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9 Tips That Will Help Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free

9 Tips That Will Help Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free

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Take your spring cleaning to the next level with these tips

You’ll be shocked to learn where some of the dirtiest spots in your kitchen are.

While it certainly doesn't feel like it in some parts of the country, spring is officially here, and it's time to start anew. Everyone is looking forward to hosting spring soirees and finally going outside for picnics, but one of the first steps to enjoying the season is getting your home in order.

Tips That Will Help Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free

As you begin spring cleaning, you're confident that this will be the beginning of the tidiest era in your life. Your pantry is organized. Heck, you're even composting! You're doing an awesome job. Aren't you?

We don't mean to be a total killjoy, but in order to keep your kitchen sanitary, it's going to take more than one big cleaning. Your kitchen needs consistent maintenance, and often in places that you’d least expect. For instance, did you know that washing your meat or poultry off is not only totally unnecessary, it also spreads bacteria? Or that cleaning the coils behind the fridge is important for keeping food fresh and bacteria-free.

To help you keep up with the clean, we enlisted the support of Laurie Brown, a green cleaning expert and chief sales officer of Earthstone International, a purveyor of household cleaning and sanding productrs, to give you some great and useful tips. Learn how to dispel germs by following this advice.

Change Your Cutting Board

“Use hard plastic cutting sheets instead of wood cutting boards to more easily remove germs after each use. Just wash with dish soap and rinse with water. Super easy and effective.”

Clean Your Sink

Keep sinks clean! Use Magic Eraser or microfiber products to clean around the sink drain and garbage disposal as a way to more effectively remove food scum and germ-laden residue. Ninety-nine point nine percent of bacteria can be removed by agitation, and super absorbent fibers and materials do a superior job — without the chemicals.”

5 Ways to Clean and Maintain Your Wood Cutting Board to Keep It Germ-Free

Plus, the major reason to choose wood cutting boards instead of plastic.

If there&aposs one item you can never have too many of in your kitchen, it&aposs cutting boards. Cutting boards are a necessity not just for keeping your countertop in good shape, but also for properly preparing meat, poultry, vegetables, and other food. A good cutting board is also absolutely essential for food safety.

But which type of cutting board is best? The safety of wood cutting boards versus plastic cutting boards has been debated for years, but contrary to popular belief, a study showed that wood cutting boards are actually safer than plastic. This doesn&apost mean you should throw away all of your plastic cutting boards, though𠅊nd if you don&apost know how to properly clean your cutting board, it doesn&apost matter which kind you use.

To make sure you&aposre getting all the nutrients you need on a vegan diet, it&aposs important to eat balanced meals that include a variety of healthy foods. For example, you&aposll get protein and fiber from beans leafy greens are great sources of vitamins A, C and K. Choose produce from all colors of the rainbow to get all the benefits. Red tomatoes have heart-healthy lycopene, blue blueberries have brain-boosting anthocyanins and orange sweet potatoes have lots of vitamin A to help keep eyes healthy. Looking for meal ideas? Try a simple well-balanced grain bowl: top brown rice, or quinoa, with beans and a mix of saut or roasted veggies.

Recipes to try: Enjoy a simple well-balanced plate of brown rice and beans with vegetables or a hearty bowl of our Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili, chock-full of nutrient-rich veggies and whole grains.

Always Order Dessert

I occasionally get emails from readers asking me why their cake sank in the middle when baking. They always say something along the lines of: "I followed the recipe perfectly, but it still sank. What did I do?!"

While it's impossible for me to know exactly what happened in any specific occasion without my actually being there (Not even I'm not THAT awesome ), these are the top 5 things you should look out for to keep your cake from sinking the next time you bake:

1. Old Baking Powder -- Baking powder may only account for a tiny percentage of your entire cake ingredients, but it can ruin the whole thing if you're not careful! Remember that baking powder only stays fresh for about 6 months to a year, so date them when you buy them, and toss and replace any containers that have been hanging around too long.

Not sure if yours is still good? Take 5 seconds to test it before you start baking by placing a teaspoon of baking powder in about a 1/2 cup of hot water. If still good, it should start to bubble rapidly. If nothing (or barely nothing) happens, it's time to head to the store.

