Best Ways to Clean and Sanitize your Kitchen

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How safe is your kitchen?

Cleanliness in the kitchen begins before you start to prepare food. Everything that comes into contact with your hands or food must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. This includes dishes, cutlery, utensils, pots and pans, counter tops, cutting boards as well as kitchen cloths, faucets, can opener blades, and refrigerator handles. Harmful bacteria that are not visible may thrive and multiply in food that is prepared by unclean hands in an unclean kitchen so, before preparing food, get off to a clean start.

Cleaning the kitchen is an uphill task; for many, it’s never going to be as fun as, say a weekend at the beach because really, who wants to pour lots of hours into a tedious and thankless job that only promises to return with another round of dirts?

While housekeeping is generally a wearisome task, the kitchen often poses its own troubles, especially when shared with some family members who are clueless as to how your utensils should be best placed. That’s still no excuse, because living in a squeaky-clean home is an integral part of being an adult.

What is the difference between cleaning and sanitizing?

Cleaning removes food particles, food juices, dirt, debris and stains from dishes, equipment, counters and other surfaces by using a solution of detergent, hot water and a clean cloth. Cleaning removes debris and stains that you can smell, see or feel.

Sanitizing kills harmful micro-organisms which you cannot smell, see or feel, but which may cause illness in humans.

How to clean and sanitize dishes, pots and utensils

How to clean and sanitize dishes, pots and utensils

  • Scrape off all food scraps –then rinse.

  • Throw out dishes that are chipped or cracked as bacteria may get into the cracks and spoil food.

  • Wash them with detergent and hot water that is 45°C (113°F) or hotter.

  • Check the water temperature with a thermometer and always use a clean cloth.

  • Rinse dishes, pot and utensils in clean hot water that is 45°C (113°F) or hotter.

  • Now sanitize. Let them soak for at least 45 seconds in very hot water (at least 77°C/170°F) or warm water 24°C to 45°C (75°F to 113°F) mixed with a chemical sanitizer.

  • Let articles air dry in a clean rack. Drying dishes with a towel can easily spread bacteria.

Never mix chemicals together or with detergents as the mixtures can be poisonous (toxic).

Sanitizing with chlorine Dishes, pots utensils: soak in a sanitizing solution of 10 mL (2 tsp.) of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach mixed with 1L (4 cups) of water for at least 45 seconds.

Surfaces: spray the chlorine solution on counters and cutting boards and let stand for at least 1 minute. Don’t touch the surface after you have applied the sanitizing solution. Let all articles air dry (or use disposable towels).

It is important to use the right amount of chemical sanitizer when mixing it with water. If you use too much, you may contaminate the food. If you don’t use enough, you may not kill the bacteria. The temperature of the water is also important. Some chemicals do not work properly if the water is too hot or too cold. Use a thermometer to check the temperature.

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Cleaning cloths: always use a clean cloth. Cloths that are re-used without being cleaned and sanitized are often a source of cross-contamination. Use different cloths for different jobs.

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Inside the Microwave

Sure, it's easy enough to wipe down the exterior of the microwave until it shines, but don't forget the interior, which is plagued by general buildup along with any unfortunate food explosions. "We sanitize the microwave with good old-fashioned elbow grease," , who uses a combination of 10 percent borax and 90 percent water to break down tough food stains. "Wear rubber gloves and saturate any buildup with the borax solution, then let it sit to break things down before wiping it away."

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Wipe of All the Handles

Every handle in the kitchen (think cabinets, appliances, even the light switch) is a hotbed for germs, considering how often your family grips, grabs and pulls them each day. Wipe down handles with a disposable disinfectant cleaning cloth at least once a week.

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Clean the Refrigerator Shelves

We see a lot of old food spills and gunk. It's important to break down the sections of the refrigerator, pulling out the shelves and drawers, and give it a thorough wiping and disinfecting.Consistent maintenance as the trick to keeping things easy to clean: If you spill something, wipe it up and disinfect the area to keep grime from building up.

Sanitizing your Kitchen Sink

A wet sink can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

  • Run a sink of hot, soapy water.

  • If you have a double sink with a garbage disposal on one side, make sure to use the disposal-free side. Keeping the disposal side free will allow you to scrape leftovers down the drain quickly while you work.

  • Scrape off all the dishes into the trash or garbage disposal.

  • If step 2 has blocked your disposal, scrape the dishes off onto a dirty plate.

  • Place dishes that need to soak into the water.

  • Try to choose the dishes that are going to give you or your dishwasher the most trouble to get clean. Put the heavily soiled dishes on the bottom. Large dishes like pans and bowls can be filled with hot soapy water and set on the counter to soak.

  • While the dishes are soaking, go through the kitchen clearing out trash from your floor, countertop, cupboards, etc.

  • Don’t worry about things that are out of place, or don’t belong in the kitchen. Worry only about trash.

One more thing…

Here is my ONE tip to add to this post. Running a sink of hot soapy water before food preparation is SO helpful. As bowls, cutting boards, knives, etc, become dirty, toss them in the sink to soak until you are done. This will prevent food from drying on the dishes and make clean up a lot easier!

Consumers can protect themselves by preventing the spread of germs. Regardless of which method of sanitizing you choose, it is very important that you clean first. It takes both steps to be effective. If you are a busy person and doesn't have enough time in cleaning and sanitizing your kitchen, Sparkly Maid is here to help. They are one of the best cleaning services in Chicago. effective.