When it comes to household germs, the kitchen is one of the most notorious offenders. In fact, according to the 2011 and 2013 NSF International Household Germ Studies, the kitchen is the germiest room in the house. But it’s not just the obvious spots like the sink and cutting board that harbor harmful bacteria. Here are 10 of the germiest spots in your kitchen that you might not have even considered.
Sponge & Dishcloth
Your sponge and dishcloth are likely the germiest items in your kitchen. According to the 2011 NSF International Household Germ Study, sponges and dishcloths can contain millions of bacteria per square inch. These bacteria include E. coli, Salmonella, and Coliform. It’s recommended to replace these items often and/or sanitize in the microwave or dishwasher on a regular basis.
Refrigerator Door Handle.
The handle on your refrigerator is one of the most frequently touched surfaces in your kitchen, but it’s also one of the germiest. The NSF International Household Germ Study (NSF Study) found that refrigerator handles can harbor harmful bacteria like E. coli and Listeria. To keep your refrigerator handle clean, wipe it down with a disinfectant regularly.
Another frequently touched surface that can be a breeding ground for bacteria is your faucet handles. According to the NSF Study, faucet handles can contain high levels of E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Be sure to clean and disinfect your faucet handles regularly to prevent the spread of germs.
While most people are aware that cutting boards can harbor harmful bacteria, they may not know just how bad it can be. The NSF Study found cutting boards can contain up to 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. To keep your cutting board clean, wash it thoroughly with hot, soapy water after each use and consider using separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables.
Your can opener may seem innocent enough, but it can actually be a hotbed for harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria. According to the NSF International Household Germ Study, can openers are one of the most commonly overlooked items to clean and disinfect. Be sure to clean your can opener thoroughly after each use and sanitize it regularly.
The microwave is another commonly used kitchen appliance that can harbor harmful bacteria. The NSF International Household Germ Study found that the handle and buttons on the microwave can contain high levels of bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Be sure to clean your microwave regularly and disinfect the handle and buttons with a disinfectant wipe.
The gasket on your blender may seem like an insignificant part, but it can actually be a breeding ground for bacteria. The NSF Study found that blender gaskets can contain high levels of harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. To keep your blender clean, disassemble it after each use and wash all parts thoroughly.
Spices may add flavor to your meals, but they can also add harmful bacteria to your kitchen. The NSF International Household Germ Study found that spice containers can contain bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. To keep your spices clean, be sure to wipe down the containers with a disinfectant regularly.
Kitchen towels may seem harmless, but they can actually be a breeding ground for bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus. The NSF International Household Germ Study found that kitchen towels can contain up to 100 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. To keep your kitchen towels