The 10 Dirtiest Things In Your Kitchen and How To Sanitize Them
The 10 dirtiest things in your kitchen might or might not surprise you. The list below will make you think twice about how often you use it, clean it or just replace it!
1. Dish Washing Sponge
Your dish washing sponge gets voted the number one for dirtiest things in your kitchen. This warm, wet bacterial collecting kitchen item should be on your shopping list once or twice a week.
Our recommendation: Throw it in the trash and get a new one!
2. Salt and Pepper Shaker
How often do you wash your salt and pepper shakers? Have you ever? They are among the most touched condiments in your kitchen and we never think of the microcosms living on them.
Before you fill them up again, put them in your dishwasher. Don’t just hand wash them. Hot water must get to a temperature of 140 degrees in order to sterilize, which your dishwasher can easily handle.
In between washing, you can clean outside of them with antibacterial wipes.
Our recommendation: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
3. Kitchen Handles
While you are wiping down the salt and pepper shakers with your disinfecting wipes, give the dishwasher, refrigerator, cabinets and pantry door handles a wipe down. These are other areas in your kitchen that get touched a lot and should get a quick sanitizer clean.
4. Cooking Utensils
As we said earlier, your dishwasher can easily handle sterilization temperatures over 140 degrees. So if you are hand washing spatulas, whisks, tongs, wooden spoons and other cooking utensils consider using your dishwasher instead.
Our recommendation: Put them in the dishwasher once a month. Use the sterilization setting.
5. Kitchen Sink
Web MD states your toilet bowl could be cleaner than your kitchen sink. Dirty dishes left in the sink are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Eileen Abruzzo, director of infection control at Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York suggests washing it with a solution of bleach and water once a day.
Our recommendation: Don’t leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight. Wipe down with disinfectant wipes.
6. Dish Towel
Of all the towels in your home, these are the dirtiest. When you’re wiping down your kitchen counters you are probably just spreading germs. Experts recommend soaking them in a dilution of bleach and water after each use and to launder them weekly.
Our recommendation: Have a dish towel for each day of the week. Launder once a week on hot water temp and a small amount of bleach.
7. Cutting Board
If the dish washing sponge gets the number one award for the dirtiest things in your kitchen, the cutting board gets awarded number one for cross-contamination. It is a great invention from keeping us from cutting directly onto our countertops, but it turns into a bacterium transferring nightmare.
By not sterilizing your cutting board after cutting up chicken, you run the risk of contaminating any food item that touches that surface.
Is plastic better than wood? Ben Chapman, a food safety researcher at NC State, says not necessarily. He says plastic is easier to cut on but leaves grooves where bacteria can hide. Wood is a hard surface, but difficult to clean.
To clean plastic cutting boards just throw them in the dishwasher. High-heat temperatures and bleach can ruin a wood cutting board. Chapman suggests using quaternary ammonium sanitizer.
Chapman’s recommendation: Use plastic for cutting meats and wood for cutting veggies.
8. Can Opener
Another awesome breeding ground for bacteria is silently sitting in your kitchen drawer. Food and dirt from the can you just opened collect on the blade. A quick rinse under the sink will not destroy all the bacteria on the blade.
The best way to disinfect your can opener is to place it in a bowl and cover it with vinegar. Let sit for a couple of hours. You can use a toothbrush to remove any rust that has built up over time. Do a thorough dry including the gears.
Our recommendation: Disinfect your can opener once a month.
9. Knife Block
You need to sanitize it too! Over time food particles can collect inside the slots and on the wood surface. We recommend you turn it over the sink and give it a good shake. Fill your sink with lukewarm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap and allow to sit for a few minutes. Dr. Oz recommends using a baby-bottle nipple brush to clean out the slots. Finally, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
10. Coffee Maker
We saved the best for last. At King of Maids, we love our coffee! Nothing better than walking into the office and grabbing a fresh Cup of Joe. But bacteria loves to grow in dark, confined spaces and the reservoir is gold for bacteria and mold growth.
Please don’t fret, we have the perfect sanitizing solution. A few weeks ago we shared a cool infographic on how to clean 9 everyday household items. Your coffee maker made this list.
Fill the reservoir with half white vinegar and water. Brew until the post is half full. Stop brewing for 30 minutes. Finish the brewing process and empty the pots. Fill the reservoir with clean water and brew again.
Our recommendation: Clean reservoir once a month.
We’re sorry we had to gross you out. But we take sanitizing a kitchen seriously. We hope these recommendations on how to clean the 10 dirtiest things in your kitchen helps you fight the germ fight!