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10 Kitchen Hot Spots You Really Need to Disinfect

These germy areas require more attention than just a casual wipe-down.
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Don't Dine with Germs

The kitchen is the center of your home. It's where you cook with your family, chow down on pizza after a soccer game and sneak bites to the dog. But with all that fun, frenzy and foot traffic comes a problematic tagalong: germs. Remember these 10 easily forgotten dirty spots the next time you give your kitchen a deep clean.

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All the Handles

Every handle in the kitchen (think cabinets, appliances, even the light switch) is a hotbed for germs, considering how often your family grips, grabs and pulls them each day. Wipe down handles with a disposable disinfectant cleaning cloth at least once a week.

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Kitchen Sink and Faucet

A wet sink can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Wipe the sink, faucet and sprayer down regularly with a disinfectant wipe. Give the drain a thorough cleaning weekly by flushing it with hydrogen peroxide or a disinfecting cleaning solvent.

The sink sprayer also needs an annual deep cleaning: Soak the sprayer for 30 minutes in a microwave-safe glass bowl filled with vinegar and water that's been heated up in the microwave, then gently brush the nozzle clean with a toothbrush to loosen mineral deposits and grime. For retractable sprayers, clean the hose by disconnecting it from under the kitchen sink and soaking it in a large bowl or kitchen sink filled with a solution of vinegar and water.

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Kitchen Counter

Wiping down a surface isn't killing any bacteria unless you're administering a disinfectant first. Gustavo Castro of Chicago Household Services, which specializes in residential deep cleanings, relies on a gentle, food-safe solution of 25 percent vinegar and 75 percent water in the kitchen. "The acid content in this solution is great for disinfecting while managing to be an eco-friendly cleaner," he says. Pay special attention to the area underneath a cutting board or butcher block, and be sure the surface is completely dry before setting a board back on top. Corners and crevices, like the crease between the counter and backsplash, can also benefit from a little scrubbing with a clean toothbrush.

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