How can I keep my kitchen clean and bacteria-free?

Real Mom Problem

“If I am cutting up chicken or even preparing it, I feel like I am spreading germs all over my kitchen! I want to know how to really kill the bacteria.”

by JNLmomme09 JNLmomme09

Quick Tips

  • 1. Be sure to wash dishes in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher to kill germs
  • 2. Keep stock of what you have in the fridge and try to use things up before they go bad
  • 3. Wipe down the inside and outside of your fridge often and vacuum and mop behind it every few weeks
  • 4. Clean your stovetop well after each use and clean the inside of your oven once a year, and otherwise as necessary
  • 5. Vacuum and mop the kitchen floor regularly
  • 6. Keep track of what's in your cabinets and pantry; toss anything that's expired and wipe the shelves down every so often to keep them clean
  • 7. Consider storing dry foods like pasta, rice, and cereal in plastic containers to keep them fresh and contained

Real Mom Solutions

The kitchen is often the busiest room in the house -- and also the messiest! Keep your kitchen clean and fresh with these helpful tips from moms like you!

Becky Becky

Our Expert Mom Says...

It's very important to wipe down counters after any food preparation. Use your favorite method whether it's wipes, a clean dish cloth, or a sponge. If you handle any raw meat or poultry, all surfaces that come in contact with the raw food should be disinfected. Vinegar and lemon juice, hot water and soap, hydrogen peroxide, or your favorite disinfecting cleaner or wipe will do the trick.

Another great habit to get into is to scrub your sink every night with a scrub brush and dish soap. I keep a scrub brush under the sink that's just for sink cleaning; then it goes in the dishwasher at night with the dish scrubber and any sponges for disinfecting. You can also disinfect a sponge in the microwave (make sure the sponge is wet first!). I prefer to use bar mop towels for my counters; I hang them to dry under the sink at night and then they go in the rag basket until laundry time.

The refrigerator and freezer can get messy in a hurry. I wipe down the shelves before I do a big grocery shopping trip. That way when I come home, the shelves are clean and ready to be filled up.

Checking the pantry regularly for expired food is also helpful. I like to keep a pantry checklist so I know what's in the pantry and what I need. It makes list-making a snap and keeps me from overbuying canned goods.

Also, put kitchen deep cleaning on your cleaning rotation. I have free kitchen deep cleaning checklist you can find here, if you'd like to have a printable reminder of when to do the tasks that it takes to clean your kitchen.

Becky, aka Clean Mama, is a cleaning expert, list maker, wife, and busy mom to three little ones. She blogs at Clean Mama where she talks about all things clean and organized and she has a successful Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables, where she helps others make lists, organize, and clean. She's been featured in HGTV magazine, as well as on, and Becky strives to make homekeeping fun AND easily implemented into everyday life.

The Moms of CafeMom Say...

  • PutOnMyApron

    I love Clorox wipes! I don't have much counter space in my kitchen, so I have to make sure that it stays uncluttered and clean because we cook a lot. The wipes are quick and easy to use.

  • 1scrappinmama

    I wipe my countertops daily with a solution of vinegar, water, and a little bit of tea tree oil and let them air dry.

  • MamaJane

    I use baking soda on my kitchen sink and every few weeks I put vinegar and baking soda together and clean out the drain. That also gives the sink a good scrub. To clean kitchen countertops, I'd use whatever is recommended for your particular surface.

  • Caitlin411

    My kitchen counters get wiped down a few times a day. Floors are vacuumed every day and mopped every couple of days. The fridge and microwave are pulled apart and scrubbed once a week before I go grocery shopping. Appliance fronts are wiped down daily and cabinets are wiped down weekly since I have a house full of small kids.

  • mom2four1978

    I use white vinegar to clean both my quartz counter tops and my stainless-steel appliances. I've had both for five years and no problems with using the vinegar.

  • homeskoolmama

    Use only glass or metal bowls, and use one cutting board for poultry only, one for red meats only, and one for fruits and veggies. I even use different knives for different foods. Clean up with baking soda and vinegar, or bleach, and hot water.

  • toomanypoodles

    I am ALWAYS wiping down the kitchen counters! I clean them with a sponge, then spray on a disinfecting spray and wipe with a paper towel.

  • Bmat

    I thaw and cut up meat and poultry in the kitchen sink. Then I put everything that touched it into the sink after the meat and poultry are removed, and let it soak in a bleach and hot water solution. Then I wipe the sides of the sink with the bleach solution and a paper towel and wash the knives and everything.

  • MamaJane

    In the kitchen, I clean with a vinegar and water solution with a rag, once a week. I use this on the counters, microwave, cabinets, appliance fronts, table, chairs, cushions, water machine, light switches, and door knobs. For big messes I use commercial cleaners (409, Fantastik, Mr. Clean, etc.) with paper towels. For the little spills that happen throughout the day I use Clorox or Lysol wipes.