It surprises many people to learn that the kitchen harbors more germs than the bathroom. There are several reasons for this, including the common presence of pests, germs from foods and the lack of frequent sanitizing. Here are ways to sanitize the most germ-ridden items and areas in your kitchen.
The Kitchen Sponge
A kitchen sponge can harbor 20 million microorganisms because their warm moist environment is exceptionally microbe-friendly.
Clean a non-metallic sponge by wetting it and then microwaving it on high for two minutes. Let it sit and cool for a while to avoid burning yourself.
If you need to clean several sponges, soak them in a solution of three-fourths cup of bleach per gallon of water. Get rid of sponges when they degrade.
Reduce cross-contamination potential by designating one board for meats, another for vegetables and another for cheeses. Wash wood or plastic cutting boards with water and dish soap, and then wipe them down with a solution of two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Let them air dry.
Knobs and Handles
The most germ-ridden knobs and handles are usually on the oven, microwave and the refrigerator door. Grease and oil from cooking, or oil and bacteria from your hands create mediums for germ growth. Wash knobs and handles with dish soap to cut the grease. After rinsing, wipe them down with a two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water solution.
The Can Opener
Can openers contact food each time they are used. Food debris invites microbe growth, and this puts other food at risk each time you use the opener.
Unplug electrical can openers before cleaning. Use a soapy toothbrush to loosen debris from the sharp areas and teeth of the opener. Use a wet cloth to rinse off the areas, and then wipe it with the bleach solution.
Wash non-electric openers in your dishwasher or by hand, and then dip them in a solution of two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.
Sinks and Countertops
These can harbor just about any germ you can imagine, including E. coli. Clean them daily and wipe them down with the bleach solution.Consider marking kitchen-sanitizing dates on your calendar so that you won’t forget this important home maintenance task. You will keep yourself and your family healthier.