The kitchen in any house, business or workplace contain high touch count surfaces that leave their user more susceptible to viruses than in most other places. It is crucial to not just keep these surfaces clean but to ensure that viruses and bacteria carried, either on our bodies or the food we bring from outside do not end up being ingested.
What Looks Clean is not Necessarily Infection Free
Just wiping down surfaces and appliances with a wet cloth or napkins may give the appearance or cleanliness but often leave microparticles and sickness causing bacteria and viruses. Before and after using the kitchen, you should make sure that you’re not just cleaning but also disinfecting everything that you and your food come in contact with.
There are a huge array of disinfectants available in the market in the form of liquid, sprays or wipes. Feel free to choose the medium most convenient for you.
Make Your Own Budget Friendly Disinfectant
If constantly buying and storing disinfectants seems like a hassle to you or more expense than you think it is worth, you can always make your own using liquid chlorine bleach. This is a highly effective disinfectant and can be found at your nearest hardware store or ordered online.
Add a tablespoon of the liquid in 1 gallon of water. Pour the solution in a bottle to store or use an old spray bottle to make it more convenient to use. You can make a new batch of solution every few days.
Hands, the Gateway for Most Diseases
Our hands come in contact with the world the most and are the most vulnerable to picking up unwanted organisms such as viruses and bacteria. While working in the kitchen, keeping our hands clean should always be like second nature. Before starting any work use hand wash or sanitizer to disinfect your hands.
Be sure to wash your hands often and avoid touching your face or clothes while working, as most of the time we are not aware of these subconscious movements. While using gloves is always helpful, make sure to disinfect the gloves often as well while you’re using them.
Do not Overlook the Cleanliness of your Refrigerator
While we clean our kitchens on a daily basis, the refrigerator is a space that we often procrastinate cleaning. The concern while keeping your refrigerator hygienic is to clean up spills immediately as they happen and to ensure that food does not decay or catch mold. Optimally, you should clean your fridge at least once a week.
After removing any dirt or food remains, wipe down the surfaces with a disinfectant before putting food back in the refrigerator. Most importantly, wash all fruits and vegetables with salt water as soon as you buy them from the market and clean any plastic bags or packaged food you put in the refrigerator as well.
Sinks and Pipes, the Unseen Breeding Ground for Diseases
The pipes in our sinks are often extremely dirty but since we can’t see them it is easy to forget to clean them. A simple process to clean such areas can easily be done every 2 weeks or so, which increases the overall hygiene of your kitchen. At the end of the day, pour a cup of hot water slowly down the drain to make it heat up a little. After about a minute pour a cup of undiluted chlorine bleach and leave overnight. Doing this sanitizes the pipes and also removes and remaining odors from rotting food particles and dirt.
Keeping Dishrags and Scrubber from Becoming Carriers of Germs
Dishrags, cloth and paper towels, scrubbers and sponges used in cleaning the kitchen naturally become the dirtiest at the end of the day. These items must be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each session as they are highly contaminated and pose the risk of becoming spreaders. You should avoid using sponges in the kitchen, because while they are convenient to use, they are more difficult to keep clean due to their highly absorbent nature.
Dishrags and towels should be washed on a daily basis so it is always a good idea to invest in a few extra sets that can be washed and used in rotation. Use a disinfectant solution to wash them and let them air dry for best results. Scrubbers, both plastic and metal, which are used to wash dishes often get neglected in their cleanliness and end up serving to spread food particles from one dish to another.
Rinse scrubbers multiple times while doing your dishes and at the end make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove all visible food particles. It is a good idea to soak them in a diluted disinfectant every few days.
The Dreaded Garbage Disposal
Most garbage disposals are stored under the sink, putting them out of sight and also out of mind but they too need regular cleansing. The area around the dustbin also tends to collect a thin film of food waste from garbage bouncing around while being thrown away or splashes from wet waste. Use a long handled brush to clean the dustbin and the area around it with a disinfectant solution.
You can use a chlorinated powder to clean any stubborn remains and wash thoroughly after a couple of hours. It is a good idea to always use disposable garbage bags instead of directly putting waste in the dustbin. Segregation of waste helps in easy disposal and is good for the environment as well. Deep cleaning the garbage disposal every week will ensure that there is no collecting of dirt or illness causing viruses and bacteria as well as unwanted odors.