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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cleaning and Sanitizing the Kitchen

Most of us do a pretty good job cleaning the kitchen and some of us might just be diligent about sanitizing surfaces and saying good-bye to germs.

The kitchen is one of those places in the house where germs like to hang out. Think about it; food left lying out on countertops, chopping vegetables, getting uncooked meats and other food items for the evening meal ready, the sink gets used a lot and can breed bacteria due to the moisture, and the foods we touch then get transferred to cupboard doors, counters, handles, etc.

You may have heard this before but most kitchen sinks have more germs than a toilet seat. I don’t know about you but I find that a bit unnerving!

Homemade Kitchen Sanitizer

Here is a pretty basic cleaning and sanitizing recipe that can be used throughout the kitchen to kill bacteria and germs.

In a large bowl or container, combine:

• One gallon of cold water
• One tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach

Get your cleaning cloth, dip it in, and wipe down your surfaces. Work in sections allowing this sanitizer to sit for about a minute then go back over the surface with a dry cloth.
Wear an old pair of clothes as the bleach can permanently damage your clothes.

Sanitizing the Outside and the Inside

Not only do the outer surfaces of the kitchen need to be cleaned and sanitized but the inside of cupboards and drawers need some love to. It may seem like a lot to do but it’s worth it.

How Often?

How often you do a good sanitizing really depends on your personal living situation. Are you a large family? Do you have a number of small children in the home? Maybe you have elderly family members that have a hard time cleaning?

These are just a few questions to think about when deciding how often you should clean and sanitize the kitchen then make a schedule and do the best you can to stick to it!

How to Keep the Sink a Healthier Place

I mentioned above how the kitchen sink is a nastier place than your toilet seat. So how and what can you do to keep it not so icky?

1. After doing the dishes, rinse any remaining food particles out of the sink.
2. Stop up the sink and fill it to the top with hot water (boiling hot, preferably).
3. For every gallon of water your sink holds, pour a half a cup of bleach in.
4. Swish it around and let sit for a minimum of five minutes.
5. Let the solution run down the drain, as this will kill any remaining germs that are hiding down there.
6. Allow the sink to air dry.

What Else Can you Do?

• Keep the sponge clean and stop spreading germs around. I wash my sponge in a hot dishwashing cycle about once a week (depending on the job I’ve put it through) and change them when their looking tired and worn out.
• If you are working with raw meats, taking out excessively dirty garbage, cleaning a dirty garbage can – wear a pair of disposable gloves.
• In between sanitizing, use disinfectant wipes.
• If you don’t have disposable gloves, keep your hands washed with antibacterial soap after taking out the garbage, handling raw foods and don’t forget to get under your fingernails.
• Don’t forget those out of the way places like the cutting board.
• You can also help the sink be a cleaner place by grinding lemon rinds in the garbage disposal as needed.

Room Deodorizer

Here is a great room deodorizer using essential oils. Just put it in a spray bottle and enjoy your clean and sanitized kitchen.

• 4 – 8 drops essential oil
• 1 cup distilled water
• Give the bottle a shake and spray.

Some essential oils you might like are cinnamon, clove, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus.

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