2. Too Much Leavening
-- As counter-intuitive as it might sound, adding too much baking powder, baking soda, or yeast to a cake will cause it to sink as the amount of air that is created within the cake will be more than the structure can support and the whole thing will come crashing down.

Never add additional baking powder or other leaveners to self-raising flour or cake mixes (they already have it mixed in), and always be sure to read a recipe clearly and measure carefully.

When in doubt, remember that the average ratio for baking powder to flour is 1 to 1.5 teaspoons per cup of AP flour so if you read a recipe that calls for something way above that, it's probably an error.

3. Overbeating -- this is probably one of the most common reasons why cakes sink. I'm not sure what it is, but we all seem to have a natural tendency towards overbeating cake batter until it is smooth and creamy. This is even easier to do when we rely on the trusty old Kitchen Aid or food processor to do our mixing for us. But beating in too much air into the batter once the dry and wet ingredients are combined will only cause the batter sink.

Go ahead and work the air in when creaming the butter, sugar, and eggs, but as soon as you add the flour mixture, remember that it's ALL about the light hand. Fold the dry ingredients through the wet only until they are just combined, then delicately divide and pour into your cake pans. If adding anything at the end (food coloring, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.), continue to work the addition through the batter as gently as possible in a flowing folding motion.

𔆔. Oven Temperature -- an oven that isn't properly calibrated and runs either too hot or too cold, could easily make for a falling cake. If possible, spring for an external oven thermometer (like this one) to make sure that when it says 350 on the dial, it's really 350 inside the oven.

Also, don't be tempted to peek inside that oven for at least the first 80% of the suggested baking time. Remember that each time you open the oven door, the temperature inside can drop as many as 10 degrees. These tiny fluctuations in temperature can affect the even rising of the cake.

5. Timing -- Unless a recipe specifically calls for it, don't let a finished batter sit for very long before baking. 20-25 minutes while the first batch bakes is fine a few hours while you run out to pick up the kids and finish some errands is not.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean

I&rsquom going to start out this post with a full disclosure: I am not an expert at kitchen cleaning, nor is my kitchen perfectly sparkling clean at every moment. I cook 3 meals a day, work part-time, and take care of 2 small children simultaneously. Things can get pretty crazy, and sometimes it just isn&rsquot possible to get to the dishes immediately. And, I&rsquoll admit it: I&rsquom a messy cook.

I&rsquove actually had a long history of messy cooking. As a teen, I would whirl through the kitchen like a tornado when I baked something. My sisters would complain about the mess I would leave in my wake.

When I got married, to my surprise, I found that my husband placed an emphasis on keeping a clean kitchen. This perplexed me at first, but over the years I&rsquove come to see the benefits of a tidy kitchen. I only wish I could have appreciated this lesson sooner.

So remember that this post is from one recovering messy cook to another! I think of these tips as hacks to force us messy cooks to be more orderly.

Also, before we begin, let&rsquos keep it real: sometimes my kitchen looks like this. Usually it&rsquos after a weekend when we&rsquore gone for most of the day and I have no time for maintenance. This is a lovely sight to wake up to on a Monday.

1 - Keep it minimal

A few years ago, my counters were lined end to end with appliances, jars, utensils, etc. I was perfectly content with that, and felt that my kitchen was tidy.

Someone commented on my blog mentioning that I had SO much stuff on my counters. I didn&rsquot think much of it because I liked my stuff displayed and within easy reach. Then I read an article about how it&rsquos much better to put everything away in a cupboard so your counters are completely clear. That sounded extreme to me. Besides, there was NO way I could fit everything on my counters into my cupboards.

But then I tried it. And it was heavenly.

Without a bunch of junk cluttering up your counters, you have so much more room for prep work. Plus you&rsquore more motivated to actually wipe down your counters if you don&rsquot have to move everything first. And if anything is out of place, it&rsquos super obvious.

I know this isn&rsquot for everyone, but the more things you can put away in your cupboards, the better. If you don&rsquot have room in your cupboards, throw out, donate, or sell things that you never use.

