(guest post by Wesley Ward)
In recent weeks, Americans have been cautious when going outside to exercise, buy groceries or deliver goods to loved ones. To be extra careful, families are also boosting the cleanliness within the walls of their own homes. Some ways they can do this is by opting for touch-free faucets and trash bins or simply sticking to plastic cutting boards. A clean home is a healthy home, particularly if you find yourself stuck inside. These kinds of minor changes can help keep us healthy as we wait for this uncertain time to pass. Plus, we may just witness the dawn of a new era of cleaner, more sustainable kitchen and bath products.
Smart faucets aren’t just fun, they’re great for hygiene. Hands are the major carriers of germs, so imagine if you and your family never had to touch handles when you went to wash your hands. No bacteria on the handle means no bacteria inadvertently winding up on your face. You can now wash your hands with voice or motion activation. Moreover, many smart faucets can now also regulate temperature and amounts of water dispensed. That’s going to make your kitchen’s cooking and baking tasks a lot easier. “Faucet, fill two cups with hot water” — yep, that’s our reality now. Welcome to the kitchen of the future!
Kohler, Moen and Delta are three brands that are wildly loved for their products, but more so because of their smart faucets. Kohler offers the Sensate Faucet with Kohler Konnect technology. Along with the touch-free activation through voice control, it has a durable stainless steel material and high-quality spray technology. Moen offers a Touchless Faucet. To turn the water on and off, all you have to do is wave your hand over the faucet. It detects objects and is ready whenever you are! Delta also has a smart faucet option – the Voice IQ Faucet. With the Touch20 Faucet, your faucet will do its job simply by voice commands. To set it up, all you need is a Touch20 Faucet, an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, a smartphone and Wifi.
You’ll never see an apron sink in a commercial kitchen in the United States. While apron sinks are beautiful and add a great deal of character to a kitchen, they aren’t as efficient for cleaning as an undermount sink. Why? There is no backsplash in an undermount sink, meaning your messes fall right into the drain. In a typical sink, the backsplash creates a hard-to-reach place that will almost certainly be overlooked when you have to clean the kitchen before you run to the bank, pick up kids, go to work, or do any of the other many activities you have to do every day.
Kohler offers a number of undermount sinks for the kitchen, but deciding on one all comes down to your style and material preference. If you like the look of a stainless steel sink, then this Kohler Strive 32″ Undermount Sink is a great option. The double bowl is sleek and allows for an accessible and versatile workspace. Or, if you prefer the look of cast iron, consider the Deerfield 33″ Undermount Sink. Not only is the cast iron material recycled, but it’s so durable that it won’t chip.
Hands-free Garbage Can
What do we do with all our contaminated paper towels and rags? We throw them in the garbage, right? You wipe up that raw chicken juice into your nice new undermount sink and grab that rag, then open the garbage can or grab the handle to open it, then throw it away, then wash your hands. That’s usually the process. But what happens when you have to do it again? The handle for your can or cabinet is still contaminated from your last use, so you end up leaving that as a potential bacteria buildup spot for someone else to touch. Opening a garbage can with your foot is a good idea because you don’t clean up chicken juice with your foot. Hands-free trash cans are the way to go. Kohler offers a Universal 13-Gallon Step Trash Can that is crafted with functionality and accessibility. It opens with a foot pedal and has a quiet-close lid. This garbage can also has a raised liner so that the bag inside will stay in place and will still be easy to remove and switch out.
Plastic Cutting Boards
We all like the feel of the wood under our knives as we prepare a meal for the family, but if your first priority is cleanliness, then plastic cutting boards are the way to go simply because they’re easier to clean than wooden ones. The USDA: “Consumers may choose either wood or a nonporous surface cutting board such as plastic, marble, glass, or pyro ceramic. Nonporous surfaces are easier to clean than wood.” Kohler offers the Bakersfield Polyethylene Cutting Board, which is a great, dishwasher-safe option.
Adequate lighting makes cleaning easier. Low light means low sight, which enables bacteria buildup. Consider your lighting as insurance that you will see all those hidden spots that you would have otherwise missed. While this seems obvious, run an experiment in your own kitchen where you clean it during the peak of sunlight and then another time in the night just by artificial light. Most likely you’ll miss spots that were as clear as day when you do it with artificial light at night; hence the importance of making sure your rooms can be fully illuminated.
[Wesley Ward is VP, Marketing & Merchandising for Hausera]