How to disinfect every surface in your kitchen


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Get this: 76 million people get sick from foodborne illness every year. That’s equivalent to the entire generation of baby boomers. You can’t control that questionable takeout place in your neighborhood, but you can disinfect your kitchen so you don’t poison yourself.


1. Food preparation surfaces

The disinfectant: Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner
How often?: Disinfect food preparation areas like countertops every single day. Every. Single. Day. 
Why?: It’s important to know that wiping away dirt and disinfecting are two totally different things. If your spray makes your countertop shine but isn’t disinfecting, you can still get sick from leftover germs. Before and after you cook, be sure to clean and disinfect your countertop. Then, use a soft cloth to dry the counters to avoid any mold or mildew issues.


2. Eating surfaces

The disinfectant: Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner
How often?: Ideally, you should disinfect the dining room table, the breakfast bar or the TV stand before and after every meal. If that seems a little much, shoot for once a day. 
Why?: We don’t want to insult your intelligence by explaining why you should be disinfecting where you eat. Let’s just say, a recent test by the University of Virginia showed that salt and pepper shakers from a dining room table had the highest concentration of cold and flu viruses of anything tested in the home. Gross.


3. Food storage spots

The disinfectant: Seventh Generation Multi-Surface Cleaner
How often?: Disinfect the pantry and refrigerator once a month at least. To be extra germ-conscious, we recommend tackling these bad boys once a week. 
Why?: When you’re cleaning inside of a fridge, you want to ensure that your disinfectant is safe for food. Enter: Seventh Generation Multi-Surface Cleaner. It’ll keep your food safe and get rid of unwanted bacteria. And trust us, there’s a lot of it in your fridge. Psychrophilic bacteria, otherwise known as psychrophiles, are bacteria that are able to grow at low temperatures (meaning the temperature of your fridge doesn’t kill them off). If just knowing they’re there doesn’t make your skin crawl, get this: Psychrophiles may cause harmful health conditions, such as sepsis, diarrhea, meningitis, dysentery, urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal infections. Convinced?


4. The kitchen sink

The disinfectant: Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner
How often?: Spray it and rub it down once a week. 
Why?: Your sink is like the kitchen’s dive bar: Almost everything in your kitchen goes there eventually. And all of these dirty utensils, plates and containers that come into contact with your sink have bacteria, meaning it’s basically a bacteria factory and one of the grossest spots in your home. Tip: After you disinfect your sink, dry it completely with a cloth, because damp conditions can accelerate bacteria growth.


5. The trash cans

The disinfectant: Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Spray
How often?: Once a week, or as often as you take out the trash. 
Why?: Your trash can holds trash. Trash carries and grows a lot of bacteria. So, it would behoove you to disinfect your trash can once a week to prevent that nasty bacteria from making its way into your chicken parmesan. (Plus, it will prevent your can from smelling like the dump.)


6. The surface: The dishwasher

The disinfectant: White Vinegar
How often?: Run white vinegar through a cycle once a week. 
Why?: Your dishwasher cleans the dishes that you eat from. What cleans your dishwasher? Nothing? Change that! Run a cycle of white vinegar in an empty dishwasher right now. Here’s why: Researchers in the U.K. found that 62% of dishwashers contained Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis, which are extremely dangerous to human health (and difficult to spell). For a more detailed step-by-step on cleaning and disinfecting your dishwasher, read: Clean Your Dishwasher.


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