5 Top Tips for a Germ-free Kitchen & A Giveaway (over) *!

Disclosure: I received free e-cloth products in exchange for a review on the blog.  Know that I am always 100% honest in my opinions on this blog.

So confessions time. People who know me, would maybe say I was a frazzled but laid back person, who has a cluttered house and semi-clean kids… So they would be shocked to know that… I used to be a germ-freak. Shocked? Well, no judgement from me- let’s not call me a “germ-freak“. I was a bit OCD though. I wouldn’t share soap, sit on any toilets (including my own), touch any handles, etc. Wow. Too much? Yes. It was.

Well, the best way to cure yourself of a fear is sometimes to face it head on… I had four kids, and after many years of diaper changes and trips to public restrooms….I am cured! I wouldn’t be able to function in my world if I had these old restrictions, but some things still linger. I like a clean house. Yes, it is cluttered beyond clutter. But having a blog that is food-centric, I need a clean kitchen. But what was the one thing that was keeping me from having a truly clean kitchen? ANSWER:  I use a sponge in my kitchen. 

Anyone who reads anything about germs, has to know that sponges are literally “sponges” for bacteria growth. My sister-in-law (who knew me back when I was a little germ-phobic), is always shocked by the fact that I use a sponge. She uses a dish-cloth. “Dishcloths are better,” she tells me. Is that true?

Well, it turns out both can be horrible. But I can’t very well give them both up, since licking the plates is just gross. So I did a little digging to find the least-germy way to have a clean, and low-germ kitchen without spraying chemicals or bleach:

Here are my top no-chemical cleaning tips found:

Assign each kid their own cup to drink from. I use color coded cups that they can re-use, so they don’t have someone else’s germs they are sharing.

Wash your kitchen drain. I did a post (here) on an easy way to disinfect with baking soda and vinegar. Just put some baking soda and vinegar in the drain and let it sit for 10 minutes- then run the hottest tap for 30 seconds to rinse it. That’s it – and it helps with weird smells too. There are some gross things down there. Try to clean this out whenever you think of it!

Disinfect the cutting boards. Better yet, make sure you have a specific cutting board for meat, and another one for veggies. Even after you “clean” them, bacteria can linger. For a natural way to disinfect a cutting board, soak a dishcloth in pure white vinegar (not any other kind) and rub liberally over a board (wood or plastic) let sit, then rinse and dry (especially if wood). You can add baking soda to this version too, if you want to super-scrub out any grossness!  An alternative method that smells awesome is scrubbing with a half cut lemon over coarse salt that has been sprinkled over the cutting board surface- also super effective.

Wipe handles and counters. This one seems obvious, but it needs more frequent attention in the cold/flu months of winter. Use any natural antibacterial spray.

Wash your dishcloths and sponges. Yep. I finally got to the main problem in my own kitchen. The sponge. My sis-in-law is right about the cloths being “better” in the sense that you can wash them in the washing machine! But not to be outdone, you can also disinfect a rinsed sponge by putting it in the microwave for one minute or the dishwasher for a wash cycle (in an empty silverware spot). I have done this, and it does seem to get cleaner. But my old phobias linger, as I have said. I want to wash the sponge in the washing machine. And you can if your sponge itself is washable. And of course, I found them from E-cloth. Of course. I love my E-cloth products as I have shared with you all before with the other cloths and Aqua Spray Mop.

e-cloth washing up pad

e-cloth washing up pad

This Scrub sponge (above) is great: has a cloth-side, scrub-side, and is washable. I love it. I runs $5-7 dollars depending on where you buy it, but think about that. You wash it. It is reusable. In my eyes, this is a bargain, and non-germy besides, because the E-cloth fibers keep away 99% of germs already! Also, I was able to try out the dish-cloths, (so I could make my sis-in-law proud!):

e-cloth wash and wipe dish cloths

e-cloth wash and wipe dish cloths

Like the package says, these are also great for wiping down the counters or any other surface to get the germs off! I loved the fact that you can toss these in the wash and they are good to wipe down any kitchen counter and also do my dishes. I am still a sponge-lover however, so the Washing-Up Pad won out in my comparison.

I was also sent the kitchen-towels, for drying the dishes (a thankless job!), and I liked these too. Not loved, but liked. I maybe just don’t like drying dishes…perhaps. What I do like is that they contain the same e-cloth fibers that fight germs, and they also shine the stainless and glass really well.

I hope you will try these. If you want to check them out, go to the E-cloth site here:

W: www.ecloth.com
F: www.facebook.com/eclothUSA
T: @ecloth
P: www.pinterest.com/eclothUSA
I: @eclothUSA
Y: http://www.youtube.com/eclothCleaning

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Sources consulted for content in this post on de-germing are here, here and here.

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