The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is also a hotbed for germs. Everyone knows that they need to keep the kitchen clear of crumbs to avoid attracting pests. It is more important to keep the germs away. It would only take a few microbes to trigger problems with the food that you’re making and not all of those germs are coming from the raw chicken you’re making for dinner. There are a lot of lingering bacteria that you should be aware of. That’s why you have to get into a habit of replacing certain things in your kitchen.

Here’s the list to focus on:

Dish Rags and Sponges: Everyday

A sponge can be a good clean up tool. It can also transfer microbes from one surface to the other. Running the sponged under water and squeezing it out might not get it as clean as you would like. The dampness that remains can become a breeding ground for more bacteria. The better option would be to wipe the counters with paper towels and clean your sink every night with soap and disinfectant.

Find the Right Movers

Not every moving company specializes in cross-country moves. You want to find a company that handles these types of moves as opposed to a company who might try to sub contract the job. Those movers can also help facilitate getting your cars across the country as well. Careful packing should be no different with a cross-country move.

Cutting Boards: When they’re worn down

The first rule of cutting boards is to have two cutting boards. Prep meat on one and veggies on the other. Wash them both but keep them separate. If you really want to get serious about cleaning them, then run them through the dishwasher after every use. When deep groves cover the cutting surface, it is time to replace those boards.

Spice Rack: Every year or 2

Here is something you might not realizes: Spices are meant to last forever. In fact, ground spices go bad after eight months. Whole spices might last for a year. These might not necessarily be harmful but they certainly won’t be packing the flavor punch you were hoping for. As for the actual spice rack, if you don’t want to replace it, then give it a good wipe down with disinfectant.

Pots and Pans: 5 years if they are non-stick

If you have a cast iron skillet, then you can hold onto that for years without washing it with soap. Just give it a good warm water wipe down after each use. As for the non-stick pots and pans, they should be replaced every five years unless their coating starts to peel from cutting into. When that happens, they should be replaced right away.