The Kitchen Zone

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Helpful Hints for Healthy Kitchens and Bathrooms

(ARA) - Kitchens and bathrooms are the most used and abused rooms in the home and the rooms where families spend the most time in each day. They can also be the most dangerous. Their warm, moist environments make them the two biggest culprits for bacteria, mold, and mildew growth.

Bacteria, mold and mildew can wreak havoc in your home, not only by causing unsightly stains, but also the unseen germs that can produce health risks for your family. Luckily, there are several steps that you can take to reduce the amounts of germs and make your kitchen or bathroom happy and healthy.

* Recaulk the Tub

Look around your sinks, tubs and showers and you may notice that your caulking or grout is covered with mold and mildew stains. Due to the water and steam produced in the kitchen and bathroom, these rooms are the ideal environment for mold to grow. Fortunately, cleaning up your caulk is an easy project that will quickly reduce the amounts of mold and mildew as well as refresh the look of your room. Begin by removing the old caulk and washing the area thoroughly with a bleach and water solution. Next, choose a mildew-resistant acrylic latex caulk, such as Polyseamseal Tub & Tile Adhesive Caulk, to reseal around sinks and showers. Products such as Polyseamseal provide added mildewcide in their formulas to resist the growth of mold and mildew on the cured caulk surface. For more information, visit

* Wood or Plastic?

Have you ever used a wood cutting board and wondered if all the juices, dirt and grease were soaking in? Wood cutting boards are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs since the naturally porous surface does not allow you to fully cleanse the board. Instead, throw the wood on the fire and use some of the more popular plastic cutting boards. While diligent cleansing practices are still necessary to ensure safe food preparation, the hard plastic surface will harbor far fewer germs and bacteria that can cause food poisoning. And plastic boards will keep your knives sharper longer!

* Reduce Moisture

The nature of use for the kitchen and bathroom leaves both rooms moist and damp -- an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. Install a ventilation fan to remove moisture, odors and allergens and improve the air quality.

When choosing your ventilation fan compare the sound level ratings to find a quiet operating system; and keep in mind that fans with humidity sensors will save energy since they run only as long as needed to eliminate the moisture.

* Slip Resistant isn't Germ Resistant

While slip resistant surfaces adhered to the bottom of the shower or tub offer safety against slipping, they are the perfect place for dirt and germs to collect. To keep surfaces clean, sanitize the surface regularly with a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. Flood the bottom of the tub with the mixture; let it stand a few minutes; then, rinse completely with fresh water. In addition, it is a good idea to remove and replace the surfaces yearly.

* Sanitary Wipes

Take a lesson from anyone with small children -- keep antibacterial wipes on hand in your kitchens and baths. With busy schedules, it is difficult to give kitchens and bathrooms thorough cleanings every day. However to minimize mold and germ growth between cleanings, use premoistened sanitary wipes to quickly wipe off counter surfaces daily. Not only will you reduce the germs, but your kitchen or bath will stay neat and clean.

There are many simple steps you can take to make your kitchen and bathroom cleaner and healthier environments for your family. Just a weekend of projects or taking a few extra minutes a day to clean can create a big difference.

Courtesy of ARA Content

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, contact Kristi Stolarski, Program Manager Liggett-Stashower Public Relations at (216) 373-8215.

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