"Neglecting to clean kitchen appliances is not only unhygienic, it's unhealthy" says "Healthy Housekeeper" Laura Dellutri, author of "Speed Cleaning 101" (Meredith Books, 2005) and "The Overworked Mom's Stress Free Homekeeping" (Morris Publishing Inc, 2008). "A regular cleaning schedule helps protect your kitchen from lurking grunge that can cause odors and harbor disease."
Dellutri's tips for helping maintain a healthy kitchen include:
• Suspect Kitchen Sinks: Disinfect the sink after washing meats, fruits and vegetables to help prevent bacteria from multiplying, and avoid cross contamination. All you need is chlorine bleach, water and a soft cloth. Dilute the bleach with water and wipe the sink with cloth dipped in the solution. Rinse and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
• Disease-Ridden Disposers: Without proper cleansing, garbage disposers can create odors and house organisms that may cause illness and disease such as pneumonia, bronchitis and intestinal flu. Instead of simply masking odors with fresh lemons, use Disposer Care plus Bleach Alternative weekly to help fight this problem.
• Grimy Dishwashers: Hard water deposits, rust and food may disrupt dishwasher performance and cause odors. To remove residue and odors, Dellutri recommends Dishwasher Magic. The dishwasher cleaner disinfects while it cleans, killing 99.9 percent of E. coli and salmonella.
• Reeking Refrigerators: To effectively clean your fridge and free it from odor-causing culprits, completely clear it out and remove any expired foods. Use hot soapy water with a germicidal cleaner to remove all food particles and spills. Placing washable refrigerator liners over shelves can help reduce scrubbing when a spill occurs.
• Spotty Microwaves: Splatters of food in a microwave may decrease microwave efficiency. Fill a microwave-safe bowl halfway with water, add a tablespoon of vinegar and place it inside the microwave. Run the microwave for five minutes, then wipe down the inside with a clean towel or paper towel. The heated water and vinegar will steam up the microwave walls and make wiping away dried-on food a cinch.
"We all need to get in the habit of not just cleaning visible places such as countertops, sinks and floors but also disinfecting out-of-sight areas like the sink's garbage disposer and the microwave," says Dellutri.
For cleaning tips and information, visit www.summitbrands.com.
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