Regarding kitchen cleanliness, certain spots in the dirty kitchen are often the favourite headquarters for germs and bacteria. So, let’s embark on a kitchen deep cleaning journey to uncover which parts or areas are often dirty and how to tackle them to ensure food safety.
Here are the top 5 dirty kitchen zones that require our keen attention. We’ve also included kitchen cleaning tips to fight the bacteria lurking or prevent this pesky microorganism from breeding on them.
1. Kitchen Cleaning Implements: Sponges, Brushes, and Dishcloths
In a dirty kitchen, the often overlooked culprits are the damp areas. These spots are the ideal breeding grounds for bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Our sponges, brushes, and dishcloths are kitchen cleaning implements that frequently come in contact with food particles, such as raw meat and vegetables, thus becoming perfect damp breeding zones. So, it is advisable to always start with the cleaning implements for a thorough, deep kitchen cleaning.
- For a deep cleaning effect, boil kitchen brushes for a few minutes to kill the bacteria effectively.
- You may regularly put these brushes in the dishwasher to sanitise them. But make sure to check if they are dishwasher-safe.
- Use bleach and water (1 teaspoon of bleach per quart) and soak the brushes in for a few minutes. Remember to rinse them thoroughly afterwards.
- Wash the kitchen dishcloths in the washing machine using hot water and detergent. You may include a bleach cycle if the fabric can tolerate it for deep cleaning.
- Ensure that they are dry every after use.
- Use a fresh dishcloth daily, or more often if it becomes heavily soiled.
- If you have a microwave oven, you can wet the sponge and microwave it on high for a minute or two. Just be careful when removing it, as it can be scorching hot.
- You may also place the sponge on the top rack of the dishwasher and run it through the drying cycle.
- Remember to replace the sponge every 1-2 weeks, especially when it starts to smell or break down.
2. Dirty Kitchen Sink
Our sink, a critical area in kitchen cleaning, is where food particles from dishes and cooking utensils often accumulate. The residues from meat, vegetables, and other food items contain organic matter and nutrients that are ideal for bacterial growth. We must keep our kitchen sinks clean constantly so bacteria won’t thrive.
- Clean the sink regularly with the right kitchen cleaners or bleach solution to kill bacteria.
- Disinfect areas around the drain and garbage disposal.
- Always ensure that the sink is dried after each use.
- Avoid letting food scraps go down the drain.
- Disinfect the sink afterwards if you rinse raw meat or poultry in it.
- Regularly check and clean sink stoppers and strainers.
3. Cutting Boards
There’s a high risk of cross-contamination with other foods if the cutting board is not properly cleaned or sanitised—harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter can be transferred to other foods through the board’s surface.
- Use separate cutting boards for raw meats and other foods.
- Clean it thoroughly with hot, soapy water after each use.
- Replace cutting boards with deep grooves or scratches; cleaning them will become too difficult.
- Wash it immediately after each use to prevent the hardening of food particles and juices. Ensure to dry it thoroughly.
4. Refrigerator Drawers
Mixing raw produce and meat in your refrigerator drawers can increase the risk of cross-contamination and bacterial growth. So, keeping things clean and chilled is very important to food safety.
- Remove all items and wash the drawers with warm, soapy water every month.
- Apply a disinfecting solution after washing; [a mixture of water and vinegar can do the trick! ].
- Clean spills immediately to prevent bacterial growth. You can use paper towels to absorb the liquid.
- Ensure the drawers are completely dry before placing them back in the refrigerator.
5. Small Appliances (Coffee Maker, Blender, etc.)
Leftover food bits in blenders and moisture in coffee makers are ideal conditions for bacteria. Plus, the warmth from these small kitchen appliances can further boost its growth. So frequently cleaning it, especially the hard-to-clean spots, is crucial.
- Regularly clean small appliance parts, like:
- Blender gaskets
- Coffee maker reservoirs
- Toaster crumb trays
- Microwave vents
- Food processor lids
- Electric kettle spouts
- Use vinegar and water to deep clean these kitchen appliances.
By deep cleaning these top 5 dirty kitchen areas, we can significantly reduce the risk of spreading harmful bacteria around your kitchen, making it a safer and more hygienic environment.