What is the Most Germ-Ridden Room in Your House?Germs in the home can show up where you least expect them, even if you diligently try to keep your home clean. So what is the most germ-ridden room in your house? It's not the bathroom--it's the kitchen. This is likely because people regularly disinfect their bathroom while kitchen items may be overlooked.
The following household items are commonly overlooked sources of contaminants that can easily be kept clean with a little elbow grease.
Kitchen Sponges and Rags
The moist environment of sponges and rags is an ideal place for bacteria to flourish. Wiping your counters or dishes with a dirty sponge will only transfer the bacteria from one item to another. Replace kitchen sponges and rags often. Allow them to dry out between uses. Most bacteria can only survive a few hours on dry surfaces. Disinfect sponges regularly by putting them in the dishwasher. Rags should be washed in the washing machine and then dried on high heat. You can also sterilize sponges in the microwave. A dry sponge can be sterilized in the microwave in 30 seconds, a wet sponge in one minute.
The cracks and crevices in your cutting board provide plenty of space for bacteria to grow. Be careful of cross contamination. If you use your cutting board for raw meat or fish, be sure to sanitize it thoroughly before chopping vegetables. To clean the board, first hand-wash it using hot water and dish detergent to remove any food particles. You can then use a mixture of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach in one quart of water to sanitize the board, leaving it to air dry. Alternatively, you can put the board in the dishwasher to sanitize it. You may want to keep two cutting boards in the kitchen, one for raw animal products and one for fruits and vegetables.
Kitchen countertops can still harbor germs even if they look clean. This is especially true if you've "cleaned" them with a dirty sponge or rag. The kitchen faucet and faucet handle is an often-overlooked source of potentially harmful bacteria.
Other surfaces not to overlook include: refrigerator ice and water dispensers, spatulas, blender gaskets, can openers and meat and vegetable compartments in the refrigerator.