Your kitchen is a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria like E.coli, and even fecal bacteria – even more so than the bathroom, studies say!
Which is a complete nightmare, considering how the food that goes into your mouth daily has probably passed through your kitchen.
These are the 10 dirtiest spots and how to clean them.
The very place used for cleaning – the horror! 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 in contact with food waste and water.
What to do: Always clean the sink after rinsing and preparing raw meat and vegetables in it, and spray it down with a disinfectant once a week.
NEXT: Your sponges and dish towels →
When they’re used for cleaning up spills and food remnants or washing the dishes, dirt gets transferred to them instead. Without proper sanitation, they can becoming overloaded with disease-causing germs. If you don’t swap them out often, you’re basically spreading bacteria around the kitchen!
What to do: Replace dishclothes regularly, and throw sponges away after using for about two weeks. Dry them out and avoid leaving them soaked in one spot for too long.
NEXT: Your chopping boards →
Plastic or wooden, chopping boards are where germs easily lurk due to the many grooves and cavities from all that knifework.
What to do: Always use a separate cutting board for raw meat/ seafood and fresh produce to avoid cross-contamination. Wash the board in got water and make sure they dry well, wooden boards especially!
NEXT: Your cabinet handles →
You touch fridge handles, stove knobs, and even the light switches multiple times a day, so imagine all the bacteria it racks up over time! And they’re often forgotten when it comes to cleaning.
What to do: Avoid touching them right after you’ve handed raw meat or unwashed produce, and wipe them with disinfectant regularly, paying extra attention to the insides and edges of the handles.
NEXT: Your fridge drawers →
Dark and moist, the meat and vegetable compartments in the fridge are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Add to that acidental spills and even raw juices from meat, and you’ve got a hotbed of microbes like salmonella, yeast and mold.
What to do: Wipe up any spillage immediately, throw out anything that’s expired or spoiled and use liners to help make future cleanups easier.
NEXT: Your grocery bags →
Those eco-friendly cloth bags you carry to the supermarket? They actually contain E.coli from absorbing juices and getting contaminated from unwashed groceries.
What to do: Use washable cotton bags and soak them in hot water at least once a week or after each use.
NEXT: Your small appliances and tools →
From blenders to can openers, food residue tends to accumulate in the groobes and hard-to-clean areas if they’re not properly washed after use.
What to do: For blenders, food processors, and the like, disassemble the gadget and make sure to get into the difficult areas when cleaning. For utentils and can openers, clean thoroughly and let dry before stowing them away.
NEXT: Your coffee machine →
You might be brewing more than coffee – microorganisms like yeast and mold can grow and multiple quickly in, say, the water chamber if left sitting idle for too long. Not only that, mold can make your coffee taste bad.
What to do: Remove wet coffee grounds after every use and wash the carafe, lid, and filter basket daily in warm water. Dry well. Deep clean the machine at least once a month by filling the water chamber with white vinegar and water and letting it brew.
NEXT: Your microwave →
The heat might kill some germs, but when it isn’t on, the dark, moist environment allow germs to thrive. More so when there are food particles lying around.
What to do: Always cover food when microwaving to minimise splatter. To clean your microwave, combined water, lemon and vinegar, then heat on high to dislodge hardened food particles, and wipe clean.
See also: 4 Common Foods You Should NEVER Reheat
NEXT: Your countertop →
Your kitchen counter sees grocery bags, packets of takeaway, spills, and more every day, so this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Studies have shown that kitchen countertops also contain fecal bacteria!
What to do: Disinfect the surface daily. Avoid placing grocery bags or purses that have been on the floor on the countertop.
NEXT: Your sink →
By Elizabeth Liew, The Singapore Women’s Weekly, October 2016
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