The kitchen accumulates bacteria in some of the most surprising places and has the potential to harbor things like salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria, yeast and mold. Eliminate the spread of bacteria and the risk of contamination, both of which causes illness, by removing microbes from your kitchen’s most used surfaces. (According to the USDA, in “optimum conditions”, bacteria can “doubl[e] in number in as little as 20 minutes.” Yuck!
1. Countertops — Everything you place on the counter can transfer bacteria. To avoid this, clean countertops regularly. Start by clearing them of clutter and anything that doesn’t belong. Give them a good wipe down to remove crumbs, dust and grime. Hint: The Kitchen Dynamo is perfect for this task as it will remove all of these things and over 99% of bacteria as well!
2. Refrigerator shelves and drawers — The NSF International Household Study (2013) found that the germiest item in the kitchen was the vegetable drawer. If you’re going to be cleaning those drawers, you might as well clean the whole refrigerator. Empty the fridge and throw away anything that’s questionable or expired. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom wiping down the shelves and drawers. This prevents particles from falling onto clean surfaces.
3. Refrigerator water and ice dispensers — Hard water buildup and standing water settle in and around your refrigerator’s water and ice dispensers making it easier for bacteria and grime to grow. You’ll probably have to scrub a little harder, but you’ll be glad you did. The Washing Up Pad is a perfect choice for this as it won’t ruin the surface, but will break up and remove the deposits.
4. Sink, garbage disposal gasket and drain trap — The sink does a lot of work. Make sure to clean it out regularly – at least a few times a week, especially after rinsing raw meat. Pay special attention the garbage disposal and drain trap where food particles often get stuck.
5. Can opener — Is the liquid from that can of tuna fish you opened last week still on the can opener? If that grosses you out, it’s probably time to give it a good cleaning. According to Huffington Post, the can opener is the fourth germiest place in the kitchen and test swabs have shown salmonella, E. Coli and more. Ick! Wipe the blades (carefully) with soap and water. Or if it’s dishwasher safe, you can throw it in the top shelf instead.
6. Coffee maker — It’s a good idea to clean our your coffee pot about once a month to remove grounds, hard water build up and any other grime that has settled inside the machine. Most manufacturers recommend adding a cup of vinegar to a pot of water and running it through, then rinse with a regular pot of water.
7. Stove knobs, cabinet pulls, oven, microwave and fridge handles — This is where the real bacteria builds up. Think of how often these surfaces are touched. Hint: Cleaning them is as easy as a little water and a Kitchen Cloth or Glass & Polishing Cloth!
8. Garbage can — Well, this one seems pretty obvious. It’s a dirty place; clean it up every couple weeks. For even more bacteria control – and to get into a good habit — clean it out every time you change out a trash bag.
9. Reusable grocery bags — Reusable grocery bags are some of the greatest things created! But they harbor so much bacteria! It’s a good idea to clean them after every grocery trip. We like to spray them with water and wipe down with a Wash & Wipe Dish Cloth. (Most of the fabric ones can actually be washed in the washing machine. Remember to use the gentle/delicate cycle.)
What other suggestions do you have? Please share with us in the Comments section below.