The kitchen can be an overlooked source of household germs. The ever-present kitchen sponge is a likely culprit: its moist environment can breed bacteria, molds and other pathogens. Sinks and drains are also typically germ-ridden, as are handles on the refrigerator and microwave, cutting boards, and dish towels.
Reduce germs with the following simple steps:
- Wash your hands before and after handling food. For home use, plain soap works just as well as antibacterial versions, and is better for the environment.
- Replace sponges frequently, or run through the dishwasher weekly
- Wipe down the sink, counters and other surfaces that are touched often with a solution of 3/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water. If you wish to avoid synthetic chemicals, add 50 drops of tea tree oil (found at health food stores) to a vinegar/water solution.