If you have recently installed one of our beautiful DIY flatpack kitchens or you’re thinking of doing it soon, you would want to know what are the best ways to keep it sparkling clean, especially as there is so much focus on good hygiene at the moment with the coronavirus pandemic in our midst.
According to the Australian Department of Health, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Current evidence suggests that it is spread from person to person and good hygiene is seen as one of the best ways to reduce your risk of being infected or infecting others.
The Department says the virus is spread through close contact with an infectious person; contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze; or touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.
So one of the first things to think about is whether you already have good hygiene habits. One of the interesting bits of information we have all gleamed from the global spread of the coronavirus since late last year is that many of us have probably not been washing our hands correctly, either before and after food preparation or after going to the toilet.
Health experts now say it is important to regularly use soap and water and spend a good 20 seconds (which is longer than you think!) washing your hands, including between your fingers, the top of your hands right up to your wrists, your thumbs as well as lathering up your palms.
Hand sanitisers are also effective, though soap and water is just fine. Once your hands are cleaned, dry them thoroughly by using paper towels – and try not touch your face at all.
As for maintaining good hygiene in your kitchen and household in general, you may want to think about whether you have some habits that could be improved on (dirty dishes in the sink, anyone?) or if you could work on your overall cleanliness? How often, for example, do you give your kitchen sinks are really good going over so that they are hygienically clean?
And did you know that damp kitchen sponges and washing brushes are considered bacteria havens. Wiping down your equipment with good hygiene products greatly reduces cross-contamination risk.
There is no need to be fixated on all this as a lot of this is plain old common sense, but a good plan of action would be to draw up a cleanliness checklist for every day or for days you (or your loved ones) have time to do housework.
Do you, for example, have a bar of soap on a clean surface in the kitchen and bathroom (or liquid soap) within easy reach for everyone? Or is there a box of tissues for you and your family to use to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze?
And when it comes to meal prep time, are the bench top surfaces clean and dry, and have you washed your hands thoroughly before chopping up meat, fish or poultry, fruit or vegetables (and have properly washed your fruit and veg)?
If you have children and they are in the kitchen during meal prep time, ensure they keep their distance from the food in case they sneeze or cough.
You may also need to consider washing your hands before you empty the dishwasher in your flatpack kitchen – or even when you handle plates, glasses and cutlery from your cabinetry.
You may not need to use antibacterial cleaning products around the house: cleaning vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are excellent, good-value products for kitchens and bathrooms.
However, if using antibacterial products gives you peace of mind, do what you feel is right for you. Remember to think about your cleaning cloths in the kitchen and bathroom too and whether they are hygienic – some people like microfiber cloths because you can machine-wash them, hang them out to dry, and reuse them.
We all like to feel that we live in a clean home and many of us love showing off our lovely DIY flatpack kitchen to friends and family. Knowing that it is a clean space for all to enjoy will provide comfort during this time.
If this blog has inspired you to get started on your DIY kitchen flatpack project with SmartPack and you would like to find out more about how it’s done, read more at smartpackkit.com.au.