For many Canadian families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where you can cook together, eat together—and, unfortunately, spread germs together, thanks to an abundance of super-stealthy spots for dirt, bacteria and other microbes to collect, hide and (ew!) multiply. Here are five of the biggest “cootie collectors” in your kitchen right now—and how to keep it clean.
The cutting board
Wood, plastic, bamboo—it doesn’t matter: if you cut raw meat on it, your cutting board could contain up to 200 times more fecal bacteria than you’d find on your toilet seat. Bacteria can creep into all the teeny crevices your knife leaves behind on the board’s surface, and then contaminate your hands, utensils or any other foods you later place on the board.
How to clean it: For wooden or bamboo boards, wash with warm, soapy water and then dry immediately with a paper towel to prevent splitting and warping. Plastic cutting boards can be put in the dishwasher, but you can also scrub them using a mixture of one litre of water with one teaspoon of bleach, and then rinse them clean and stand to dry.
The kitchen sponge or dish towel
Your kitchen sponge or dish towel is probably the filthiest item in your kitchen, carrying up to 10 million bacteria per square inch! If you’re using them to clean, you could be spreading more germs than you’re wiping away.
Scrap it: Truly disinfecting your sponge or dish towel to completely kill all pathogens can be very difficult to do especially when many experts recommend replacing your kitchen sponge once a week or washing your towel after each use (which most of us don’t do!)
For an easier and more hygienic approach, opt for Bounty® paper towels instead. A fresh sheet of Bounty does not transfer messes from one surface to another and keeps your surfaces cleaner versus a used dishcloth.
Bounty paper towels are stronger and 50% more absorbent than the leading ordinary paper-towel brand, so you can clean up more messes with fewer sheets! And with Bounty Select-a-Size® paper towels, you always have the perfect size no matter the task at hand.
The can opener
You use it to open canned vegetables, fish, soup, dairy products, pet food and more, allowing its cutting mechanism to easily collect food particles and become a breeding ground for salmonella, E.coli, mould and yeast, among other unpleasant microbes.
How to clean it: Whether it’s a manual or electric can opener, cleaning it after each use is key. Use an old toothbrush and a bit of dish detergent or vinegar to scrub the blade and wipe it dry (gears, too!) with a paper towel before putting it away.
The fridge’s vegetable drawer
It’s home to fruit and vegetables, but also to the dirt and pesticides they can carry, as well as the bacteria and mould if produce starts to spoil. Those microbes can then spread to other items in the drawer, and then onto your hands.
How to clean it: Once a month, take the drawers out of your fridge and empty them. Use hot, soapy water to scrub the drawers clean, and then dry them completely with a paper towel before restocking and putting them back in the fridge.
The handles, knobs and keypads
They’re the epitome of “high-touch surfaces” and they’re everywhere: on the fridge, stove, phone and microwave; on cupboards and drawers; on small appliances and storage containers; even on the garbage and recycling bins. And they make it very easy for bacteria and viruses to spread from person to person.
How to clean ’em: Once a week or so, wipe them all down with soap and water for a simple clean. You can also use a solution of one-part vinegar to one-part water and wipe clean.
For more information about Bounty® paper towels, coupons and cleaning tips, visit bountytowels.ca.