Kitchen Cleaning: Is Anti-Bacterial Cleaning Worth It?

Kitchen Cleaning is one of those unavoidable tasks; it's just something that must be done each and every day. Whether you are single and living in an apartment or a mom in a larger home, you want to be sure that your kitchen is not only clean, but also germ-free. During the past 10 years, anti-bacterial cleaning products have flooded the market. At first, these products were convenient, providing a simple way to disinfect kitchen sinks and countertops. But today, research has revealed that these products are overused and causing some strains of bacteria to become resistant. In fact, the American Medical Association recommends that consumers limit their exposure to anti-bacterial products. With more than three-quarters of soaps and cleaning products containing anti-bacterial ingredients, it's hard to avoid purchasing these type of cleaning products.

The good news is that you can make your own homemade disinfecting kitchen cleaning products without the anti-bacterial agents. If you do purchase cleaning products, try to avoid those containing following chlorine, lye, glycol ethers and ammonia.

Disinfecting Countertops and Sinks Without Using Anti-Bacteria Cleaners
Using hot, soapy water is one of the best ways to clean your counters and sinks. Borax is a wonderful natural disinfectant. Dissolve some borax in water. Place into a spray bottle and use wherever you desire. Some countertops require special cleaning care. For example, granite should not be cleaned with vinegar. Instead, use hot, soapy water mixed with a bit of rubbing alcohol. It will also help give the counters some extra shine. Don't wipe your counters with a sponge that's been sitting in your sink. This can transfer bacteria to your countertops. Use a rag or a paper towel to wipe your counters. Old T-shirts or undershirts make some of the best rags. Simply cut to your desired size. Keep separate sponges for sink cleaning. Do not use the same sponge for washing dishes and cleaning the sink, as it could transfer bacteria. A stainless steel sink can be disinfected with some vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Sponges should be replaced regularly to avoid bacteria growth. Bacteria favor sponges because they are damp and provide a nice environment for them to grow in. One of the best tricks is to place your sponge in the microwave for 1-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the sponge, as microwaves vary. As soon as you see steam coming from the sponge, you can turn off the microwave. Wait a few minutes for the sponge to cool down before removing it from the microwave.

Cutting Boards
If you are worried that your cutting boards may have bacteria buildup, put them in the dishwasher. The combination of soap and very hot water will kill the bacteria without using any anti-bacterial products.

The bottom line in kitchen cleaning is to use your common sense. If you rarely use anti-bacterial products, then occasional use won't be harmful. Try to wash dishes promptly and clean spills as they occur. This will make your kitchen cleanup easier and less germ-prone.


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