Many people think the dirtiest place in the house is the bathroom toilet; however, most often, the dirtiest place with the most bacteria is actually the kitchen sink. Yuck! It is important to keep the sink and other kitchen surfaces clean, especially since they are used in food preparation.
Food particles from dirty dishes and food preparation themselves provide a perfect environment to breed E. coli and salmonella bacteria, both of which can cause zero-fun, gastrointestinal illnesses.
In a study released in 2008, John Oxford, who led the study and is a professor of virology at St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry had this to say:
“You could eat your dinner in a U.S. toilet, but there is a lack of appreciation that kitchen sinks can be contaminated with fecal organisms, either coming in with fruit and vegetables or from pets and children.”
Raw meat such as bacon, other pork products, beef, chicken and others contain bacteria that can survive in your kitchen and contaminate other food. The USDA has minimum internal temperature guidelines for cooking meat designed to kill these dangerous bacteria.
However, before the meat is cooked, it has most likely touched some other surface in your kitchen which is why it is important to clean your kitchen sinks, countertops, and cooking utensils after coming in contact with raw meat and before using them for further food preparation.
There are many ways to clean; some folks feel comfortable using bleach, but other folks prefer not due to environment or toxicity reasons. I’ve listed both ways here.
How to clean kitchen sinks, faucets, and counter with bleach
- Combine in a spray bottle: 1 Tablespoon of bleach with one quart of water.
- Spray solution around the sink and faucets and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach places around the faucets, etc.
- Rinse away the solution well.
(Note: It is safe to use a diluted bleach solution around food and food preparation surfaces; however, be sure not to get the spray solution on clothing or other color fabrics, as the color or dye may fade or bleach.)
How to clean kitchen sinks, faucets, and counter naturally without bleach
- Sprinkle baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) around your sink and faucets liberally.
- Use a damp rag or paper towel to scrub all faucet and sink surfaces. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach places around the faucets, etc. with baking soda.
- Pour vinegar into a spray bottle, and spray all surfaces and faucets.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes, and rinse away well.
You can use a damp rag or a paper towel to clean out your sink and kitchen surfaces, but never use a sponge. A sponge is a great place for bacteria to hide and to grow. The advantage to paper towel is that you can throw it away when you are done using it. A dish rag can also be effective, but it should be washed after using it for kitchen cleaning.
Countertops and kitchen utensils should be cleaned immediately after coming in contact with raw meat and otherwise cleaned daily. Cleaning your kitchen sink does not take very long, nor is it a difficult job if provided you keep it part of your daily, or at least every-couple-of-days routine. The gunk doesn’t have the chance to build up, and cleaning is quick and easy.
Pip the “Clean Sink” Pig