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So maybe you’re a clean freak like me. You probably clean all the time and think your kitchen is spotless. To the naked eye, it probably is.
But what you don’t realize: your kitchen harbors some of the dirtiest areas of your home.
Here’s the list of the 8 dirtiest places in your kitchen:
1. Coffee Pot
When was the last time you cleaned your coffee pot? If it was more than a month ago, mold and yeast are probably lurking in the coffee maker. To keep it clean and keep mold and yeast to a minimum, clean your coffee pot once a month. Experts recommend, filling the reservoir with vinegar and letting it stand for 30 minutes. Run a cycle with the vinegar followed by several clean, plain water cycles. Wash the pot’s parts, like the brew basket and carafe, after each use.
Nasty germs can linger in your sink long after you’ve cleaned the food that contains the contaminants like salmonella and Ecoli. Once you touch the sink and then touch another part of your kitchen, you’ve started the process of spreading those germs. Clean your sink immediately after rinsing raw meat, veggies and pet bowls. Use a disinfectant that kills most bacteria and viruses, on the faucet, sink sides, sink bottom and sink strainers.
3. Dish Rags, Sponges, and Dish Brushes
75 percent of dish towels, dish brushes and sponges are crawling with germs and bacteria, including Ecoli. Replace dish rags daily, and to kill the germs, launder them in hot water and dry on hot. Change sponges every few days or throw wet sponges in the microwave for 2 minutes to kill germs. Spray dish brushes daily with disinfectant or put into the dishwasher to sanitize.
4. Knobs, Handles, and Light Switches
Switches, knobs and handles can be frequently contaminated by dirty hands that might have bacteria on them and haven’t been washed after handling raw meat, chicken and other substances. You’ve got to remember to thoroughly wash your hands after handling raw meat and chicken before you grab that cabinet handle or turn the knob on the stove. Second, wipe down these areas as part of your regular kitchen disinfecting routine. At a minimum, swipe a disinfectant wipe across these surfaces at least once a month and immediately following touching them after handling unwashed produce and raw poultry and meat.
5. Garbage Can
Probably no surprise here to know your garbage can is a super dirty place in your kitchen. All that food and waste you toss away each day can leave behind an unbelievable amount of germs. In fact, that lingering smell in an empty trash barrel is often the scent of bacteria. Once a week, clean out the trash barrel — either outside or in the shower — and spray inside and out with a disinfectant. Don’t forget to disinfect the cabinet handle and door if your garbage can is stored underneath your kitchen cabinet.
6. Counter Tops
Any time you place stuff on the counter you’re spreading and depositing germs. All that unwashed produce, grocery bags, lunch boxes, backpacks and your pocket book can deposit germs. Disinfect your counter before and after preparing both raw and cooked food. Keep pets and their dishes and toys off the counter, since they can carry bacteria such as Staph. If you have cats who routinely get on the counter, this will be important to remember.
We’ve all seen them – the microwave that looks like something exploded in it. All of the leftover particles of food is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Wipe down with a disinfectant inside and out at least once a week, and clean up spills immediately to prevent microbes from multiplying.
8. Reusable Bags
They are helpful to the environment, but may be harmful to you. Most of these bags are porous, so juices from meat can soak into the fibers. Look for bags that are washable, then launder in hot water and dry on hot after use or at a minimum at least once a week.
Keeping your kitchen clean and free of germs is easy. Stop the spread of germs that will make your family sick.
Just leave a canister of Lysol or Clorox wipes on the counter, and you’ll have at your fingertips what you’ll need to rid your kitchen of germs.
It will be as easy as pull and wipe. And in the end, you’ll be ensuring your family stays healthy and the kitchen germ-free.