There are lots of hiding spots for germs in the kitchen. We all know they can lurk on countertops and cutting boards and in trash cans, but have you ever thought about what could be lurking on the controls of your microwave? Here are 5 germy spots that you should put on your weekly cleaning list.
1. Kitchen Sink: Dishes left in the sink can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. After you've cleaned them, germs can linger in the sink and simply rinsing it won't disinfect it. Pre-wash the sink with soap and water and mix 3/4 cup of bleach into one gallon water or use an all-purpose cleaner with bleach. Wipe the sink with the solution or the cleaner and wait at least 5 minutes. If you made the bleach solution, pour it down the sink to clean the drain. Rinse the sink well with hot water.
Related: 10 Dirtiest Spots in Your Home
2. Sink Faucet: Most of us don't have sensor faucets like the ones in the airport, so dirty hands can definitely contaminate the faucet and handles. Wiping them with an antibacterial wipe daily will reduce germs but you may need to use several wipes to make sure that the surfaces remain wet long enough to be disinfected.
3. Sponges: Bacteria love to hide in their moist crevices. Using a dirty one can transfer germs to other places in your kitchen. Be sure to clean them weekly and throw them away when they start falling apart. To find the best way to clean your sponge, check out the results of our Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) Investigation.
4. Faucet Spigot: When you clean foods like lettuce and spinach for dinner, the dirt that you're washing off can splash back onto the the spigot of your sink, giving germs a new resting place. Unscrew the spigot to remove the screen filter and run hot water through it. Then wash the screen with hot soapy water, rinse, and reassemble.
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5. Microwave Control: Since splatters inside the microwave are very noticeable, you probably clean them up. But do you ever think to clean the control buttons that are touched by many sticky fingers? With an antibacterial wipe give them a cleaning too.
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