A Clean Kitchen is a Healthy Kitchen
Learn how to Clean and Disinfect
to Kill Germs that can Create and Spread Illness.
In an average American home, the kitchen sink harbors more fecal material than the bathroom.
Although people may not use the bathroom sink to wash their hands, they
are definitely using the kitchen sink. In fact, according to microbiologist Charles Gerba of Arizona State University, the kitchen sink is the “arrival zone” for all manner of germs that have travelled not just with your hands but also with your food. Uncooked eggs, raw meat, and even vegetables can all bring disease-causing bacteria and germs.
Where Germs Hide
From the sink, it is but a short microbial hop to any sponges,
rags or dishtowels in the vicinity. Gerba found that after
testing 1,000 households in five major American cities that at
least two-thirds of all sponges had some form of bacteria that
could make a person ill. Ten percent of all dish towel samples
had Salmonella. Although it may not look like it, the dirtiest
and most disease-ridden spot in your house is very likely your
Death to Germs
Your first line of prevention in stopping the spread of
diseases and germs with a kitchen sponge is to stop using it
to clean counters, sinks, or stove tops. Use paper towels or
bleach wipes, not dish towels, to wipe down surfaces and
collect food particles. Then dispose of the used paper towels
or wipes. You can make your own bleach cleaner by using a ten percent
solution of bleach and water to clean sinks, faucets, and nearby surfaces such as
cutting boards. You can also use a germ-resistant or
anti-microbial sponge to lessen the degree to which it becomes
infected. However, no matter how well you manage to avoid
contact between your sponge and bacteria, contact will indeed
happen. At that point, you don’t necessarily have to dispose
of the sponge, depending on how contaminated it has become
(let your nose and eye be your guide). However, you will need
to sanitize it.
Sanitizing Beach Solution:
- 1/4 cup bleach
- 2 1/4 cup water
Clean the Cleaner
According to research by the USDA Agricultural Research
Service, microwaving your dish sponge is an extremely
efficient way to eliminate contamination–better than the
dishwasher with a dry cycle and also better than soaking in a
ten percent bleach solution. Although the USDA used a one
minute test, environmental engineers at the University of
Florida recommend two minutes in order to rid the sponge of
virtually any living organism. However, whether you microwave
for one minute or two you should only microwave a wet sponge.
Otherwise, there is the potential for a fire hazard. Note also
that a microwaved sponge will likely be too hot to handle
right away. Even better yet, soak the sponge in a
solution of white vinegar & water before
Depending on how often you cook and wash dishes, a good rule
of thumb in terms of frequency is every other day. If you
don’t use your sponge often, then microwaving it every time
you use it might be a more memorable rule. Beware of
microwaving, however, if the sponge has an odor, since
microwaving it may spread that odor to the microwave. In that
case, it might be best to discard it and start fresh. Although
most people know how to use a microwave, it’s also worth
noting that you should never microwave a sponge that has any
metal in it. Dish towels are a much easier matter. Launder
them in hot water with bleach, according to the instructions
on the bleach container.
Although it’s alarmingly easily to have all sorts of
bacteria and germs spread from the kitchen sink, concentrated
primarily in the ubiquitous kitchen sponge, it’s also not
difficult to curb the onslaught. Use the sponge for dishes
only and disinfect it regularly. Use the dish towels for
dishes only and launder them with bleach. Use disposable paper
towels and disposable bleach wipes for
everything else when you need to disinfect. In essence, use your knowledge of the fact
that microbes galore are found in the kitchen and act with
hygienic awareness when handling anything that comes into
contact with it.
with Distilled White Vinegar
only is vinegar great to clean and disinfect with, it is the
new "green cleaner." Although our parents
and grandparents already knew this long before green
cleaners were popular!
Edible and biodegradable.
so no more breathing chemical fumes
to use around children and pets
Pour Vinegar into Plastic Spray
Bottles for easier use.
Heinz now sells a 1 gallon jug of cleaning
A truly economical way to clean your whole
THINGS TO CLEAN DAILY AND
SANITIZE WITH A SPRAY BOTTLE OF WHITE VINEGAR & PAPER TOWELS
Spritz surfaces with vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.
Wipe surfaces using hot soapy water.
Kitchen Sink - Facet and
Door and Handles
Door and Door Handles
The kitchen Sink should always be the
first thing you wash and also the last thing you wash. Never
start cooking before first scrubbing the kitchen sink and rinsing
well with hot water.
Spray the sink with vinegar
and let sit for 10 minutes. Squirt a small amount of dish
liquid into the sink and lightly scrub with a paper towel. Rinse
well with hot water.
15 Minute Natural Sink
Cleanse & Shine:
Make sure the sink is
empty and rinse out any large food particles.
Spray sink, rim, and facets with
vinegar from your spray bottle.
Let sit for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle sink with baking
soda and pour a few tablespoons down the drain as well.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of
white vinegar down the drain.
Add just a few drops of
liquid detergent to the sink and scrub sink with a damp
paper towel making sure to scrub the sides of sink and sink
Rinse well with hot water
and dry with a paper towel.
To shine the sink: lightly
spray sink and facet with vinegar and wipe with a dry paper towel.
THESE SIMPLE 8 STEPS
AND YOUR SINK WILL BE
CLEAN AND SHINY!
When to Disinfect
If you are working with raw
meats, fruits, or vegetables, sanitize the sink and
counter tops by using disinfectant wipes or a sanitizing
bleach solution. Don't forget
to wipe everything you've touched including the salt &
pepper shakers. This will kill any salmonella or E. coli
bacteria that could be present from handling raw foods.
Forget the Dog Bowls!
if you have a pet, its feed bowl is likely to be
littered with bacteria just under the rim, and contains
more germs than your garbage bin. However, it will not
be as hazardous as your kitchen sink, nearest to the
Other places at home bacteria love
are your TV remote control, children’s
toys, pet toys, highchairs, baby-changing mats, training potties, washing
machine, toothbrush and hairbrush. In fact, the list could go on and on.
However, do not be too alarmed. According to microbial ecologist Noah Fierer, there are bacteria just about everywhere, and you can clean like crazy and some will still be present. As long as you follow the average cleaning regime most people have, you can live alongside bacteria without having to worry.