How clean is your kitchen cloth?

There are more germs in your kitchen than in any other area of your home. And the kitchen sponge has a much greater germ count than the toilet seat.

This discovery was made by Dr Charles Gerba, aka "Dr Germs", and colleagues at the University of Arizona during a study that investigated the key transfer points of disease-causing bacteria in the home and office.

Gerba and colleagues identified five "bacterial hotspots" in the kitchen. In descending order (by highest bacterial count), these included:

  • Sponges and dishcloths
  • Sink drain area
  • Faucet handles
  • Cutting boards
  • Refrigerator handles

The researchers also analysed bathrooms and found that toilet seats were remarkably clean. It is now speculated that toilet seats are simply too dry to provide a good home for growing bacteria.

What to do
So, what can you do to ensure that your kitchen sponges and cloths remain clean? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Don't just assume that white-looking cloths are clean. Remember, disease-causing bacteria are invisible.
  • Don't use the same cloth or sponge to wipe a cutting board and other kitchen surfaces or utensils. Wet the cloth/sponge after cleaning one surface and then pop it in the microwave for two minutes to eliminate the germs that lurk inside the crevices before wiping another surface.
  • Have separate cleaning and drying cloths.
  • Clean cloths everyday by soaking them in water to which you've added a drop of bleach. Dry them out thoroughly before using them again. Alternatively, wash cloths in the washing machine and dry them on high heat.
  • Replace cloths about once a week with new ones.

- (Health24)

Visit our Healthy Home section for more info.

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