I have read an article from Good Housekeeping. Titled, The Germiest Kitchen Spots That You Aren’t Cleaning- The most bacteria lurks in some surprising places, by Sharon Franke.
The article explains in great detail on areas of our kitchen we often disregard our attention to when cleaning. Bacteria is heavily apparent in these six environments and they are the refrigerator vegetable compartments, meat compartment, blender gasket, can opener, rubber spatulas and food storage containers.
The first two spots are the vegetables and meats that are often stored in the fridge and when the fridge is closed, it encourages the bacteria to breed in cold, dark and moist environments. To avoid bacteria and contamination of vegetables and leaky blood juice from the meats, washing your compartment drawers with warm water, a mild dishwashing detergent and sponge/cloth at least once a month is crucial. Store the meats on the lowest shelf possible so that the juices from the meat do not contaminate your other goods. Good Housekeeping also suggests to wash your compartments with a solution of a quart of water and two tablespoons of baking soda to decrease the lingering odors. However, I have found that when I wash my containers in the bathtub, I love my homemade spray mixture of Dawn Dish Soap and White Vinegar. With the mixture, it shines, removes odors, and stains from my compartments all at one time.
The third contaminate area in your kitchen is the blender gasket that has bacteria underneath and in between the gasket and the container of your blender. Always unplug your blender, take apart the jar, while removing the blade and gasket, and if your blender is dishwasher safe, place them in the top rack. If a dishwasher is not accessible for you, soaking all the pieces in hot, soapy water will allow the grime to come off. Once all the pieces are cleaned, dried and reassembled, your blender is ready for use.
The fourth is a can opener. Though some cans nowadays have a flip top, traditional cans still need assistance from the can opener. Have you ever noticed that when using the can opener, the food particles or juices land onto the cutting wheel of your opener? Or there appears to be food built up or rust? Well, the solution to cut the bacteria and increase the life of your opener is to always wash the can opener after each use with hot soapy water, sponge, and dry to avoid any water residual and built up. Your can opener will always look new and every blade will stay sharp.
Rubber spatulas are great for scraping cake mixes, sauces, and jellies. However, little do we know that bacteria builds up on the inside of the rubber spatula where the wooden or plastic handle meet. One way to avoid bacteria build up is to remove the two pieces apart and wash separately. If for some reason the spatula is unable to detach from one piece to the other, manually wash every nook and crannie.
Finally are the everyday storage containers we use to store food. As the caps of the storage containers have grooves and possibly suction the other end of the container, the crevices in the lid often build bacteria and remain very hard to wash off all the food debris in the rubber seal. A suggestion I feel that could also aid in cleaning the lids to avoid the bacteria build-up is to use a toothbrush and brush around the entire grooves and crevices of the container that are hard to reach with our sponges and hands.
I hope this summary of these six crucial areas we often forget about when cleaning our kitchen or kitchen tools will be an enlightenment on our horizon when cleaning in the kitchen. We need to conquer them and fight the bacteria away. Making our kitchen and foods to be more safe and healthier for us. Thank you to Good Housekeeping for such great advice!