Brushes, Pot Scratchers, Sponges, and Dishcloths
BRIDGET DONAHUE | Haven Magazine
Ah, yes. Tidying up, are you? This is the perfect opportunity to know that you shouldn’t be, inadvertently, spreading contagion and disease all over your beautiful new kitchen. Let’s talk a little about brushes, sponges, and dishcloths, shall we? Before you get too far into getting your kitchen all set up, that is.
Cleaning implements, such as brushes and various types of abrasive scrapers should be washed entirely free of food particles with hot, sudsy water every time you use them. Squeeze out the excess water until they are as dry as possible. If necessary, you can sanitize them as follows: Immerse brushes and pot scratchers in a solution of one tablespoon regular chlorine bleach per gallon of water and let soak for five to ten minutes. Drain and let air-dry. Odors indicate that bacteria are growing, dear. The absence of odors, however, is no guarantee of safety. Wash all implements frequently in hot, soapy water, being careful to remove food particles that adhere to them, and do not keep them too long.
I am no fan of sponges for cleaning in a home. Sponges are havens, pardon me, for bacteria; tiny food particles get deep inside and sponges stay wet for long periods of time. The bacteria that survive deep inside sponges are smeared around your kitchen every time you use them. Do not use sponges to clean up after raw meat, poultry, eggs, or fish. If you choose to use them for such a task, you MUST discard them afterward or they will simply spread contamination to everything they touch.
What was said about odors in brushes and pot scratchers goes for dishcloths as well. It means bacteria are growing. Launder your dishcloths frequently; use one or more fresh ones each time you do a kitchen cleanup or wash the dishes. For brushes, including vegetable brushes and pot scrapers, I prefer washing by hand and then sanitizing them, along with abrasive pads, in a bleach solution, such as I mentioned before.
Bridget Donahue has been honing and perfecting her kitchen and household skills for many years.
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