Four Tips to Keep Germs out of the Kitchen

July 3, 2017
Kitchen cleanliness is one key to how to be a great caregiver

Keeping a clean kitchen is an important part of being a great caregiver.

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 can be a breeding ground for germs

Sponges can be a breeding ground for germs

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

Keeping stovetops and countertops clean is very important

Keeping stovetops and countertops clean is very important.

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.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

Hollie Bradley, Owner

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior who could benefit from our vast array of home care services in the Newport News & Williamsburg area, please call us at 800.371.1194 or email us. We work with most long term care insurance companies and have a staff of 130 trained home care personnel covering the Newport News, Virginia area.

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