Kitchen Disinfection: The When, The How & The Why!

Cleaning vs. Disinfection

Many people use these terms interchangeably, and it’s important that you don’t confuse the two. Cleaning is when you remove any dirt, grime, germs, etc. from a surface. Disinfection is when you kill all, or most, of the germs like viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. on any given surface. Therefore, cleaning is a very temporary solution to get rid of germs, while disinfection is a longer-lasting protective measure.


Why is disinfection important?

Disinfection is important so exposure to harmful microbes can be minimized. If you don’t disinfect completely and regularly, the microbes will come back almost immediately in full force since these pestilential creatures multiply like crazy and develop into thousands, and even millions, within a space of few hours. [Source: Microbiology Online]

Although disinfection kills all the germs, but we should keep in mind that disinfection without prior cleaning is not very effective. In order to get rid of germs completely, you clean the target surface, and then you get to the disinfection part.

How to make disinfectant at home

What many people don’t know is that a disinfectant is not something that you have to step out of your house to get your hands on. You can make it quite easily with household bleach. Bleach, that you use around the house, is a very cheap and highly effective solution for all your disinfectant problems. A word of caution: Bleach is not to be handled lightly. Please ensure these steps:

1. Handle with care and be in a well-ventilated room while working with this chemical

2. Do NOT mix bleach with any other chemicals, especially ammonia-related ones. This might lead to production of harmful gases.

3. Make sure you always make a fresh bleach solution when disinfecting any surface

4. Dispose all unused solution, because it might break down and not be very effective

Task Bleach Water
Kitchen Disinfection 1/4 tablespoon 1 quart
Bathroom Disinfection 1/4 tablespoon 1 quart
Disinfecting Surfaces against Flu 1 tablespoon 1 quart
Disinfecting Surfaces against Norovirus 1.5 tablespoons 1 quart
Disinfecting Surfaces against Coronavirus [source: CDC] 4 teaspoons 1 quart

If you want a larger quantity of the disinfectant solution, you can simply double/triple/quadruple the quantities according to your requirements.

[SourceWater Quality & Health Council]

How to use your homemade disinfectant solution?

Your homemade disinfectant solution is very easy to use. After cleaning the target surface thoroughly, cover it with the bleach solution. Leave it for up to 10 minutes for a complete, thorough disinfection. This will ensure that absolutely no viruses and bacteria remain.

If the target surface will have food contact then rinse the surface once the bleach solution has dried completely on it. Leave to air-dry.

How often should you disinfect?

Too much disinfection is something that falls under ‘too much of anything is bad’ [source: BBC]. However, if any place is constantly being touched by a lot of people, or if there is an outbreak of disease, no amount of disinfection can be enough.

So disinfect:

Immediately when you know a surface has been contaminated.

 

What are some common disinfectant chemicals?

Some common disinfectant chemicals that you can use in routine disinfection are:

Among others.

Bonus: how to make hand sanitizer at home

People have stormed the stores and stocked up on sanitizers and toilet paper, but there are a lot of unlucky souls who cannot stock up. If you find yourself out of sanitizer, here are a few ways you can make some for yourself.

What you’ll need:

99% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

Just mix the ingredients together really well and store in whatever bottle(s) you want to.

[SourceHealthy Kids Happy Kids]

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