Your home should be your sanctuary — a place were you feel safe and sound. Unfortunately, unseen dangers throughout your home can threaten you and your family's welfare. Germs, viruses and bacteria can cause you harm if not controlled.
Keeping a clean house is not just a matter of comfort or vanity, it is essential for good health. Learn how you can create and maintain a safe and healthy home by checking around your home for trouble spots.
First: The Kitchen
Everyone gravitates to the kitchen. It is the center of family life and also a magnet for bacteria, viruses, germs, roaches, and other pests.
Check the sponges, dish cloths and towels.
The sponge can hold mold, as well as thousands of germs and food-borne pathogens if not cleaned or stored properly. It should be replaced for a new one from every 5 days for a large family to every 20 days for a small household.
Cloth dish towels can also harbor unhealthy microorganisms, even if they are only used for drying clean dishes.
Wash clean your sponge after each use and place it in a dry place, away from other chemicals. To sanitize it, place 1 liter of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the burner and put the sponge in the water. Leave it for 10 minutes and take it out — It will be very hot, so be careful.) To clean your dish towels, wash them often using the hot cycle of your washing machine. Do this every three or four days.
Your Cutting Board and countertops:
Keep an eye on your countertops and cuttingboards. Salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter are a real threat not to be ignored. According to the CDC campylobacter, salmonella, and E. coli are among the most common food borne diseases. Avoid cross contamination and the spread of bacteria by keeping raw meat and vegetables separated. Never cut vegetables or fruit on the same cutting board that you use to slice raw meat and seafood, unless you thoroughly cleaned it between chops.
Disinfect your cutting board after each use. Hydrogen peroxide 3% is great for this. For absolute peace of mind, have two cutting boards — one for raw meat and one for fruits, vegetables, and everything else.
Clean and sanitize all surfaces after you cook. This extra step will help eliminate food bacteria. It will also discourage roaches, that are attracted by leftovers and can also trigger asthma and allergies.
To sanitize the counter wash it with soap and water. After this, use one teaspoon of chlorine bleach per quart of water to wipe it down. This extra step will help kill remaining germs.
Kitchen Buttons, Knobs, and Handles:
As obvious as these may seem they are often forgotten. Bacteria from that raw chicken or unwashed produce can be carried from the fridge door, to the bottle of cooking sauce, to the microwave handle, to your plate via your own hands when preparing a meal.
To minimize the risk, some experts recommend using a disinfectant on any frequently used kitchen buttons, cooker knobs and cabinet handles several times a week, especially before and after preparing a meal. Keep antibacterial wipes right on the counter for easy access and don't use the same wipe for more than a few places before grabbing a fresh one.
Keeping a clean house helps reduce risks from bacteria, allergens, and parasites. Don't miss out our next post with the second part of this article!