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10 Most Common Kitchen Mistakes That Might Make You Sick

Cleaning the kitchen should not be taken lightly, especially when it can affect your health!

It is said you can judge people by the way their kitchen looks. Not in a judgmental way, obviously, but enough to form a first impression. That’s because kitchen is the center of a home, where the cooking takes place, the late-night talks, the place where guests get together. It’s also the place you invest the most when it comes to cleaning.

Needles to say, the cleaning routine is extremely important. That’s why cleaning experts warn against making these common cleaning mistakes in the kitchen that might make you sick.

Let’s have a quick look!

Photo by DG FotoStock on Shutterstock
  1. Not replacing your sponge

Do you remember the last time you replaced the sponge sitting by the sink? The fact that you had to pause and think about it is a red flag by itself. You’d better go get a new sponge and replace the old one unless you want bacteria thriving and contaminating kitchen utensils and surfaces. This can cause serious health problems among which food poisoning, warns Armeka Townsend, cleaning expert at Zep.

Experts recommend changing the kitchen sponge at least twice a month. Also, if you want to extend their life a little bit, sponges can be disinfected and sanitized if you leave them microwave for a minute or in the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes.

  1. Using bleach

For many people, the smell of bleach equals cleanliness. Surprisingly, or not, bleach is not exactly the best odor to have around your home. According to Michael Rubino, founder of HomeCleanse, bleach products consist of chlorine compounds which “can negatively affect indoor air quality and trigger adverse health reactions.”

As a matter of fact, cleaning experts claim that bleach is not really as efficient as we’ve been made to believe. In the case of mold, for instance, using bleach will not solve the problem. That’s because bleach cannot destroy the mold on porous and semi-porous surfaces, allowing it to spread to other surfaces.

Don’t forget to read about these 2 EFFICIENT Ways to Get Rid of Nasty Bacteria in Your Microwave!

  1. Mixing cleaning products

When it comes to cleaning products, the more you use does not necessarily mean the better the results. But multiple wipes, disinfectants and sprays all combined might do more harm than good.

The explanation is that mixing various cleaning products “can create toxic gases, which can be harmful if inhaled”, says Townsend. “For example, mixing bleach and ammonia produces chloramine gas, which can cause respiratory problems and even lead to death”, he warns. Eye or skin irritations can be caused by fumes created by bleach and an acid-based cleaners.

To make sure you stay healthy while your kitchen looks pristine, it’s important to pay attention to the instructions on each cleaning product. And maybe stay away from awkward and dangerous combinations.

  1. Not cleaning the spice rack jars

Having a well-organized spice rack is every housewife’s dream. But the jars on the rack need to be properly cleaned and disinfected, not only arranged by colors. That’s because such jars can become ideal environments for bacteria and mold, which in turn can cause respiratory issues, allergies and food poisoning. Spice jars need to be washed constantly and left to dry prior to refilling them.

See these 12 Everyday Habits to Keep Your Kitchen Clean!

  1. Stacking dishes while still wet

Apart from drying your spice jars, you need to make sure your freshly washed dishes are also dry before putting them back on the shelves. You might think there’s no harm done in stacking slightly wet dishes but this leads to moisture, which in turn can lead to thriving bacteria.

As Rubino suggests, let the dishes dry properly and then put them back in the cupboard.

See also: Can’t Get Crystal Clear Dishes out of the Dishwasher? This Is Why!

Photo by KT Stock photos on Shutterstock
  1. Not cleaning the refrigerator’s water dispenser

Like most people, you’ve probably got all sorts of appliances that you use for various kitchen tasks. It’s important to clean these appliances as well, advises Rubino. The microwave, the dishwasher, the air fryer, to name a few, can become ideal environments for bacteria and germs. Disinfecting them with the right products as recommended by their manufacturers, will help get rid of dangerous contaminants and harmful bacteria.

One of the most neglected areas in the kitchen, which you’ve probably overlooked as well, is your refrigerator’s water spout. It’s actually a critical spot that requires extra attention, as it can get dirty and moldy, causing serious health problems. Once cleaned as per the manufacturer’s instructions, let it dry before using it.

  1. Putting all sorts of kitchen tools in the dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of life’s greatest inventions, a true gold mine for most households as it can save you a lot of time. Most of us just put everything inside the dishwasher and let the appliance work its magic. Oh, if things were that easy!

In reality, certain kitchen tools such as cheese graters are not that easy to clean due to their curves and edges, not even by dishwashers. Food residue might still remain on such tools and in time, become moldy. Next time you cut or grate something, make sure you’ve thoroughly washed the tool you’re using to avoid contamination of fresh food and end up with a nasty indigestion or worse.

  1. Ignoring molds and mildew

Speaking of mold, it might not be the most pleasant task to scrub mold but it has to be done regardless. Ignoring it will only make it worse for your health. That’s because mold can lead to nose stuffiness, eye irritations, wheezing and coughing.

There are all sorts of places and corners in the kitchen which can get moldy, so, no matter how small or large the moldy spot is, make sure you take care of it before it takes care of you.

See also: These Are the 6 Dirtiest Things in Your Kitchen!

  1. Not cleaning your reusable grocery bags

If you’re a fan of reusable bags, good for you. You’re looking after the environment, which is something all people should do. But did you know that reusable bags can make you sick? Unfortunately, if not properly cleaned, they can become real bacteria magnets.

As discovered in a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, after plastic bags were eradicated in San Francisco, there was a rise of food poisoning cases. The common denominator? Dirty reusable bags. It was found that reusable bags harbored harmful bacteria such as E.coli, due to food leakages. Another study carried out by the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University in California supported these statements.

  1. Using fragranced cleaners

Your kitchen may smell like daffodils and lilies but unless the odor comes from real flowers, you might want to get rid of the fragranced cleaners in the future. That’s because studies suggest that prolonged exposure to fragranced products can cause health issues such as migraines, breathing difficulties, dizziness, nausea.

As explained by Anne Steinemann, PhD, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia, everything from disinfectant sprays, fresheners to dish-washing detergents with strong scents, should be avoided.

You might also like to know more about these These 7 Cleaning Products Can Ruin Your House if You Use Them Wrong!

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