The One Place You’re Not Cleaning In Your Kitchen Is Really Gross — And Could Affect Your Health

kitchen cleaning

Every day, I clean my kitchen  — and every day, I feel like I’m still not doing enough. Not only does a clean house lead to a clearer mind, but after learning more about food contamination, I’ve been more on the lookout to make sure my personal space is up to code. But alas — there’s one place I’m not really focusing on. That is, until recently.

If you’re a fan of (as you should be!) you might have seen the article in which I describe the time I ate nothing but Hot Pockets for a week. For dinner, I classed things up and cooked them in the toaster oven. But for breakfast and lunch, I didn’t have the time. So I used a microwave as most people would.  Microwaves are kind of the best way to heat things up in an instant, and they’re also ideal for leftovers.

Some of our personal favorites:

After the week ended, I spritzed down the microwave, but really, I should have been doing that daily — inside and out. Your microwave handle is actually one of the dirtiest things in your kitchen, and the wise folks over at Kimberly-Clark Professional proved it in their recent study.

After swabbing thousands of handles from different environments, the specimens were tested by  Dr. Charles Gerba, who’s a microbiology professor over at the University of Arizona. From those samples, 48 percent had high levels of contamination. That number’s a little too high, don’t you think?


Every single time I used the microwave, more germs were collected on that handle. So, why does the microwave get ignored? In your home, it could be due to lack of use — unless, of course, you’re also following a Hot Pocket-heavy diet. Or, it could be because we assume that the real action happens inside the microwave, as that’s where most of the spills take place.

Next time you’re cleaning your kitchen, make sure to focus on all the handles. That goes for your fridge, too. And of course, making sure to always wash your hands also helps prevent you from getting sick.

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