The Today Show shared some tips from experts about the germiest places in your home and how to clean them.
Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for your specific coffee maker. A frequent recommendation is to add four cups of undiluted white vinegar to the reservoir, let it stand for 30 minutes, then run vinegar through the brew cycle. According to green cleaning expert Leslie Reichert, this gives the vinegar time to create an acidic environment that is toxic to germs. Follow with two to three cycles of fresh water to remove all traces of vinegar. Do this green cleaning routine at least once a month or every 40-80 brew cycles.
Both manual and electric can openers can host E.coli, salmonella, yeast and mold if they’re not cleaned thoroughly after each use.
Manual can openers can be cleaned in the dishwasher, if dishwasher safe, or hand washed in hot soapy water. If hand washing, make sure to clean around the cutting blades, since that’s where food is most likely to stick. Rinse and dry completely after each use.
Unplug any electric can opener before cleaning it. Using a toothbrush and hot soapy water, scrub the cutting area completely with the cutting mechanism both open and closed. Apply clean water with a toothbrush to rinse and dry completely.
Another green-cleaning option is to substitute hydrogen peroxide or undiluted vinegar for hot soapy water. Rinse and dry.
Refrigerator vegetable/fruit compartment
Every month, empty and, if possible, remove the veggie drawer from the refrigerator. Wash with a mild detergent solution. Rinse in clean water or, to deodorize, rinse first with 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of water then rinse in clean water. Wipe dry.
Refrigerator meat compartment
Salmonella, E.coli, yeast and mold make the refrigerator meat compartment one of the top hiding places for germs. Make sure the meat, poultry and seafood you serve are kept below 41 degrees.
What to do: If possible, remove drawer from refrigerator and empty. Clean with warm water and mild detergent, rinse and dry. To remove odors, rinse first with 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of water. Rinse and wipe dry. Clean monthly or whenever meat/seafood/poultry juices spill.
To clean green: Use white distilled vinegar instead of detergent. Vinegar also removes odors so you can skip the baking soda rinse.
What’s wrong with it: Blenders can harbor some of the nastiest germs in the kitchen, as salmonella, E.coli, yeast and mold thrive on blender gaskets that aren’t cleaned.
What to do: After each use, unplug the blender and take the blender jar off the base. Unscrew the blade assembly from the bottom of the jar, then remove the blade and gasket. If dishwasher safe, clean the jar, the screw-on bottom, gasket and blade in the dishwasher. Another option is to hand wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well and dry.
To clean green: Rinse blender parts in warm water to remove residue. Wash with undiluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide instead of soapy water. Rinse well and dry.
Refrigerator water dispenser
What’s wrong with it: Because yeast and mold can build up on the dispenser spout, drinking water from refrigerator water dispensers may cause problems for people with an allergy sensitivity.
What to do: Clean dispenser spouts with a pipe cleaner or small brush alternately dipped in warm water, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (in that order), according to Carl Major, owner of Major Appliance, AC and Heating in Slidell, La. Clean as needed or once a month. This is also a green cleaning option.
Remember to replace external water filters annually or as recommended by the manufacturer, says Mike Barker, president of California’s Plumbing- Heating- Cooling Contractor’s Association.
To clean the ice bin, turn the ice maker off, remove the bin and discard the ice. Using warm water and a mild dish detergent, wash the bin, rinse well and dry. Clean monthly.
Those perfectly-fitted slots that hold knives so well also provide a dark, moist breeding ground for yeast and mold. Clean it with hot, soapy water, using a small brush to clean inside the knife slots. Sanitize with mild bleach solution.
To keep mold and bacteria from building up in the block, make sure knives are clean and completely dry before inserting them into the slots.
Pet food bowls
This one is pretty obvious … where have your pets been? Don’t feed your furkids the best pet food out there but then not keep them healthy with nice clean bowls..both the water and food bowls should we cleaned every day. We also recommend disinfecting pets toys as well.. You can run them through the dishwasher using just vinegar or through the washing machine. If you wash the bedding you might need to run an extra empty load to clear out all the pet hair. Most prefer it in the lint trap over the entire house.
Source: The Today Show