Caregivers do everything they can to keep their senior loved ones healthy, including maintaining clean kitchens so that the risk of food-borne illnesses is reduced. However, while most people may keep their kitchens tidy, often the challenges of kitchen cleaning relate not to the visible signs of germs and bacteria, but to more subtle, invisible challenge. Discover four ways that you can make your kitchen even more spotless than it already is!
1. Watch those sponges
Sponges are a great aid in the kitchen, but they’re also potential breeding grounds for bacteria: they love the sponge’s moisture and its general warmth. Make sure that sponges are either replaced or thoroughly cleaned weekly. To clean a sponge, use one of these methods:
- Soak the sponge for five minutes in a mixture of one gallon hot water and ¾ cup of bleach.
- Soak the sponge in water and then microwave on high for one minute.
- Soak the sponge in vinegar for five minutes.
2. Check the towels
Towels also accumulate bacteria, so change these daily. Also, let dry hand-washed dishes and pots and pans “air dry” if possible, rather than towel-drying; if towel-drying is necessary, use only fresh, clean towels or paper towels.
3. Don’t forget the kitchen sink
Busy cooks have sinks in which water is constantly flowing, so they may think that cleaning them requires nothing more than an occasional wipe with soapy water. Actually, it’s a good idea to clean the sink with a solution of one teaspoon bleach for every one quart water (hot, of course).
4. Take it from the top
Knowing how to be a great caregiver also means ensuring that your work area and your tools are always clean before you get started on a meal. Countertops should be wiped down and any knives, spatulas, forks, measuring utensils, etc. should always be kept nice and clean; if your utensils been sitting unused for a while, give them a quick wash before starting. Don’t stop with just the countertop; stovetops can get messy very quickly, so clean them properly after each use. Also, make sure the refrigerator is regularly cleaned as well. Trying to squeeze in the time to give the kitchen that extra sparkle can be challenging, but it’s worth it to know that you’re keeping bacteria away from you and your loved ones.