If there's one thing that has been ingrained in our minds during the past year, it's to keep our homes and surroundings clean at all times in order to prevent the spread of diseases.
But is everything really as spotless as they look?
You likely already know this, but it never hurts to repeat: Being one of the busiest places in the house, the kitchen must always be kept spick and span, from the floors and cabinets down to the sink and kitchen sponge. In doing so, you're making a big step in preventing illness-causing germs from spreading onto our hands and into the food we eat.
Let’s review your cleaning techniques to make sure you aren’t committing these common kitchen-cleaning mistakes:
1. Using one kitchen cloth to clean all surfaces and items
Just because kitchen surfaces look dirt-free doesn't necessarily mean they’re free of harmful bacteria — especially not if you're only using a single damp cloth to wipe the dishes, stoves, and countertops. Yikes!
For starters, use a dedicated cloth when cleaning the countertop. Make sure the material is suitable for the type of countertop you have. Clean up spills at once so they do not leave stains that are harder to remove when left unattended. For your stovetop, use a separate cloth soaked in water and antibacterial dish soap, and use another cloth for dishes and kitchen utensils.
One more thing: Don’t forget to thoroughly wash your kitchen and dish cloths and change them regularly!
2. Using the same dish sponge for more than a week
Be honest: Do you use your kitchen sponge until it’s flat or falling apart? FYI, an overused kitchen sponge is said to be dirtier than a toilet seat and can be a major carrier of bacteria, which in turn could lead to diseases.
Make sure to change your sponge every week. This way, you’re assured that you're actually cleaning the dishes instead of spreading unseen bacteria from one plate or utensil to another — and even on to the food you and your family eat.
Nagtitipid? You can cut one sponge in half so one sponge lasts you two weeks! Also, make sure to let your kitchen sponge dry in an open container, and don’t use it to wipe meat juices.
3. Ignoring the kitchen sink
Water always passes through your sink, which gives the impression that whatever dirt in it is constantly being washed away. But did you know that the kitchen sink is one of the dirtiest spots at home? Simply scrubbing it using tap water is not enough to give it a thorough cleanse.
Clean the sink using an antibacterial soap. Pour it around the sink, making sure to rub some on your faucet as well, and let it sit for up before scrubbing and rinsing. Also, make it practice to remove food particles and other gunk from the sink once you’re done washing the dishes.
4. Forgetting to deep-clean the interiors of kitchen appliances
Do you regularly deep-clean the interior of kitchen appliances such as the refrigerator and microwave oven? If your answer is no, it’s time to adopt this habit. Putting it off any longer can only increase gunk build-up, potentially causing them to start smelling bad.
Ideally, kitchen appliances must be deep-cleaned weekly, but you may change your schedule depending on how often you use them, or how busy you are with other tasks and chores.
To clean your fridge, defrost it first before wiping its interior with a cloth soaked in antibacterial soap. And make it a point to clean the underside, too!
On the other hand, to clean your microwave oven, start by filling a bowl with water and lemon juice. Turn the oven on high and set the timer for around five minutes, letting steam build up to inside to help loosen up dirt and gunk. Then, let it cool for an hour before wiping the interior using a soft, damp sponge.
Side note: Although it’s not an appliance, knife blocks must be cleaned every now and then, too.
5. Overlooking the cleanliness of the sponge
We'll say it again: The kitchen sink, when left unchecked, is practically a breeding ground of germs and bacteria. Yet most people find it convenient to leave the sponge they just used in the sink.
Don't forget that sponges can become a hotbed of germs and bacteria, too, if not properly stored, and this can potentially lead to cross-contamination onto dishes and kitchen utensils.
So where should you store it? For starters, put your sponge in a clean basket or drying rack instead—it's more likely to remain clean and dry faster.
That said, don’t stop there. Make sure you're using a dishwashing liquid that has proven antibacterial properties to help ensure dishes, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, and the kitchen sponge are clean and sanitized.
For one, Joy Antibac Dishwashing Liquid with the power of Safeguard is known to aid in preventing germs not only on utensils and appliances but also on sponges, giving you the peace of mind you need during this time of uncertainty.
Tweaking cleaning habits may seem a small thing to do, but doing so can ultimately help prevent the spread of germs and lessen the chances of different areas, appliances, surfaces, and objects inside the kitchen of becoming hotspots for harmful bacteria.
Be a #CertifiedMaDISHkarte mom by following these tips to keep your house clean and your family safe from illnesses!
For more information, follow Joy Philippines on Facebook.