When cleaning the kitchen unless you make a fully detailed checklist of everything that must be scrubbed, soaped and polished and systematically check each one off before proceeding, chances are you are going to miss a few spots of grim and grease here and there. Wiping down the surfaces and spritzing the site with air freshener can only do so much. Many people are quite meticulous in their kitchen cleaning, and why shouldn’t they be? However there are a few spots that you might miss, as they are surprisingly common germ hot spots purely because we use them every day without realising.
It is very easy for us to remember to wipe down surfaces, but we should really be looking at our handles when taking care of those last few specks of dirt and germs, as they can get overlooked and even neglected in the cleaning process. Another easy ‘grime magnet’ to forget is that massive machine over in the corner of your kitchen; the fridge.
Here, Sussex based kitchen specialist Price Kitchens takes a look at some germ hot spots in the kitchen that you may miss on a regular basis, and how easy it is to keep them clean when doing your weekly or fortnightly ‘kitchen clean sweep’.
Fridge Trays and Shelves
Fridges can be a real pain to clean from top to bottom, but if they are left for several weeks, spoiled food can accumulate and leave a nasty smell, contaminating everything else you might be storing in your fridge. This may sound a little weird, but there should be a method to the way in which you organise your fridge. Pots, pans, jars and cans go at the top, whereas liquids and perishables go towards the bottom of the fridge in case of spillage. That way, if anything bursts or dribbles, it doesn’t have far to fall and won’t spoil any other food on its way down!
If your fridge has any nasty smells or stains on it, the likelihood is that it is from food that has spoiled without you realising. The best solution for a smelly fridge is a complete clear out. Empty the fridge of its contents entirely, sorting the foodstuffs as you go. Any perishables you find that are even a little bit past their use by date; throw out, you will likely only forget about them anyway.
Remove the trays from the fridge and soak those in warm soapy water, then wipe down the shelves and sides of your fridge with a warm, wet cloth. Dab the fridge dry with a rag and then after leaving the shelves to soak for a while, rinse them off and dry thoroughly before returning them back to the fridge. Wipe down all surfaces of existing food items before putting them back in the fridge to get rid of any old residue.
Talking of that warm sponge, what do you actually use that soap sponge for? Cleaning dishes? Wiping down sides? Perhaps even wiping a few food stains off the floor? Although soap sponges are infinitely useful, they can also be breeding grounds for germs as we tend to forget what we last used them for. Separate sponges are cleaner, but you can always get them mixed up unless they are different colours, but then again, often if a spillage occurs we just grab the first thing to hand.
A good way of keeping those germs off your sponge is to clean the sponges themselves regularly. All you need to do add some dish detergent to hot water and thoroughly wash the sponge in the water. Then rinse the sponge off and place the wet sponge in the microwave and put it on high for 2 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it to prevent burning. By boiling the sponge, this kills off any nasty germs breeding in the sponge.
Doors, Knobs, Handles and Taps
We barely give a thought to the little handles on the cabinets, the door handles as you enter and leave the kitchen, or that odd space on the fridge that acts as a hidden handle, but these are absolutely teeming with germs because of one simple fact; we use them every day with both clean and dirty hands.
By using a soaped up sponge and warm water, washing your doors, knobs, handles and taps will really help to reduce the spread of all types of germs and bacteria in your house, particularly if you live with young children or messy eaters.
Of course there is no need to run around your kitchen with a backlight nor is there need for you to scrub until your hands are raw; chances are you won’t be able to eradicate 100% of germs 100% of the time. However if it important to pay attention to those hotspots as they can become quite nasty over time, especially those hot spots we might not think too much about.