Where are the Germs Hiding in Your Kitchen?

The Overlooked Danger Areas Where Germs are Lurking in Your Kitchen:

For a room that’s used to store, prepare, and eat your food, the kitchen is a pretty dirty place. You know that food-born bacteria like salmonella and other nasty germs like E. coli can get onto your countertops and dishes, so you clean them regularly to prevent their spread and avoid potential sickness.

Most people, however, don’t realize that there are other unclean areas of the kitchen where germs can be hiding. If you’re overlooking any of the following areas when you clean, we recommend you start including them in your kitchen cleaning routine.

Cabinet and Drawer Handles

The handles of your cabinets and drawers – or wherever you touch to open them – often hold a surprising number of germs. These are areas that you touch frequently, but many people rarely clean them.

One of the most common way germs are spread to your handles is when you handle meat and food, and then reach into the cabinets for something like cookware or utensils without washing your hands first. When cleaning your kitchen, don’t forget these surfaces.

Can Openers, Toasters, Tea Kettles

Small appliances such as your can opener, toaster oven, microwave and your tea kettle (especially its handle) can also be home to a lot of germs and bacteria. These are things that you also touch very often yet don’t always clean.

You should regularly wipe down your small appliances when cleaning your kitchen, and wash your hands before you use them after you’ve handled food.


You may think that your refrigerator should be a pretty clean place if it’s where you store your food, but you’d be wrong. For one thing, the handle of your refrigerator door contains many germs.

Inside your fridge, all the surfaces, especially the drawers and shelves, contain bacteria as well. Any germs that are present on your food items before you cook and wash them can spread and stay inside your fridge. Regularly clean your fridge, and if you notice food spillage, clean it immediately.

Towels, Cloths and Sponges

Your kitchen towels actually hold more germs than anywhere else in your kitchen. You should very frequently (daily, if possible) wash your towels in the washing machine with hot water, or at least use a fresh towel every day.

Your sponges can be placed in the dishwasher with your regular cycle to clean them, although daily disposable sponges are the best way to prevent the buildup of germs. Use different towels for different purposes (i.e. wiping the counters, drying hands, and drying dishes) to reduce cross-contamination.

Sink and Taps

The kitchen sink holds many germs; they build up as you wash food, dishes, and your hands. The soapy water you use isn’t always enough to clean the germs that spread to the entire surface area of the sink.

You should clean your kitchen sink just as you would clean the counters and other surfaces. The tap also collects germs every time you turn it on with unwashed hands, so don’t forget to clean that too.

Jessica Vance is a freelance writer and cleaning expert who works for an Arizona tile store.
She loves to give tips on how to keep kitchens clean and organized.

Photo Credit: Brent | Marketing

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