Is your toilet cleaner than your kitchen sink

You’d never eat something off your toilet, but surprisingly there are times when it might be a lot cleaner than your kitchen sink. Our food preparation areas can be a haven for harmful bacteria that can make us sick.

Most of us regularly use disinfectant for rooms like the toilet or bathroom, but we might not be as vigilant in our kitchens.

The dish cloth

We use it all the time, but the old faithful dish cloth is an ideal breeding ground for germs. 

Microbiologist Cheryl Power, an Honorary Fellow of Microbiology and Immunology at University of Melbourne, says anything that retains moisture can breed bacteria.

Perhaps someone used the cloth to wipe something from the floor, then it’s smeared across your kitchen bench where you prepare food.

“If you spill something on the floor, use a piece of paper towelling to wipe it up and dispose of it in the bin. Don’t use the cloth that you use to wipe the benches or to wash dishes.” “I make a point of throwing out the dish cloth as soon as it looks soiled,” says Power. “I think we tend to cling onto them until they virtually shred in front of us.”

 “Anything you use to mop surfaces should be washed and put in a rack of some kind to dry out,” says Power.

The cook

Power says the source of most bacteria in the kitchen comes from the people using it, the food they’re preparing and their inadequate cleaning efforts.

“It’s always really important to make sure that before you do anything in the kitchen that your hands get a really good wash and are dried with paper towelling or with a hand towel that you keep specifically for that purpose.”

The kitchen sink

Every plate, fork and cup we eat or drink from goes through our kitchen sink. But unlike the toilet bowl, it might not always get a run over with disinfectant. It’s a good idea to give the area a regular scrub with disinfectant and hot water. 

Bacteria can also build up around the drain so it’s a good idea to give it a good scrub with some bicarbonate soda.   
lady looking in fridge

The fridge door

Power says a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to their fridges – both inside and out.

The fridge door can be easily forgotten – but think about how often we touch it.
“Fridge doors can be grubby, so when you wipe your benchtops, clean your fridge door and don’t forget to clean inside the fridge regularly too.

“I don’t know how many people wash their fridge on a regular basis but we should really take out shelves and give everything a good clean.”

Chopping boards

Chopping boards can harbour harmful bacteria so it’s important they are given a good scrub with a clean cloth or sponge, hot water and detergent, then dried properly.

It’s also important to separate meats and vegetables, and wash your board thoroughly before chopping something else.

“We should be particularly careful when handling raw chicken. Use a clean chopping board and scrub it well afterwards,” says Power.

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