Attention all germaphobes: We hate to break it to you, but there are probably some spots in your kitchen that you’re forgetting about during your regular cleaning sprees. Even if you’re the type of person who gives your sink a good scrub and rotates out your sponge on the reg (gold star!), there are definitely still some unexpected areas that could use some TLC.
The home improvement experts at Porch.com tested four seemingly clean spots in the kitchen and sent them out to a lab to test for bacterial levels. (They swabbed the same spot, in a typical American kitchen, three different times.) Yes, yes, ignorance is technically bliss, but as soon as you see these results you’re going to want to break out the rubber gloves.
Here’s what they tested — and what they found.
1. The fruit bowl
If you’re in the habit of washing your fruit before you lovingly set it out in a bowl, stop! Because fruit naturally carries bacteria on its surface, washing produce before you place it in the fruit bowl can create a perfectly moist environment for bacteria to hang out — totally counterintuitive, but true. Turns out, the average bowl holding washed fruit probably contains 163 times more germs than the kitchen sink (which we already know is filthy). The solution is easy, at least: Just hold off on washing your fruit until you’re ready to eat it.
2. The tray in the microwave
I’m guilty as charged for neglecting to clean the turntable in my microwave as often as I should, but I’ll never forget again — now that I know that it can be covered in more bacteria than your average toothbrush holder.
3. The shelves in the fridge
Brace yourselves: Analysis of a refrigerator shelf showed that the surface carried more than 10 times the number of bacteria per square inch than the average bathroom doorknob. It might be comforting to know that the fridge’s cooler temps help to slow bacterial reproduction, but that doesn’t mean it’s wiped out altogether.
Get the steps: How To Clean the Refrigerator
4. The cutlery drawer
The cutlery drawer had four times more bacteria than the average toilet handle. And even if you Clorox the handle every time you flush (I don’t know anyone who does), it’s still disconcerting to think about your forks and knives being on the same level.
How many of these are surprising to you? Will you be cleaning your silverware drawer ASAP?