If there’s one room we want to keep clean in the house, it’s the kitchen. We spend about half our lifetime at home but don’t usually give much thought to the connection between our health and housing. The kitchen is exposed to all sorts of contaminants from bacteria to chemicals, so it’s imperative that we take certain measures in this room to ensure that the meals coming out of it are healthy and safe. Follow these 10 essential kitchen cleaning and safety tips to keep a healthy home.
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Run Your Oven’s Range-Hood Fan When Cooking
Here’s an often overlooked kitchen safety tip: using the vent fan. Turn on your oven’s fan when making food to reduce cooking-related air pollutants, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Use BPA-Free Storage Containers
Toss out all water bottles and containers that are made with BPA. This chemical – a suspected health hazard, especially for kids – can seep into food and drinks. Plastic containers labeled with a 1, 2 or 5 do not contain BPA or other plastic chemicals of concern.
Filter Tap Water
Activated carbon filters cut levels of lead, chlorine and other contaminants in tap water. Use a pitcher, tap mount, or under-sink model filter system. Contact your municipality for a copy of your town or city’s water quality, or use an at-home test kit.
Opt for a Copper Sink
The copper surface will help combat germs, as the metal is naturally antimicrobial.
Patch Up Holes & Crevices
Patch any holes or open crevices to keep out disease-carrying pests.
Get a Refrigerator Thermometer
Ensure that food is stored at the proper temperature (below 39°F) with a thermometer inside the fridge.
Replace Cracked Cutting Boards
Cracked cutting boards offer germs a place to hide. Opt for one made of maple wood, or plastic, like these color-coded boards, that help prevent cross-contamination during food prep.
Change Fridge Filters Regularly
If your refrigerator comes with a water dispenser, it should come with a filter, and that filter has an expiration date. Change the filter accordingly before it gets overwhelmed with sediment buildup.
Let Dishes Dry Fully
Allowing plates, cups and silverware to thoroughly dry before putting them back to their respective places will discourage bacteria from settling in on your dishware.
Disinfect Sponges & Replace Dishcloths
Replace dishcloths as needed and disinfect sponges daily. You can clean sponges by placing them in a solution of water and bleach for 5-10 minutes and then let them air dry or dry in microwave for one minute. This will ensure all unwanted mold and bacteria gets killed. These cloths offer you both options: one soft, microfiber side and one poly scour side for scrubbing.