How Clean Are Your Kitchen Surfaces?

Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN
cleaning stove


You can find illness-causing germs all around your kitchen, from appliances and utensils to kitchen surfaces and cutting boards. For this reason, it's important not only to wash your hands, but also to clean utensils, surfaces and appliances before and after handling food in order to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Follow these worktop cleaning tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

Kitchen Surfaces

Keep kitchen surfaces such as appliances, countertops, cutting boards and utensils clean with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Keeping cutting boards and surfaces clean prevents cross-contamination.

You also can wash dishwasher-safe materials in a dishwasher with a hot washing and drying cycle.

As an additional precaution, you also can use a solution of one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach in one gallon of water to sanitize washed surfaces and utensils.

Sponge and Dishtowel Safety

Bacteria live and grow in damp conditions, which make sponges ideal for spreading foodborne pathogens. If you have a smelly dishcloth, towel or sponge, it is a sure sign that unsafe bacterial growth is lurking nearby. You should toss it out and remember to replace worn sponges frequently.

For daily sponge use, it's important to disinfect them in the microwave or in the dishwasher with a hot drying cycle. You also should wash dishcloths and towels often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Lastly, whenever possible, clean up spills or wipe kitchen surfaces with clean towels to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

Download: The printable Kitchen Sponge Safety Guide.

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