I personally like to keep out appliances that we use every day (for example, we usually use our blender 1-2 times a day), or ones that are so heavy that it would be a major pain to haul out when I need it (like my stand mixer). I also like to keep my cooking utensils (spatulas, whisks, spoons, tongs, etc.) out on my counter because there just isn&rsquot a good spot for them in my cupboards.

2 - Start with a clean kitchen

If at all possible, don&rsquot start cooking until your kitchen is relatively clean. If you start cooking and your kitchen is already a disaster, you&rsquoll just get depressed and throw up your hands in despair after cooking a meal.

If you start with a clean slate, you&rsquoll be more motivated to keep it clean.

3 - Clean while you wait

If you find yourself with some free time in the kitchen, use it wisely! For example, if you&rsquore waiting for a pot of water to come to a boil, instead of standing around, do a bit of cleaning. Start unloading the dishwasher. Put away cooking utensils that you&rsquore done using. Wipe down the counters. You&rsquoll be amazed at how much you can get done during the in-between times of cooking.

4 - Let the water out of the sink right away

I know this sounds super basic, but it really makes a difference. It&rsquos so gross when I forget to let the water out, and have to stick my hands in cold, greasy water. If you do it right after you wash dishes, it&rsquos way easier to wipe out the sink. Which brings me to my next tip &hellip

5 - Wipe out the sink after washing dishes

I know it&rsquos super gross, but I used to leave all the little chunks of food from washing dishes in the sink when I was done. If you take 2 minutes to dump out the food scraps and wipe down the surfaces, your sink will be ready to go the next time you need to wash dishes. #worthit

6 - Clean up spills ASAP

This is another one that we all know we should do, but neglect when we are in a hurry. The reality is, if you get to a spill as soon as possible, it will be so much easier to clean up. Dried-on gunk has to be soaked or scraped first, when it could have been cleaned up with a simple wipe.

7 - Clean as you go

Along those same lines, it&rsquos a good idea to put things away as you go when you cook (my mom tried to teach me this one). Instead of leaving everything out on your counter, put things away as you use them.

Now, if you&rsquore really in a rush to get something in the oven, it can be handy to mix it together as fast as you can, and clean up the mess while it bakes. Just make sure you actually do clean up after yourself&hellip

8 - Have a compost/trash bowl

Instead of throwing your food scraps onto the counter, it&rsquos much more efficient to place them in a dedicated compost bowl. This way you don&rsquot have to wipe up the food juice, and you can quickly dump the scraps all at once. You can even peel carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, etc. directly into the bowl to save time.

9 - A place for everything

Have a place for everything, and everyth&ndashyou know what I mean!

Instead of having things scattered here and there about your kitchen, it&rsquos much better to have similar things all in one spot. For example, I have a large plate on which I keep all of my non-refrigerated fruit. I also like to keep all of my cooking utensils on one end of my kitchen. That gives me a long expanse of counter with nothing on it. Glorious!

10 - Have set days and times for doing things

I have found that forgetfulness is one of my main reasons for not getting certain chores done. When you have set days for doing certain things, it&rsquos much easier to actually remember to do them!

For example, my stove used to get so grimy because I never remembered to wipe it down. Now that I have a set day for doing it, it&rsquos much more likely to get done. I don&rsquot always get to it on exactly the right day, but just knowing that it needs to be done once a week really helps.

You can also have certain times of the day for specific chores. For example, I like to unload the dishwasher after breakfast. That way, it&rsquos ready to be filled throughout the day. And I like to wash dishes right after supper whenever possible. Then I can wake up to a clean kitchen!

So there you have it: my favorite tips for keeping your kitchen clean. I hope these inspired you to make the effort to keep your kitchen neat and tidy.

If you have any tips of your own, make sure to leave them in the comments!

I couldn’t leave you with just one floor cleaner recipe for the kitchen, could I? Try this recipe for the kitchen – it uses pine and other natural ingredients (including a few other disinfecting essential oils) to help get the kitchen clean.

Your kitchen gets dusty just like any other room in the house, yet so many people forget to dust this crucial area of their homes. Consider using this lemon dusting spray the next time you notice things getting a little less than beautiful. It uses lemon and olive oil to get things clean.

