15 Germiest Places in Your Kitchen You Should Be Cleaning – But Aren’t from 15 Germiest Places in Your Kitchen You Should Be Cleaning – But Aren’t
15 Germiest Places in Your Kitchen You Should Be Cleaning – But Aren’t
People are told to stay home when they are sick, and rightfully so. However, they won’t stay in their rooms all day and the truth is that your home could have been what made you sick in the first place.
The kitchen is easily one of the dirtiest places in a home because it gets the most traffic. We frequently use our sponges, and open the refrigerator daily. When you touch the cabinets, fridge, sink, or dish towel, do you clean them afterwards? If not, the germs are still there and the amount of bacteria is increasing every day.
“This is the collection site for all the bacteria washed off dishes, utensils, cutting boards, and the hands,” Tetro says. “Try to keep this disinfected at least once a week and immediately after handling raw meat.”
If you are cutting up vegetables, there is no need to worry. “But if you are using the board to cut meat, the bacteria can hide in the grooves and possibly contaminate other food items,” Tetro says. “Disinfect this immediately after use.”
“Although it is cold, the fridge can still allow many types of bacteria and fungi to grow,” Tetro says. “The best way to stay safe is to clean out the fridge and disinfect it at least once every season and immediately after seeing any spills from raw meats.”
“The microwave is usually clean but spills do happen and what’s left behind may allow bacteria and fungi to grow,” Tetro says. “If you see a spill, clean it up with hot water and soap. As for those splatters, they should be removed immediately.”
“The likelihood of pathogens is quite low but the bacteria on fresh produce will smell over time,” Tetro says. “Make sure to clean out the drawer with hot water and soap at least once a season and immediately with disinfectant should any of the food turn liquid due to rotting.”
“Can openers can be a source for cross-contamination. Although most canned foods are safe, the surfaces of the cans themselves may possess bacteria,” Tetro says. It is “best to give it a wash with hot water (handheld) or a spray with a disinfectant (automated) to keep it safe.”
Dishwasher, Microwave, and Oven Handles
Tetro says that he has tested these and found them to be highly contaminated with bacteria. “Always be sure to wipe them down with hot water and soap and scrub off any hardened material.”
“These are textile petri plates and will allow all bacteria and fungi to grow,” Tetro says. “Make sure to launder them in hot water, and if you can get away with some bleach, it will help.”
The Blender Gasket
“Much like the coffee maker, we tend to forget about what is left inside the gasket. This offers bacteria a chance to grow and form biofilms,” Tetro says. “Rinsing with hot water with every use will help and a good disinfection once every month will ensure cleanliness.”
Knife Block Slots
“If you are not properly cleaning the knife with hot water and soap followed by appropriate drying, these slots can become wonderful places for bacteria to grow,” Tetro says. “They also may not be easy to clean.” If you are concerned, Tetro says that you should use a soapy paper towel to determine if there is any organic material inside. “If so, you may have to disinfect it or possibly get a new block.”
“Most people clean spatulas but sometimes the edge ends up becoming crusty with burnt food. If you don’t scrape that off, you are allowing bacteria and possibly fungi from the environment to get into this source of nutrition and grow,” Tetro says. “If you feel the edge is rough rather than smooth, use a scrub brush to get it off and make sure to use hot water and soap to clean it.”
Coffee Maker Reservoir
“This is one of the most common places where fungi can grow. Make sure to wash it with hot water at least once a month,” Tetro says. “If you see [colors] such as green or yellow, disinfect the area and be sure to rinse it well.”
“The splatter from cooking can leave an opportunity for bacteria and fungi in the environment to grow,” Tetro says. “Meat juices and other organic liquids may already contain bacteria making this even more troublesome.” Always wipe down the knobs using hot water and soap, he adds.
“Disinfect the garbage can as soon as you get rid of the garbage,” Tetro says. “It’s quick, simple, and can ensure it stays safe and smells nice.”