Is Your Kitchen Really Clean?

October 11, 2013
English: collection of copper saucepans in kit...

A tidy kitchen is nice, but a germ-free kitchen is a must! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know where your kitchen germs hide?  Family caregivers focus on keeping their aging parents and other loved ones healthy by maintaining a tidy home and a clean kitchen.  However, some of the most common items in our kitchen can harbor the most germs.

Check out these four common germ hotels!

1. Watch those sponges

Sponges can be a breeding ground for germs

Sponges can be a breeding ground for germs

Sponges are a great aid in the kitchen, but they’re also potential
breeding grounds for bacteria: the sponge’s moisture and its
general warmth is a germ incubator.  Make sure that sponges are either replaced or thoroughly cleaned weekly.  To clean a sponge, use one of these methods:

  • Soak the sponge for five minutes in a mixture of one gallon hot water and ¾ cup of bleach.
  • Soak the sponge in water and then microwave on high for one minute.
  • Soak the sponge in vinegar for five minutes.

2. Check the towels

Towels also accumulate bacteria, so change these daily.  Also, let
hand-washed dishes and pots and pans “air dry” if possible, rather
than towel-drying; if towel-drying is necessary, use only fresh, clean
towels or paper towels.

3. Don’t forget the kitchen sink when chasing kitchen germs

Busy cooks have sinks in which water is constantly flowing, so they may think that cleaning them requires nothing more than an occasional wipe with soapy water. Actually, it’s a good idea to clean the sink with a solution of one teaspoon bleach for every one quart water (hot, of course).

4. Take it from the top

Keeping stovetops and countertops clean is very important

Keeping stovetops and countertops clean is very important.

Knowing how to be a great caregiver also means ensuring that your work area and your tools are always clean before you get started on a meal.  Countertops should be wiped down and any knives, spatulas, forks, measuring utensils, etc. should always be kept nice and clean.  If your utensils have been sitting unused for a while, give them a quick wash before starting. Don’t stop cleaning at just the countertop; stovetops can get messy very quickly, so clean them properly after each use.  Make sure the refrigerator is regularly cleaned, as well. Trying to squeeze in the time to give the kitchen that extra sparkle can be challenging, but it’s worth it to know that you’re keeping bacteria away from you and your loved ones.

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