5 Speed Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen

Keeping my kitchen clean and germ-free often seems as daunting as mastering nuclear physics, or some other completely unrealistic goal. Cooking three meals a day and serving countless crumby snacks equals messy countertops, oil-spattered stovetops and other nasty kitchen messes.

Fortunately for aspiring neat freaks everywhere, you can take a few simple steps to minimize the mess and eliminate the growth of icky, not to mention dangerous, bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Keep reading for a few gems of wisdom (some common sense, others not so obvious) to help you maintain your kitchen in the healthiest way possible.

5: Take Preventive Measures

You can prevent head injuries by donning a helmet, sunburns by wearing sunscreen and so on. Become a preventive princess in the kitchen by taking steps to avoid messes that don't really need to happen in the first place. For instance, cover food in the microwave so it doesn't pop, spatter and turn into a crusty mess. Put lids on sugar pots and coffee canisters so they don't spill or invite insects into your home. Cover pots and pans when simmering soups and sauces on the stove.

Taking a couple of simple steps on the front end will greatly reduce the hassle come cleanup time. Besides, who really wants to scrape spaghetti sauce off the ceiling?

We're well into the millennium, so there's no need to keep up that June Cleaver 1950s kitchen mentality. In my personal and completely biased opinion, anyone who's old enough to feed himself is perfectly capable of helping out with the cleanup. Toddlers can carry unbreakable plates and utensils to the sink. Older kids can load the dishwasher once you've rinsed the dishes thoroughly, or they can dry pots and pans after they've been washed. As for husbands? They can handle any kitchen-related chore. Plus, they can take out the trash -- there's no reason to ditch 1950s roles that work in your favor, is there?

The bottom line is that many hands make light work. Contributing to the cleanup process will foster a good work ethic in your children and make everyone proud. What to do if the kids don't like it? They know where the microwave is. A few TV dinners will surely help them appreciate your efforts in the kitchen and make them more inclined to lend a hand in the future.

Resist the urge to wipe up stove spills and spatters as you make them. There are going to be more messes, so save it all for one big cleanup at the end.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean and Safe

This article was co-authored by Robert Rybarski. Robert Rybarski is an Organizational Specialist and Co-Owner of Conquering Clutter, a business that customizes closets, garages, and plantation shutters to ensure organized homes and lifestyles. Robert has over 23 years of consulting and sales experience in the organization industry. His business is based in Southern California.

There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 250,084 times.

If you're like most people, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms of your home. It's probably not surprising, then, that the kitchen can also be one of the messiest. To keep your kitchen safe, healthy, and inviting, come up with a cleaning routine that helps you tackle and prevent grime. If you take care of a few chores a day, messes won't pile up so cleanup is faster.

14 Tips to Organize Your Pantry

Keeping your pantry organized will help with menu planning and shopping. A quick glance will tell you what you need and what you have space for.

Related To:


Dried pasta in jars on a shelf

Photo by: Sumners Graphics, Inc.

1. Designate areas for different types of food such as baked goods breakfast items like cereal, oatmeal, jams, spreads and syrups grains bottled, canned and boxed beverages tea and coffee snacks boxed or canned stocks condiments and oil and vinegar.

2. Label shelves as a reminder when unpacking or when looking for foods.

3. Keep a section of “instant” meals like mac and cheese, instant noodles, or canned or boxed soups together for those times when you need something quick.

4. If you cook a lot of ethnic foods, keep those ingredients together. For example, keep Italian ingredients like pasta, jarred tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato and anchovy paste together, or group Asian ingredients like cans of coconut milk, curry paste and soy sauce.

5. If storing perishables like garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and avocadoes, remove them from plastic bags and store separately in lined baskets to keep them contained and neat. Note that onions and potatoes should not be stored together — doing so makes them spoil faster. Onions, garlic and shallots will keep longer if stored in brown paper bags punched with holes for ventilation. Remember to check on these often and discard any past their prime.

6. Transfer opened containers of dried goods to clear plastic canisters, containers or glass jars that can be labeled. Maximize space by using stackable containers and bins.

