for hours together cleaning your kitchen, there is still a chance that there are spots that are still unclean. “But how is that possible?” you might ask, “… especially in a kitchen that is sparkling clean?”
A kitchen can be sparkling like new silver, but it can still be home to millions of germs, invisible to the naked eye.
So, what’s the solution?
When you are cleaning your kitchen or even working in it, pay special attention to the spots which are likely to host the majority of germs.
Kelly A. Reynolds, PhD, is an environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health, Tucson. This is what she has to say about germs in the kitchen, “If you’re not killing them, you can go from 10 microbes to millions within 24 hours.”
Here’s a list of the 10 most obvious but neglected spots in the kitchen that need special attention.
- SINK: it is where you wash you veggies, and hands, where you wash the dishes and it is where you dump the chicken fresh from the market. It is no wonder that your kitchen sink is the breeding ground for germs. Wash your sink regularly with a disinfectant. Spray a decent amount of disinfectant on the sink surface; let it rest for some time for it to work and only then should you wipe it off.
- DISH RAG: how ironic is the fact that the wash cloth you use to clean your utensils is a mighty breeding ground for microbes? A dirty rag contaminates instead of cleaning the utensils, and the best way to avoid this contamination is to replace the dish rag regularly. Or you can microwave the wash cloth while it is still damp for two minutes every alternate day.
- COFFEE MAKER: mold and yeast growing in coffee pot reservoirs can cause a lot of harm to your health. You can get rid of the microbes by pouring vinegar into the reservoir and leaving it for about 30 minutes. You can also run a cycle with the vinegar but be sure to follow it up with water cycles till all traces of vinegar are cleared.
- HANDBAG/OFFICE BAG: your hands are full of stuff, or you want a sip of water…you walk into the kitchen and dump your bag on the counter. The action is very simple but it exposes your kitchen to millions of microbes that your bag has accumulated throughout the day. The best way to avoid this is to wipe your bag clean with a disinfectant regularly. But, be sure not to damage the material of the bag. If you search the market, you will come across disinfectants made for particular materials as well.
- KITCHEN EQUIPMENT/ACCESSORIES: these include the refrigerator, the light switches, the cabinet and its handles, stove knobs etc. Keep your disinfectant and wipes at hand so that you can swipe disinfectant over these areas as part of your regular kitchen cleaning. And once a month, rub the entire kitchen down with a strong disinfectant (one that works effectively without harming your kitchen).
- GARBAGE CAN: do you even need an explanation as to why the garbage can is harboring germs? The only way out is to give it a thorough washing with a powerful disinfectant at least once a week. Also, spray a healthy dose of disinfectant near the garbage can, the door handles etc., especially if your garbage can resides in a pull out cabinet.
- THE COUNTERTOP: it is where you cut and clip the non-veg and the veggies. Naturally, it is the breeding ground for microbes. Wipe it clean after you cut raw meat or veggies on it and keep it free of toys and other stuff that might be strewn on the kitchen counter, especially in those households having kids around.
- MICROWAVE: is not necessarily sterilized. The best way to keep your microwave free of microbes is to wipe it down with a strong disinfectant. Cover the food when you heat in the microwave and in case of spills, don’t let them linger, wipe it off immediately.
- GROCERY BAG: it has taken a tour of the supermarkets and the air outside. To avoid getting the germs it has accumulated from being spread, use washable bags. And spray disinfectant on the counter top right after you empty the grocery bags placed on it.
- YOUR HANDS: when you keep dealing with dish rags, raw food, and grocery bags, your hands are the unsuspecting breeding grounds and carriers of microbes. So wash your hand with a disinfectant the moment you are done with cutting or handling the raw meat/fish etc. and use liberal amounts of sanitizers before you touch anything outside the kitchen.
Now that you know all about the common breeding grounds of germs in your kitchen, you are better prepared to take them on and leave your kitchen both sparkling clean and relatively germ free.