What Is The Best Way To Sanitize Kitchen Countertops? As a kid, we all thought that wiping the countertop with a damp cloth was all it took to “clean”. As adults, we probably know there’s a little more to it than just that.
We now know that the kitchen is the home of millions of bacteria, whether or not the food has gone bad. Where there is food, you will definitely find microscopic marauders that will feast on even the smallest spills of ketchup.
Before you can thoroughly sanitize your kitchen, you need to understand the concept differs from cleaning. The simplest definition is to remove dirt, dust, and any debris from the surface by wiping with a damp cloth, or with the assistance of soap and a scrubber.
However, to sanitize means to reduce the level of microorganisms like bacteria from the surface. The types of bacteria removed are usually listed on the product’s label.
Generally, there are two methods of sanitizing: thermal sanitization and chemical sanitization. The first makes use of heat over a certain period of time to loosen and remove the bacteria from the surface.
The second involves the use of store-bought products with a chemical composition to get the job done. Both methods are known to be equally effective in sanitizing your kitchen countertops, provided you apply their respective processes correctly.
But if you are looking to be incredibly thorough, then the best way to sanitize your kitchen countertops would be to use both methods.
Before you bring out the boiling water and chemicals, get rid of all the loose and visible debris and spills. It would be best to use a dry cloth or paper towel for this first step to avoid spreading any contaminants to the rest of the surface.
Once the surface is free of all the leftover food particles, you can bring out the hot water and soap.
You don’t need any fancy cleaning supplies to really clean your countertops. All you need is a rag, some hot water, and a bit of dishwashing liquid. That’s it.
The hot water will help loosen up the grease from the oven, while the dishwashing soap is effective enough to remove other stains on the surface. An added benefit of using hot water is that it is the first step to sanitizing your countertops.
Once you’re done, dip a clean rag in some clean water and wipe all the dirt-filled lather away. If you notice there are a few stains that didn’t come clean, apply some warm soapy water on it and leave it there for a while.
The particles will loosen after a while and you can easily wipe them away. Try to avoid scrubbing with rough brushes so that you don’t damage the appearance of the surface.
Now is the time to bring out the stronger stuff. There are a variety of sanitization products that you can buy at the store, but you can also make your own homemade mixture. All it consists of is 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach in 1-quart warm water, mixed in a spray bottle (label the bottle for safety sake).
While bleach may be effective in killing the bacteria, you shouldn’t add more than the tablespoon, or else it will create toxic substances. Once you have your sanitizing agent ready, store-bought or homemade, spray it evenly onto the surface.
You can spread it across the entire surface by wiping it down.
If you would like to go the extra step, you can add some boiling water to the surface before applying the sanitizer. This is just to be as thorough as possible. However, since hot water was already applied in step 2 and you’re using a sanitizing agent in step 3, it’s not really necessary to go the extra mile.
As tempting as it might be to wipe the surface dry after applying the sanitizer, you should leave it to air dry. This is to ensure the chemicals do their job and get rid of all the bacteria and other microorganisms on your countertops.
If you have left it to dry for some time, but it is still a bit damp, you can wipe away the excess moisture. Just make sure to use a clean rag or you will have reversed all your hard work.
It is an important step to sanitize countertops in your kitchen, and one that people often take for granted. Remember, it is where you prefer all the food that you ingest. Wouldn’t you rather eat food that is free from harmful bacteria?