Eat. Home. Live.

In depth ramblings about cooking, homekeeping, and whatever else I decide to write about.

Simplified Kitchen Cleaning

Cleaning your kitchen doesn’t have to mean using 4-5 different expensive and dangerous cleaning products. It can actually be a very simple process and only requires a couple of cleaning items, a few steps and some elbow grease, and some knowledge about germs.

Tools:

1. Clean dry dish towel
2. Clean sponge and dishrag
3. Dish soap (Dawn is great for greasy messes, but every day dish soap is fine. I use a natural dishsoap.)

  • Basically, cleaning involves wetting a clean sponge with warm water, adding a little dish soap to the sponge and wiping the counters down. 
  • You can scrub any really tough spots with the scrubber side of the clean sponge. 
  • After your initial scrub down, rinse your sponge in very hot water and stick it in the dishwasher or saturate it with hot water and microwave it for 2 minutes to kill all microbes.  
  • Take the clean dishrag, douse it in warm water and rinse the counter tops. Do not skip this step. It is one of the most important steps in having a sanitary kitchen. If you don’t use dishrags, just use a fresh, clean sponge (don’t use the one you used to clean b/c it will have all of the germs you just wiped off of the counters on it.) 
  • Now, if you like, you can dry the counter tops with the clean towel. 
  • If you are really scared of germs or your kitchen feels particularly oogie, you can spray the counters with a solution of bleach and water. According to the CDC, you need 1 tsp. per gallon of water. You can put this in a spray  bottle and spray on very heavily.  You need to allow it to sit on the counter for 10 minutes for it to do anything at all. Wiping it up immediately will do nothing. It is best to spray it on and allow it to evaporate on its own. Alternatively, if you are like me and don’t want bleach on your food prep surfaces and aren’t a total germaphobe, you can use a botanical disinfectant like Method Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner. These are usually made using thyme oil or other natural ingredients. This product is fairly expensive, so I only use this in areas where I have prepared raw meats and in the sink or other really dirty spots since these are the only areas that routinely get bombarded by dangerous bacteria. I spray it and leave it to dry on its own. I rarely get any kind of illness and haven’t had a stomach bug since 2005.  
antibacterial kitchen cleaner
  • You say you need an abrasive cleaner for the sink? Use dish soap and baking soda to scrub with. It’s cheap and gentle. 
  • Want to shine things up? Grab your regular glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth after you wash and rinse and shine away.

Here is the knowledge part:

The main sources of germs are raw meat juices (especially chicken), dirty rags and sponges (think cross contamination from wiping meat juices up then using the sponge to wipe the rest of your counter), dirty sinks, and trash cans.  The best way to prevent illness is to:

1. WASH HANDS FREQUENTLY (before cooking, after handling meat, after emptying the trash, after using a sponge, etc…)

2. Clean meat juices up with a disposable paper towel immediately (this is about the only thing I use paper towels for), spray the area with disinfectant, allow to sit for 10 minutes and wipe residue with a paper towel. I actually have place where I only prepare meat on the rare occasion I have to chop or handle it. No other food is prepared in this area.

3. Never use the same sponge for cleaning meat juices as you do to clean the counters (better yet, use paper towels for meat juice contamination.)

 4. Use a different knife and cutting board for meat than the other items you are chopping or cutting.

 5. Clean sponges daily using the microwave or dishwasher (I have several sponges and am always throwing the used one into the microwave or dishwasher.)

6. After each use of a sponge, rinse well, squeeze water out, and lay wet side up to dry.

7. Use a clean dish towel daily.

8. Keep the sink clean. Other than areas where meat has been prepared, this is the most important area to disinfect.

9. Spray the inside of the trashcan liberally with disinfectant and allow to air dry at least one time per week.

10. Sweep and mop your kitchen at least once per week.

See? You don’t need any special cleaners or to spend a lot of money. Most people keep dish soap, bleach, and baking soda on hand. Spray bottles can be had for a buck at Dollar Tree, as can sponges and dish towels.  Cleaning this way is a great way to cut down on the number of cleaning supplies in your home, and it is an easy way to save money.

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One comment on “Simplified Kitchen Cleaning

  1. prolix
    July 26, 2011

    Give more information about it ………….Commercial Dishwasher

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2011 by in Greener Cleaning, Home.