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Your Knife Block Is Probably Harboring Bacteria—Here’s How to Clean It

Cooking Light logo Cooking Light 11/29/2018 Jaime Milan
an apple sitting on top of a wooden table © Sur La Table

We already know that cleaning your kitchen can be difficult (just getting all of that grime out from under your stove’s heating elements is no joke!) But there are also a few places you’re probably not even thinking to clean, like your knife block.

Think about it, though: You wash your knives and then stick them back into a dirty knife block (and most of us are guilty of not drying them completely before putting them back into the block). Allen Rathey, principal of the Healthy Facilities Institute, told Today those openings can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Ew.

While this bacteria may not be enough to initially make you sick, it’s still worth cleaning out your knife block once a month to stop any growth. First, turn your block upside down and shake out any debris or crumbs. Then, fill your sink with warm water and dish soap (or, for more sanitizing power, use a partial bleach solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon water.) To protect your knife block from cracking over time, you can rub it with a wood-safe mineral oil.

Next, submerge your knife block in water and use a bottle brush or pipe cleaner to clean the knife slots. Then, turn your block over and let it dry completely—and don’t reinsert your knives yet. If you insert your knives before it’s dry, that moist environment can create more bacteria.

Think this all sounds like way too much work? Invest in a magnetic knife strip. You can simply wipe it down to keep knives clean and bacteria-free. 

Related video: 12 Things Only Professional Cleaners Know [via Southern Living]

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