We don’t want to start a panic, so let’s start off by saying that it’s perfectly OK to have some germs in your home. In fact, it’s unavoidable. Germs and bacteria are all around us, but, believe it or not, they can actually make our immune systems stronger.
However, certain areas of your home do contain more bacteria than others, and bacteria can be harmful if levels are not kept in check with regular cleaning.
You’ve probably already guessed that the bathroom is one of the biggest culprits, but does it surprise you that the kitchen is actually higher on the list? People are more apt to disinfect areas of their bathroom and not the kitchen due to the nature of its use. Therein lies the potential problem.
The Kitchen and Eating Areas
The kitchen is where most family members congregate, touching all areas, cabinets, faucets and appliance handles. Raw meat is handled here, which can carry dangerous bacteria as well. And you don’t even want to know what microscopic nasties can enter your home on the bottoms of your family’s shoes! To keep bacteria at bay, try these suggestions.
How to Prevent Bacteria in the Kitchen
- Food sitting on plates can harbor bacteria, so after every meal, scrape food from dishes and put them in the dishwasher promptly or wash them promptly
- Replace cellulose sponges every two weeks. Alternatively, use a scrub brush to wash dishes; these are often dishwasher-safe, and the bristles tend to be less hospitable to lingering bacteria
- Do not defrost frozen meats or poultry on the counter or in the sink, only in the refrigerator or microwave
- Avoid putting purses or backpacks on the kitchen counter – 25 percent of purses harbor fecal bacteria on the bottom due to being placed on the floor in public bathrooms (gross!)
- Use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables, and be sure to disinfect whichever type of cutting board you use appropriately
Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
- Use Bounty Paper Towels and an antibacterial cleaning spray to clean spills, and use a scrub brush or an antimicrobial sponge to wash dishes
- Clean the floor at least once a week with a disinfectant cleaner like Mr. Clean Antibacterial Cleaner (use as directed)
- Use antibacterial cleaner twice a week to wipe down cabinets and handles, kitchen appliances (like your microwave touchpad and refrigerator door handle) and small appliances like your coffee pot and toaster
- Use bleach cleaner daily to wipe down kitchen countertops, the faucet, in and around the drain and the entire surface of your sink
- Try to wipe down trash can with an antibacterial wipe once or twice a week
- Regularly wipe the salt and pepper shakers clean
You probably clean your bathroom thoroughly on a regular basis, but these suggestions will help you tackle sneaky spots where bacteria like to hide.
How to Prevent Bacteria
- Routinely change out bathroom towels and hand towels
- Close the toilet lid before flushing
- Keep toothbrushes stored far away from the toilet, preferably inside a cabinet
Bathroom Cleaning Checklist
- Try to wipe down the toilet seat, lid and bowl with antibacterial cleaning wipes at least every other day – keep a container of them on the back of the toilet for easy use
- Use shower and tub cleaner to clean all surfaces of the shower and bathtub weekly
- Use antibacterial cleaner twice a week to wipe down bathroom cabinets and handles, bathroom countertops, the faucet and the entire surface of your sink
- Disinfect the inside and outside of the toilet, as well as the floor around the toilet, at least once a week
- Clean the floor with a disinfectant cleaner once a week
- Regularly wash your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher with a Cascade Platinum ActionPac
Use antibacterial cleaning wipes to wipe down commonly used items such as:
- TV remote
- Laptop keyboard and mouse
- Light switches
- Door handles
Remember, our bodies need some bacteria to stay healthy and strong. Our immune systems are built to fight off diseases with help from the bacteria we come in contact with daily. However, keeping those bacteria at a healthy level is handled through proper hygiene and regular household cleaning.
While this isn’t a call to turn your home into a sterile hospital environment, just pay particular attention to those vulnerable spots to keep you and your family healthy.