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How to Clean, Sanitise and Disinfect Your Kitchen

The right toolkit is essential when keeping your kitchen clean, sanitised and disinfected.


A close-up image of a female wearing yellow house gloves wiping a counter with a spray bottle

Your household cleaning toolkit should include a cleaner and a sanitiser or a detergent that does both. This will help to keep your loved ones free from nasty infections and keep your kitchen surfaces looking clean.

The correct use of a disinfectant will get rid of the largest amount of bacteria, avoiding any illnesses as a result. This article offers some useful guidelines.

What does it all mean?

Cleaning – is the action of removing dust, debris, and dirt from a surface or exterior using a mechanical application such as wiping, washing, scrubbing, or rinsing.

Sanitising – reduces the number of microorganisms on surfaces and laundry using a cleaning agent. Generally, this reduces the number of pathogens on a clean surface to a safe level. Sanitising is usually a faster alternative to disinfecting.

Disinfecting – Disinfecting is the process of removing contagions from surfaces by killing or inactivating bacteria and viruses typically on hard, nonporous surfaces. Disinfecting can take time and special tools and generally takes longer than other methods.

Cleaning in the Kitchen – surfaces and products

There are several areas within the kitchen that you should disinfect regularly. High touch areas and homes with members of vulnerable populations should frequently disinfect to protect against harmful germs. Sites such as handles, appliances, remotes, light switches, keys, taps, and doorknobs should be wiped daily or every two days or so to keep them safe.

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To practice good hygiene, food preparation surfaces should be cleaned and sanitised daily. Areas such as tabletops and kitchen counters can be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down with a clean, soft cloth. All-purpose or kitchen specific surface cleaners such as Handy Andy Cream Active Shield Kitchen or Handy Andy Actifizz Multipurpose are great options for this task.

It is important to clean the inside of your refrigerator and storage cupboards, weekly or every two weeks with a detergent or cleaning product diluted in water. Ensure that the surface is thoroughly rinsed with clean water before returning your food to the fridge.

It's also essential to disinfect chopping boards and breadboards frequently. The best approach is to scrub at the boards with a bleach-based cleaning solution such as Domestos Thick Bleach to kill any bacteria that may cling to the board.

Your sink will come into a lot of contact with plates, cutlery, and the food you eat, so you must disinfect it thoroughly. In addition to washing out and disinfecting the surface, consider drying out your sink with a towel after using it, as damp conditions can accelerate the growth of pathogens.

Not only is your rubbish bin going to harbour a lot of germs, but it will also start to smell if it's not regularly cleaned. Every couple of weeks you should clean the bin out using a detergent such as Sunlight Anti-bacterial, disinfect it, and apply a deodoriser to get rid of the nasty smells.

Cleaning wipers, sponges, scourer, and brushes, once they have been used, is essential for preventing the growth of dangerous microbes. Use boiling water and a bleach-based detergent to disinfect these items at least once a week. Soak items for 10 minutes and thoroughly rinse off the detergent before using them.

Finally, wipe down the tables and chairs before serving up meals – not just after they get dirty. Use an all-purpose cleaner such as Handy Andy for quick cleaning.

Disinfectants, cleaners and anti-bacterial agents are vital to maintaining a hygienic household. But as with all domestic cleaning products, read the label carefully before using any disinfectant product. Work in a well-ventilated area, wear suitable protection on your hands and face, and finally, remember to clean your hands afterwards.

Key points:

  • Know the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting

  • Select the right product for the job

  • Identify high touch surfaces to wash frequently

Take a look at more tips for keeping your kitchen clean and germ-free or watch a step by step video.

Originally published