Cleaning the KitchenWhile we relate spring to the season of cleaning, it is always the season to clean the kitchen. Anytime is a great opportunity to give the kitchen a good cleaning and to check foods to ensure they are safely stored.
* To reduce the risk of illness-causing bacteria, always wash your hands, utensils and surfaces right away or otherwise there can be an unintentional opportunity to spread bacteria.
* Keep countertops clean by washing with hot soapy water before and after preparing food. Clean surfaces with 1 tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water.* Don’t forget the kitchen sponge. Put a sponge into a regular dishwasher load, using the "heated dry" setting. In the microwave, saturate the sponge (we used 1/4 cup of water for scrub sponges and 1/2 cup for cellulose); heat on High for one minute (scrub) or two minutes (cellulose). Keep an eye on it. No matter how diligent you are about cleaning, your kitchen sponges won't last forever. Clean sponges weekly, and toss shabby ones (about every two to eight weeks, depending on use).
* Check the top of the stove top. If there are spills or grease spots, wipe these surfaces with hot, soapy water and rinse.
* Another appliance to clean on a regular basis is the refrigerator. Check that the refrigerator temperature is set at 40 degrees or below. Keep the refrigerator clean at all times. Look for unnoticed spills and remove lingering odors. Wipe up spills and clean surfaces with hot, soapy water and rinse well. Avoid using cleaners that impart a chemical taste to food or ice cubes.
* Check the dates of products stored in the refrigerator and freezer. Discard items that are past the date. Also check the refrigerator for containers that may contain food that has mold on it. Discard these items.* Also check the cupboard and/or pantry shelves. It is a good idea to occasionally check dates on food products. Also rotate older food products to the front and move those that were more recently purchased to the back. Remove any crumbs that you find.
Everyone in the household will hopefully appreciate a clean kitchen.