A dirty kitchen may be an eyesore, but it can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Here are three tips to maintain a clean kitchen:
Make Your Own Sanitizing Cleaning Spray
To kill bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, you need a cleaning agent that effectively disinfects surfaces. Bleach is an excellent choice for this task because it contains hypochlorite, which destroys bacteria. Many commercially produced household cleaners contain bleach, but you can save money by making your own. Combine 1 part bleach to 10 parts water in a large spray bottle—many spray bottles even come with marks on the side to indicate the ratio of the mix. Add a drop of dish soap and you have the perfect disinfectant spray.
Sanitize or Replace Your Sponge Often
A sponge is the perfect incubator for harmful bacteria because it stays damp, which allows bacteria to multiply. Kill bacteria by microwaving your completely wet sponge for one minute—make sure there aren't any metallic parts. Another way to sanitize your sponge is to place it in the dishwasher and set the machine to dry at the hottest setting and longest run cycle. It's a good idea to replace your kitchen sponges every month.
Don't Forget to Hit Overlooked Spots
Wiping down countertops with a disinfectant solution is important, but don't forget frequently neglected surfaces. For example, the refrigerator door handle is a prime spot for bacteria—after all, everyone in the house probably touches it once a day. Similarly, your faucet, cupboard handles, and knobs deserve a frequent once-over. If you have a garbage can in your kitchen, don't forget to clean the lid; you can also take the empty can outside, fill it with water and a few squirts of dish soap, rinse, and let it sit in the sun to dry.
Get into the habit of giving your kitchen a quick sanitizing wipe down before preparing food and a deeper clean once a week. It could be vital to your health, and it will also keep your kitchen—the heart of your home—sparkling clean and fresh.