I cooked some ground beef yesterday and by the time evening came was too zonked to do the dishes. Now it's the following evening and they are still in the sink. How do I clean the stainless steel pan, plastic spatula and dishes they are touching to prevent bacteria (and the sink!). The pan is handwash only. Is very hot water and a good scrub with soap...perhaps even twice sufficient? As an aside, I noticed that some advice to use a 10% bleach solution to clean utensils after they touch raw meat...is it safe to spray bleach on cooking utensils?
Thank you!

  • 12
    I'm sorry, but my reaction to this is: oh come on now! What's with this deathly fear of bacteria? Just wash your dishes and be done with it already. You won't get cooties, I promise.
    – Marti
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 23:05
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    The fact that they were left out doesn't really have much bearing on safety - you just need to completely clean them, just like you do if you wash them right after use. SAJ14SAJ's answer is really just telling you "this is how you wash dishes".
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 0:23
  • @Jefromi Well, yes :-) Except I have never actually made the bleach sanitizing agent.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 1:05
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    How is this any different than washing dishes any other day of the week? This question baffles my mind.
    – Brendan
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 18:47
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    @Brendan What is obvious to you and me may not be obvious to everyone.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Wash everything in very hot water, with dish soap, and rinse thoroughly. Unless there are at risk people in your home, this should be sufficient.

If you are very concerned, you can make a sanitizing agent by diluting bleach. The ratio would be about 1 tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water, per this Oklahoma State University shared from UC Davis:

[...] about one tablespoon (1/2 fluid ounce, 15 ml) of typical chlorine bleach per gallon of water is the maximum that should be used for sanitizing food contact surfaces, according to federal regulation. If higher concentrations are used, the surface must be rinsed with potable water after sanitizing. Contact times of one to five minutes are usually sufficient to achieve a thorough kill, depending on chlorine concentration and organic load.

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    Good, solid advice but I think the sanitizing is overkill - with the exception of what is missing from your answer - the disenfecting of the sink - where a bleach-based powder or solution would be the right tool, IMO. :-) Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 18:39
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    @KristinaLopez I agree on the overkill, as I think the "if you are very concerned" hints at... but I wanted to answer the question as asked :-)
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 18:41
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    Good point - I upvoted your answer in any event. Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 18:44
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    bleach pits porcelain with strong solutions, and over time with weak ones. Can end up defeating purpose by giving bacteria an easy foothold. If I mean business, I boil.
    – Pat Sommer
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 4:41
  • 1
    +1 for the advice to wash as normal with soap and water. Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 9:25

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