We vacuum the floors and wipe down our furniture to keep our home clean, but is that enough to protect the family from dust and bacteria? No. Keeping your kitchen clean and hygenic is essential as this is where you prepare food for the family!
If you’re not sure how and where to start cleaning your kitchen, here are seven areas to check off. Regular maintenance helps to keep your kitchen in tip-top shape, preventing illnesses and any bacterial or viral contamination.
10 Dirtiest Spots in Your Kitchen
How dirty is your kitchen? Illness-inducing bacteria like E.coli, salmonella and coliform are more common there than you think. In fact, the kitchen is a landmine for these microorganisms, even more so than the bathroom (surprisingly!).
And it’s no wonder, considering the amount of raw food and people that pass through this room of the home.
Discover the 10 top places in your kitchen that are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria, with ways to combat them:
1. Kitchen Sink
No matter how clean it looks, kitchen sinks often play host to a variety of illness-causing bacteria like E.coli and salmonella. These can cling onto the faucet, drain system and surface, and multiply when combined with food waste and water.
2. Sponges, Kitchen Towels
These are used for cleaning up spills and food remnants, as well as for washing the dishes, so this means that dirt gets transferred to them instead. Without proper sanitation, they can become overloaded with disease-causing germs. And if you don’t swop them out often, you’re basically spreading bacteria around the kitchen!
3. Chopping Boards
Plastic or wooden, chopping (or cutting) boards are where germs easily lurk in due to the many grooves and cavaties from all that knifework.
Always use a separate cutting board for raw meat, seafood, versus fresh produce to avoid cross-contamination. Wash the board(s) in hot water and make sure to dry it well.
You touch fridge handles, stove knobs and even the light switch multiple times a day, especially when cooking, so imagine all the bacteria they rack up over time! And they’re often forgotten when it comes to cleaning.
5. Fridge Shelves & Drawers
Dark and moist, the meat and vegetable compartments in the fridge are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Add ot that accidental spills and raw juices from seafood and meat, which can contaminate other ingredients, and you’ve got a hotbed of microbes like salmonella, yeast and mould.
6. Reusable Grocery Bags
Those eco-friendly cloth bags you carry to the supermarket? They actually contain harmful E.coli from absorbing juices and getting contaminated from unwashed groceries. Use washable cotton bags and soak them in hot water at least once a week or after every use.
7. Kitchen Tools & Appliances
From blenders to can openers, food residue tends to accumulate in the grooves and hard-to-clean areas, if not properly washed after use.
8. Coffee Machine
You might be breweing more than coffee — microorganisms like yeast and mould can grow and multiply quickly in the water chamber if left sitting idle for too long. Not only that, mould can make your coffee taste bad.
9. Microwave Oven
The heat might kill some germs, but most of the time, your microwave isn’t turned on. Germs thrive in dark, moist environments and can multiply faster when there are food particles lying around.
10. Kitchen Countertop
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the number of things the countertop faces every day — grocery bags, packets of takeaway, food spills, the list goes on. Studies have shown that kitchen countertops also contain fecal bacteria (aka coliform bacteria)!
7 Steps to Cleaning Your Kitchen
To help you visualise what your kitchen cleaning will entail, here is a general guideline and checklist:
- Clean and clear fridge, including ice trays
- Clean all appliances
- Empty cabinets and drawers before wiping them down
- Wipe all surfaces
- Sweep and mop floor
- Reorganise drawers and cabinets
- Clean stovetop and burners