7. Use clear bins, baskets or shallow wire baskets that hang underneath shelves to store bags of foods that don’t stack well. If you’re not transferring opened packages to containers, tightly roll up the bag, fasten with a rubber band and place inside a clear resealable bag to keep items fresher longer and to contain spills. Put the heavier items on the bottom so as to not crush more-delicate items.

8. Use shelf dividers or tiered shelves to maximize vertical space and to find items easily in the back of the shelves. Note that many of these shelves can expand, but you’re not required to use them at their longest length. Size them to fit your needs.

9. Make use of corners with single and tiered turntables.

10. Boxes don’t need to stand upright. Sometimes it maximizes space by laying boxes on their side or flat and stacking them.

11. Arrange ingredients on shelves so that taller items are in the back and shorter items are in the front. Place heavier items and glass containers on the lower shelves.

12. Note expiration dates, and place ingredients that need to be used up earlier in the front.

13. If you are keeping non-food items in the pantry, allocate sections for paper towels and napkins plastic utensils plastic bags, foil and plastic wrap, wax and parchment paper cleaning supplies and cooking equipment, like slow cookers, mixers, food processors and waffle irons.

14. If your pantry is broken up into separate cupboards rather than one large room or closet, apply the same grouping and storage tips.

7 Disinfecting Products to Keep Your Home Germ-Free

Most are EPA-approved to protect against coronavirus.

Whether you look forward to your daily or weekly cleaning rituals or you&aposre a master procrastinator, cleaning your home is a necessary part of life. Not only is it a scientifically proven mood booster, but it can also help keep you and your loved ones healthy.

In order to kill potentially harmful germs in your home, sometimes cleaning requires more than warm water and soap. That’s where these powerful disinfecting products come into play. You likely already have a cleaning caddy filled with supplies that advertise their ability to sanitize and disinfect, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two types of cleaners.

Sanitizing reduces the number of germs on a surface to a safe level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, proper disinfecting kills the germs, lowering the risk of spreading infection. That’s why the CDC recommends disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, like countertops, doorknobs, and light switches. You can do this by using common cleaning products from brands like Purell, Clorox, and Lysol, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves for protection against emerging enveloped viral pathogens, like the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

While many cleaning supplies are quickly selling out due to the current coronavirus outbreak, you can still shop for many of them online. Here are 10 of the best household disinfectants to buy right now.

The most common cleaning mistakes

Cleaning can be tough enough without sabotaging yourself. Our experts told us the most common mistakes non-pros make when it comes to cleaning and offered simple solutions for remedying them.

13. Don’t procrastinate and put off small cleaning tasks

All of our experts agreed that procrastination is the one mistake keeping most people from maintaining a clean and tidy home. Putting off smaller tasks leads to larger, messier tasks that can seem too overwhelming. Developing a quick daily cleaning habit is the key to overcoming this common mistake. When it comes to surface cleanings, keep on top of rooms like the kitchen and bathroom on a daily basis to avoid buildup. In the bedrooms, make the beds in the morning and spend about 10 minutes once a day tidying up surfaces in the bedrooms and living room. Just those small changes will make a big difference in the way you feel about your home.

14. Don’t use the wrong tools and products

Using incorrect tools is a second mistake that is easily remedied. Make sure you have a vacuum that is equipped to clean things other than just your carpets and rugs. You’ll need one that has attachments that make it easy to clean soft furniture, curtains and stair treads. For hard surfaces, it’s a safe bet to stick with microfiber cloths and mops.

“People often make the mistake of using sponges to clean. Sponges store bacteria and are overall not sanitary,” says Boone.

Because microfiber cloths can be laundered after each use, they’ll also save you money in the long run on cleaning supplies.

15. Delegate cleaning tasks to other people in the household

The third mistake is taking on too much yourself. If you’re feeling so overwhelmed by cleaning that you don’t get started at all, it’s time to rethink your strategy. If there are other family members living in the home, make sure everyone, including kids, is taking on their fair share of the work. Or hire a housekeeper.

“If there are children in the home, consider creating a kids chore chart,” says Gregory. “For fellow adults, divide and conquer to make weekly, monthly and larger deep cleaning tasks far more manageable.”


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