A Clean, Safe, Healthy Kitchen & Home: The Importance of Keeping Your Kitchen Clean and Safe

Creating a clean and safe kitchen is an important step to a healthy home. A clean house will help reduce your family’s risk of exposure to many indoor pollutants such as bacteria, and allergens, like dust mites. A clean house is also less inviting to mice, rats, and other pests.

Bacteria or germs are everywhere – including your kitchen, where food is stored, prepared, and eaten. Bacteria may cause illnesses that can be on your food, kitchen utensils, counters, appliances, floors, pets, and especially your hands. It is important to take the necessary steps to clean before, during, and after preparing and eating your food to keep you and your family safe from food poisoning. Cleaning includes both surfaces and your hands.

Hand washing is the best defense to reduce bacteria/ germs.Image courtesy of Pixabay

Hand washing is the best defense to reduce bacteria/ germs.
Image courtesy of Pixabay

CLEAN: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often

Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, countertops, and food. Hand washing is the best defense to reduce bacteria/ germs. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is recommended before and after handling food and after using the bathroom or changing diapers. Also, wash your hands after playing with pets.

Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.

Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.

Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.

Keep books, backpacks, or shopping bags and pets off the kitchen table or counters where food is prepared or served.

Recipe for a Healthy Home

All-purpose Cleaner I for Surfaces 4-tablespoon baking soda
1-quart warm water
Dissolve baking soda in warm water. Apply with sponge. Rinse with clear water
All-purpose Cleaner II for surfaces 1-tablespoon ammonia
1-tablespoon liquid detergent 1-pint (2 cups) water
Mix ingredients and put in spray bottle. Spray on area to be cleaned. Wipe. Rinse with clear water.
All -purpose Cleanser for Stain Apply baking soda to damp cloth or sponge. Scrub soil or stain. Rinse with clear water.
Chrome and Stainless-Steel Cleaner Dip soft cloth in undiluted white vinegar. Wipe surface.
Oven Cleaner I Soak a cloth or sponge with ammonia. * Lay over soiled areas. Let soak for 30 minutes or overnight, depending on the amount of soil. Wipe with cloth dampened with clean water. Rinse cloth and repeat wiping until all soil is removed. If soil remains, sprinkle baking soda on the soil and rub with very fine steel wool or a steel wool pad. Wipe off soil and rinse with clean water. Dry with clean cloth.
Oven Cleaner II While oven is still warm, sprinkle water on the soiled area, then sprinkle with salt. When oven cools down, scrape away the soil and wash the area with clean water. Dry with clean cloth.
*Ammonia and chlorine bleach are toxic ingredients. Do not mix chlorine bleach with vinegar, toilet bowl cleaners, or ammonia. Handle all household chemicals with care and store safely.


  1. Information for the ‘Clean, Safe, Healthy Kitchen and Home’ factsheets were adopted from:‘A Clean, Safe, Healthy Home’ curriculum developed by Clemson University Faculty and Staff, 1994.
  2. Additional information was adopted from:
  3. South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control, office of External Affair

Originally published 03/21

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at or 1-888-656-9988.

Factsheet Number



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This