Don’t let your kitchen make you sick

53053524_MEven the most meticulous of homeowners may be surprised to learn their kitchen is crawling with bacteria. Gross! No fear though — there are some easy ways to keep your kitchen from making you sick.

Clean cutting boards properly. Wash them with hot, soapy water after each use. Both wooden and plastic cutting boards can be sanitized with a solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid bleach per gallon of water. (Sanitizing is especially important when you have used the board to cut raw meat.)

Wipe down the kitchen sink regularly. Think the dirtiest place in your home is a toilet? Nope, it’s the kitchen sink. Wipe down your sink regularly. While you’re at it, make sure you are cleaning your kitchen sponge regularly as well. The best way to clean a sponge is to soak it in a bleach solution, although zapping it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes is nearly as effective.

Use reusable shopping bags that can be washed. Reusable shopping bags are great for the environment, but they can become extremely germy over time. A number of companies now manufacture shopping bags made of canvas and other materials that can be washed weekly.

Show your appliances some love. When was the last time you wiped down the inside of your microwave or the interior of your refrigerator? Wipe down handles and interior surfaces regularly.

Show your trash can who’s boss. Your trash can likely harbors a significant amount of bacteria. You can easily get the job done with disinfecting wipes.

Clean your coffee maker regularly. You love your coffee… but you don’t want to drink a cup of mold. One study found that half of coffee makers had mold growing in them. The carafe, lid, and filter basket of your coffee maker should be cleaned daily and your machine should be cleaned weekly by running equal parts white vinegar and water through a brew cycle, followed by two cycles of plain water.