Food safety begins with a clean kitchen, and you may be surprised that common cleaning practices — such as using sponges and antibacterial soap — can cause more harm than good. Here are simple tips for keeping your kitchen clean.
Use washable cloths instead of sponges: More germs live in the kitchen than the bathroom and sponges are mostly to blame! Kitchen sponges are the No. 1 source of germs in the entire house. Instead, use cloths that can be cleaned in the washing machine and reused.
Don't use antibacterial soap: Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than plain soap and water for killing disease-causing germs, and they may even cause antibacterial resistance. See what the Washington Toxics Coalition says about using antibacterial products (PDF).
Sanitize with vinegar: A solution of one tablespoon of bleach dissolved in one gallon of water sanitizes surfaces effectively but bleach is toxic and harmful to the environment. Instead, consider using a solution of equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water for tough cleaning jobs and to sanitize dishes or kitchen surfaces.
Use "natural" cleaning products: From all-purpose tile cleaners to phosphate-free dish detergents, PCC carries kitchen cleaning products that are safer for you and the environment. Learn more in this video.
Make your own easy, inexpensive cleaning products
Vinegar: Vinegar mixed with water is an inexpensive solution that will clean most household surfaces, from kitchen appliances to tile and toilets. A few drops of an essential oil — lemon, tea tree, and lavender — add a fresh scent!
Lemon juice: Lemon juice is as versatile for cleaning as it is for cooking! Mix it with vinegar or baking soda (or both) to make an all-purpose cleaning paste that cuts through grease, dissolves soap scum, and even shines silver. Or try cutting a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section, then use it to scrub dishes, surfaces and stains.
Baking soda: Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers and it's a natural deodorizer. To keep your kitchen smelling fresh, just keep an open box in the refrigerator and sprinkle some on the top layer of your garbage.