Steps for Cleaning and Sanitizing Utensils by Hand

When you don’t clean your kitchen properly, bacteria, germs and fungi can start growing too quickly. The steps to clean and sanitize are:

  • Scrape
  • Hot water
  • Rest
  • Scrub
  • Drain
  • Bleach
  • Drain


When it comes to cleaning followed by sanitization of kitchen equipment and utensils made of enamelware and BPA-free plastic, you can opt for a bleach mixture to make sure that all the germs and bacteria are gone. You will need gloves, a brush or scrubber, bleach, and dish soap.

The first step is to scrape out any particles remaining in the utensils. Then you will have to fill in the kitchen sink with hot water and pour in a few squirts of mild cleanser. The utensils should be allowed to rest in the sink for some time.

Next, you will have to take a scrub brush for scrubbing away all debris from the utensils. After this, you can allow the water to drain out and add another batch of hot water for sanitizing.


Add some amount of bleaching agent according to the number of utensils and the size of your sink. The utensils should be allowed to soak in the bleach water for at least ten minutes.

Then you can drain the water and rinse the utensils in water. As the cleaning and sanitization are complete, you should allow it to dry in the air. In case you don’t find bleach, a cupful of hydrogen peroxide can serve the purpose.


As you are done with washing and sanitization of kitchen utensils that are made of enamel or plastic, your next concern is cleaning utensils made of metals. In this case, you won’t be able to use bleach and you will need hot water.

According to the opinion of the Health Department, you will have to pour in metal utensils in hot water with a temperature of at least 171 degrees but less than 200 degrees for sanitization of utensils. For this, you will require a large pot for boiling water, a scrub brush, dish soap, and gloves.


As you have cleaned the utensils made of metal, next comes sanitizing part. The first part is removing the large dirt particles from the utensils. You will have to fill the sink with hot water and some liquid soap and use the scrub brush for removing tough stains.

Now you can drain the sink and pour in the 171-degree hot water on the sink. After the utensils have absorbed some amount of hot boiling water, you can drain the sink carefully. Then the utensils can be allowed to dry in the air.


Knife cleaning

It’s very important to make sure that you are not cutting raw meat or fish with a knife that’s not properly cleaned between uses. Knives should be rinsed with clear water and air-dry the items before using them. The rule of thumb is to clean hollow-handled knives with hand only and you should never put them in dishwashers. Another safety tip that you must follow is that you must handle kitchen knives very carefully by their handles and refrain from piling them into the kitchen sink. You should wash them one after the other and rack them properly with the handles up.


If you are cleaning silver knives, you will want to prevent pitting them. For this, you should strive to restrict contact between stainless steel and silver in the dishwasher. If you are cleaning knives in the dishwasher, you should place silver knives in a silverware basket so that they don’t come in contact with other stuff and get pitted.


3 compartment sinks

Before you set out to clean kitchen items in your three-compartment sink, you must ensure that the sink is properly cleaned and sanitized. Thankfully, cleaning 3 compartment sinks is effortless with a few simple steps.


First of all, you will have to wash the 1st compartment with a soap mixture using the temperature that has been specified by the soap manufacturer. Now you can move to the 2nd compartment and rinse with clean warm water. Then, come to the 3rd compartment and sanitize it with a sanitizing solution which is mixed with a concentration at 171 degrees F for a minute. It’s better to test the chemical sanitizer concentration with a suitable test kit.



After you have finished preparing a meal, make sure that the gas top along with the slab has been cleaned thoroughly with a suitable cleaning solution. If there are open cabinets and drawers in the kitchen, you should clean them once in two weeks. This is because all parts of your kitchen are susceptible to grease and dust which make them sticky. But if you have enclosed drawers or shelves, cleaning once a month is enough.


A crucial part of keeping the kitchen clean is preventing cross-contamination. So you should always keep cooked food and raw meat in separate zones so that they are not only kept in distinct containers but also away from one another. When you are preparing a meal, you should always cut and chop the vegetables first and then clean the chopping board thoroughly before you cut meat or fish on the same board.


During summer, food items go stale very fast and it’s important to get rid of stale food at the earliest to avoid contamination. It goes without saying that freshly prepared food contains more nutrition compared to frozen or stored food.



First things first, bleach is a disinfectant and not really a cleaner. Bleach is great for killing viruses and bacteria, but it cannot clean dirt and grease from any surface without any external cleaner. For the removal of dirt, you need to scrub the area and rinse off the surface before applying an effective bleach solution.


For a safer cleaning and sanitization, you should dilute the bleach with some water. Generally, the solution that works with most kitchen and household items is a mix of one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water. It’s very important to clean the surface before applying the bleaching solution. You should allow the solution to sit on the surface for some time before it is left for air drying.



Air dry vs towel: which is better

At times, determining whether you should allow your dishes to dry in the air or use a dish towel for the purpose is dependent on the space you have on the rack. And if you are equipped with a dishwasher, it’s better to let your appliance do the job for you.


If you don’t have a dishwasher, don’t rush to rub your dishes and utensils with the kitchen towel. This is because air-drying kitchen utensils are more sanitary compared to using a dishtowel. It’s important to make some space for air drying and if you are running short of space, it’s better to go for a two-tier dish rack that can fit over the kitchen sink.


Alternately, you may also use single-use paper towels which will not spread any germs or bacteria around the kitchen which may happen with a reusable cloth towel. But there is no denying that using paper towels for drying all the kitchen utensils is a wasteful habit.


Dangers of not cleaning the cooking space

It is an absolute necessity to keep kitchen cooktops and other equipment and utensils clean since they come in contact with the food before consumption. If you fail to clean them in the right way, it will pave the way for bacteria which can cause illness. Tea towels also tend to spread germs and bacteria.

This means you should learn to use them properly and disinfect them regularly. For instance, if you use the tea towel for wiping raw meat, it will transfer bacteria into the towel. Now if you use the same towel for cleaning the plate, those bacteria will find their way to the plate as well.



Kitchens and cooking spaces can become the fast-breeding grounds for germs and bacteria, especially when you are preparing meals for a large family or handling a commercial operation. This can be avoided when you are carefully cleaning your wooden, stone, or metal kitchen equipment and surfaces after preparing the meals.