COVID-19 & Your Kitchen – What you need to know!
We’ve all been thrown for a loop by the recent coronavirus pandemic, and we’re all found rubbing sanitizer & disinfectants into our hands and belongings all day long. What also needs your attention, however, is your kitchen. In this article, we will:
- Help you identify the places which are most prone to Viruses
- Guide you on how to clean and disinfect your kitchen thoroughly
- Give you a step by step guide to help you prevent Coronavirus from re-entering your kitchen
The places most susceptible to Corona Virus:
- Surface of appliances
- Faucet and stove knobs
- Refrigerator handles
- Packaging that you bring in from the market
How long the coronavirus lasts on surfaces:
A study conducted by the scientists of Princeton University, National Institute of Health, UCLA, and CDC found that the virus that causes COVID-19 is viable up to:
|Stainless steel||2 Days|
Studies suggest that the Corona Virus has the lowest lifespan on Copper. In fact, according to studies, copper appears to actually fight and degrade viruses. Hence, it is a great idea to cover the doorknobs and all handles with copper foil/tape.
Here is a copper foil tape we recommend you try:
How to clean the kitchen thoroughly:
Here is a step by step guide on what sections of your kitchen require cleaning & disinfection.
Step 1: The dishes and utensils + the sink
Do a full load, or two, of the dishes and utensils. You never know what spoon was left sitting out, or the pan that you hang somewhere was subjected to the virus. This is a one-time thing that is going to take some time but it is essential when you need to make sure that the kitchen is completely virus-free. Anything that can be washed in the dishwasher, pop it in there. Remaining things, you wash by hand with hot, soapy water.
Once you’re done with the dishes, give the sink a thorough scrubbing and treat it to a disinfectant as well. You can use a store-bought disinfectant, or you can just plug the sink, fill it with a gallon of water and slosh in some bleach. Let it sit for about five minutes and then drain.
Step 2: The cutting boards, the dishcloths, and the sponges
These things are chiefly bacteria-prone and can develop a colony of millions within a couple of days owing to how moist they generally are, but if you’re doing a thorough clean-up to get rid of viruses you might as well tackle them too. Wash out all your dishtowels with hot water, wash the sponges and then microwave for 2 minutes for complete sanitization, and wash all your cutting boards with hot, soapy water and a little elbow grease to get the microbes out from their grooves and crevices. Pay special attention to the cutting boards because, as the people at WebMD say, cutting boards, have up to 200% more microbes than the average toilet seat!
If your cutting board has lived its life, here is a list of best cutting boards you can get.
Step 3: The faucet, the knobs, and any handle you can find
These things get touched a lot, so they require a complete cleaning and disinfection. Wipe down the faucet and its knobs, remove and wash the stove-knobs if possible, and wipe all the handles you can find in the kitchen. Then disinfect them with a store-bought disinfectant or a mixture of water and bleach.
Step 4: The countertops
Extremely important, since a lot of stuff happens on these in the kitchen. Wipe them well to remove any dirt or grime, and then disinfect thoroughly. Again, this can be effectively done with bleach and water. Mix a tablespoon of bleach in a quart of water and wipe the countertops with the solution. Let it air-dry.
Also, do a patch test to see if the solution isn’t making the color fade, and then proceed. If you have granite countertops, you’ll be better off without the bleach. Here is how you can completely clean and disinfect your granite countertops.
Step 5: The appliances
The surfaces of the appliances also have the potential to house the coronavirus, so make sure to clean and disinfect them accordingly. While you’re at it, you might as well clean out the bottom shelf of the refrigerator as this area tends to accumulate a lot of whatever you put in the appliance, e.g. liquid from when you defrost meat.
This has the ability to nourish a lot of microbes, and when this gets mixed with the raw produce (that is commonly stored in the bottom shelf) the chances of getting salmonella greatly increase. This is a potentially dangerous microbe that infects the intestines and can cause diarrhea so extreme that you might end up needing medical attention. In some cases, it even leads to typhoid.
Step 6: The cabinets and the floor
Clean the cabinets thoroughly, and wipe down any dirt or grime that might be present on the surface. Then, disinfect them with the bleach+water solution as well. As with countertops and appliances, remember to do a patch test.
Give the floor a thorough washing/mopping and then disinfect. Keep in mind that this is a one-time cleaning that needs to be done because you don’t know what has been in your kitchen. You don’t have to repeat this over and over.
Once you’ve cleaned and disinfected your kitchen thoroughly, you just need to do a little bit more, periodically, to keep your kitchen in top shape. WebMD has this great daily, weekly, and monthly list of things that you can do in terms of cleaning and disinfection around the house. Stuff that you can do in your kitchen from that list is:
- Cleaning of the faucet and knobs, the countertops, the refrigerator handles, and cutting boards.
- Clean dishcloths with hot water, and replace them daily.
- Don’t let any spills sit overnight. Clean them up so they don’t become breeding grounds for microbes.
- Clean the sink strainer in the dishwasher.
- Clean and disinfect stove knobs.
- Clean and disinfect the sink thoroughly.
- Sanitize the garbage disposal and the drain by pouring bleach and water ( 1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart of water). Alternatively, you can use white vinegar as well.
Precautions in the wake of COVID-19
As it has always been said, prevention is better than cure.
Even though the stats say many people will make it through this pandemic unscathed it’s still better to make sure you don’t catch the virus.
When it comes to your kitchen, some precautions that you can take are:
- Clean all surfaces thoroughly.
- Disinfect regularly.
- Wash all raw produce with extreme care.
- Try to throw all external packaging before you bring your shopping into the house.
- Keep sanitizer handy so you can sanitize your hands before tackling anything in the kitchen.
- Make sure that if anyone comes to your house they don’t go into the kitchen needlessly.
If you follow all the above-mentioned cleaning steps religiously, you will most certainly get rid of the coronavirus that has become the bane of our existence. Not only that, but you’ll also end up removing all sorts of microbes that no one wants to have around. Happy cleaning!
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