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Think you’ve got a clean kitchen? While your sink, countertops and floors may sparkle like a diamond, millions of bacteria are hiding away in the places you least expect. The really gross thing is you touch these every day, and the kitchen environment – moisture and food particles – can encourage 10 microbes to multiply to millions overnight. WHIZZ gives light (and a good spray of disinfectant) on the germiest places in your kitchen.

1. Your oven knobs

The grease, raw meat, sauce splashes that collect on your oven knobs provide bacteria with a buffet table to thrive on. Wiping them down won’t cut it. Regularly remove the oven knobs and soak in hot soapy water. Between washes, spritz them with vinegar and water solution (which is also great for wiping down the kitchen counters after prepwork). For a really thorough clean, schedule a WHIZZ oven clean.

2. Your kitchen sponge

Lab tests show that your kitchen sponge has more bacteria than a toilet seat bowl, incuding disease-causing E. coli. Blame the residual moisture and miniscule bits of food. Wash thoroughly and then prop on a bullclip to air-dry between dishwashing duty. To disinfect completely, soak in water then microwave for 30 seconds.

3. Knife blocks

How many times have we returned a knife without allowing it to dry completely? The moisture – and the think, dark slots in your knife block that are impossible to clean regularly – are the perfect breeding grounds of bacteria. Wash metal knife blocks in hot soapy water, or blast out dirt from wooden knife blocks with a compressed air can. The more hygienic solution: hang thick metal bars on your kitchen wall to keep knifes within reach and 100% bacteria-free.

4. Your coffeemaker

We wash the pot every day, but when was the last time you cleaned the coffeemaker itself? Researchers found yeast and mold growing in half of the coffee pot reservoirs they tested. Run vinegar through it at least every two weeks to get rid of deposits or any germs that have parked themselves in small parts like hipsters in the corner Starbucks (unless, of course, you want to offer them a bagel). Read our post on how to deep clean and descale a singleservice coffeemaker.

5. Pet food bowl

Even if you feed your pets dry food, the saliva and crumbs can gunk up and invite some very dangerous critters: yeast, mold and even coliform bacteria. Rinse with hot water and soap.

6. Garbage can

Food particles and liquids can build up on your trash can, which causes that amazing smell of Eau de Garbage each time you open it. Disinfect garbage cans once a week by washing outdoors, air-drying, then spraying with the disinfectant. (Read our article on beating other funky kitchen odors).

7. Reusable bags

Eco bags are good for the environment, but they’re usually made of porous materials that can soak up liquids from meats and trap dirt. If they can’t be laundered, wipe them down with a vinegar and water solution, and if you can, replace them with cotton bags that can be washed in hot water.

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We all need a cup of coffee (or two) to get going in the morning. A fancy single-service machine can whip you up an espresso or café mocha in seconds, but unless you clean it properly, you’ll be starting your day with a side order of bacteria. In fact, it’s one of the top 7 surprisingly germiest things in the kitchen.

The gross facts

Cotton swab tests of 28 single-serve machines showed more than 50% had swarming bacteria colonies in the water tank, coffee pod compartment, spout and tray. And these weren’t your garden-variety germ, either. Researchers found e. coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and mold. Exactly the stuff in your toilet bowl, but you’re having it for breakfast.

After use:

Leave the reservoir lid open so it can dry out. Germs love moisture! Throw out any water, wash removable parts with soap and water, and wipe the surface.

Once a week:

Single-cup coffeemakers have more components than a standard drip coffeemaker. Check your user manual to see which parts are dishwasher-safe, and then clean the others with an old tooth brush and vinegar.

When you can: Descale your coffeemaker. Water leaves mineral deposits that can interfere with the machine’s performance and affect the quality of your brew.

The dirt factor:

They all make coffee, but some single-serve machines are harder to clean. Here are the reviews.

Keurig:This was one of the easiest to clean, with little to no dripping after a cup finished brewing. For deep-cleaning and descaling, try this cleaning tip.

Krups Nescafé Dolce Gusto: Unfortunately, this baby drips after brewing. You also need to find a mug that fits perfectly into its tray, or you’ll splash all over your kitchen counter too. To deep clean, watch this cleaning video

Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System: It’s just as easy to clean as the Keurig. You need to regularly descale it.

Bosch Tassimo T65: The T-discs The T-Discs drip after brewing, so get your kitchen counter rags ready. But deep cleaning is relatively easy (as this video shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIU9JbVp6Qc ) and you don’t have to deal with Keurig’s needles

You wash the pot, but nearly half of coffeemakers hide yeast and mold in the water reservoir. Every week, pour 4 cups of undiluted vinegar into the reservoir, leave it for 30 minutes, then percolate. Run three cycles of fresh water through the machine.

(Excuse us as we go clean out our coffee machines now.)