Yes, it is true. It’s easy to see how some might not agree with this, but if you consider for a moment that the toilet is almost always flushed immediately, but much of the time discarded food sits in the sink for hours on end and has time to start decomposing and forming harmful bacteria. Here a few quick and easy tips to help you keep your sink clean and surrounding surfaces free of some pretty gross little critters.
Do the dishes after you eat.
This sounds simple, but much of the time we get into a conversation and by the time we think about the dishes, it’s several hours later and we’re far too tired (or intoxicated) to even think about doing the dishes. Whether you’re one who prefers hand washing (not me) or you are one who loads the dishwasher and presses the start button, do it when you finish eating — it’ll save you a lot of angst and help keep things tidy. If you have guests, bring the conversation into the kitchen — after all, everyone likes to say their kitchens are the center of their home.
Clean around the faucet and drain.
We all wipe down our sink with soap and water after we’ve done the dishes, but two places I can almost promise that you’re not getting to is the area around the base of the faucet and the drain. They are some of those many little crevices in the kitchen that very often get overlooked. Take a look at this fantastic tutorial on how to keep these areas clean from Apartment Therapy.
Replace your sponge.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t do this often enough. If the sponge has changed color significantly, toss it. If it has a smell other than soap, toss it. It’s an inexpensive way to keep things clean. You might also consider buying real sponges as they have some amazing antibacterial properties.
Clean your cutting board.
Cutting boards can literally be petrie dishes. Unfortunately, washing them by hand or even in the dishwasher doesn’t really get into all the nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide. Fortunately, there are some really effective ways to clean them that are both effective and best of all non-toxic. Use half a lemon and wipe down the cutting board 30 minutes before you wash it. The citrus will seep down into all of the tiny crevices and kill off any unwanted guests that might be lurking after that last chicken breast you cut up. After the soak in lemon juice, then give it a good wash and you’ll have a nice safe surface to use again the next time.
Clean your dishwasher.
While this may sound a little strange since you probably think that every time you run a load in the dishwasher, the inside of it gets clean. But have you ever looked around the edges of the door where the seal is? It gets a lot of crud and needs to be wiped down occasionally to stop the growth of harmful bacteria. A great choice of cleaners is white vinegar as it does an amazing job cleaning the scum out without hurting the integrity of the seal.
While I by no means want to sound like a clean freak who’s afraid of every last little germ, there are quite a few steps that we can take that will not only help keep our families healthy, it will also improve the longevity of the kitchen investment you’ve made. Whether it’s that new Bosch dishwasher you just purchased or the Hansgroe faucet you just had installed, proper maintenance will keep them clean and keep them performing for years.