t’s where we prepare meals, store food and sit down to dinner with the family. But your kitchen harbours more germs than any other room in your house. Yes, even the toilet. Cleaning the kitchen may seem a daunting task, but in the war on bacteria, knowledge is power.
Sponges, dish cloths and brushes
Sponges and dish cloths are the worst offenders in the home for nurturing germs. To disinfect them, clean them first using detergent and warm water then soak them in a disinfectant for 15 minutes. Wring out as much liquid as you can and allow to dry. Soak washing-up brushes in disinfectant then allow to dry brush-head up.
Many people use this handy tool every day, but if you toss it back the drawer without a good cleaning, you maybe exposing your family to bacteria, yeast, and mold. De-gunk it: It’s especially important to clean the area where the groove meets the can, and make sure you get rid of all food residue. Even better, buy one that’s dishwasher safe and wash after each use.
Keep germs at bay by cleaning sinks with disinfectant or a bleach solution. Use an old toothbrush (disinfected first) to give special attention to the plughole and sink overflow.
Taps, fridge handles and stove dials
Clean frequently touched surfaces regularly with warm water and detergent. Spray with an antibacterial spray such as Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser and dry thoroughly.
Eating and cooking utensils
It’s the hot water, not the washing-up liquid, that kills germs on your pots, pans, plates, and cutlery (silverware). If you can tolerate only lukewarm water, consider switching to a dishwasher.
If you can’t do the dishes right away, cut germs by scraping off food, but don’t leave pans or dishes to soak if you won’t get back to them within two hours – stagnant water is a breeding ground for germs.
If your chopping board is dishwasher safe, the easiest and most hygienic way to clean it is to put it through a dishwasher cycle with a minimum temperature of 65C. As an alternative, clean with hot water and detergent, then pour freshly boiled water over it. An antibacterial spray will help keep it germ-free.
Inside the fridge
Stay on top of drips and spills. When raw meat drips on a shelf, for example, spray an antibacterial cleaner onto a cloth, not the fridge shelf, or use an antibacterial wipe to clean the spill. Always store raw meat at the very bottom of your fridge so that any drips will not contaminate your other food.