A Simple Reference To Keep Your Kitchen Germ Free

A Simple Reference To Keep Your Kitchen Germ Free

As we settle into new living restrictions and working from home arrangements, it’s a timely reminder to explore the best ways to protect ourselves while at home. 

With the risk of contracting COVID-19 rife in the community, we are becoming increasingly familiar with social distancing measures and the need to wash our hands more regularly. 

But are you keep up the vigilance with cleaning at home too? 

To keep your bathroom and kitchen a contamination-free zone, we’ve summarised the top research available to help you combat coronavirus. 

How long does coronavirus survive on surfaces?

According to a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales coronavirus was shown to survive for up to three days on plastic, two days on stainless steel and one day on cardboard. 

Kitchen benchtops can be made out of a variety of materials including laminate, wood, stone, concrete, composite or metal. 

A good portion of kitchens has laminate benchtops installed. Laminate consists of a layer of plastic, glued to a block of engineered wood like particleboard or medium density. 

If not cleaned properly your kitchen benchtop can easily become unhygienic and as the study shows, you could see the coronavirus survive for up to three days. 

How do I clean my benchtops?

The Queensland Government recommends cleaning the cleanest areas first. This way it will help prevent any cross-contamination. Remember to wear single-use or reusable gloves when cleaning. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then recommend using detergent or soap and water to first clean your surfaces. Don’t forget to give them a good scrub, not simply a wipe over. This should then be followed by disinfection. The CDC says most household disinfectants should be effective. 

Additionally, a diluted household bleach solution can be used, but make sure you ensure a contact time of at least one minute.  

If using reusable gloves wash them off with running water and detergent and hang them outside to dry after use. Follow this up with washing your own hands after you’ve removed the gloves. 

What household products can I use to disinfect?

You probably have everything you already need to clean with in your cupboard. 

If you want to check your products, look for a bleach-based solution or an alcohol-based solution with at least 70% alcohol as studies show that disinfectant products containing at least 62–71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite can remove a virus within one minute

The Australian Department of Health says you should use a disinfectant that claims “antiviral activity”, meaning it can kill a virus.  

However, watch out for products claiming to be an ‘antibacterial cleaner’. Antibacterial cleaning products contain ingredients to eliminate germs and bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. 

While you can still use these products to clean surfaces, the ‘antibacterial’ ingredients themselves will not eliminate COVID-19 specifically. 

How often should I clean?

You should clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces at least weekly. 

If someone in your household is sick, then this should be done at least daily. 

When cleaning your kitchen don’t forget items such as doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, light switches and oven handles.