If you’ve had a new kitchen fitted, the desire to keep it spotless in the following days and weeks is always strong. And quite rightly so! After all, a beautiful new kitchen is something to be proud of.

However, even a kitchen that’s seemingly immaculate on the surface could be hiding some dirty secrets. That’s because there are a number of items in your kitchen that can harbour a huge number of germs and we’re not just talking about your kitchen bin.

[Recommended reading: Going Green: Tips for a More Eco-Friendly Kitchen]

Here are 5 of the dirtiest things in your kitchen:

1. Kitchen sink

You may not think it but your kitchen sink is a lot dirtier than you could ever imagine. Consider what goes down it – juices from washed meat, all the germs from your cutting board and dirty water from everything you wash up.

Your kitchen sink should be soaked with hot soapy water at least once every few days and disinfected using a kitchen wipe after each use.

2. Tea towels

A recent study by scientists from the University of Mauritius found tea towels that are used for multiple purposes, such as wiping utensils, cleaning sides and drying hands, often contain multiple species of bacteria.

Out of 100 tea towels examined by the scientists for the study, nearly half (49%) tested positive for bacteria. More worrying is that 36.7% of the towels that were found to have bacteria growth contained coliform bacteria, a species which includes E.coli.

The tea towels with the most bacteria were those that were left damp and those that came from meat eating households.

3. Fridge door handle

How many times a day does your fridge door get opened and closed by different people? Chances are it’s a lot and most of those people will have been handling food too. As a result, your fridge door handle is a safe haven for germs.

Moreover, giving it a wipe with a tea towel often just makes the problem worse. A better approach is to clean your fridge door handle with a disinfecting kitchen wipe at least once a day.

4. Chopping boards

You use them for cutting up everything from raw chicken to vegetables, so it stands to reason that your chopping boards are a haven for germs. In fact, experts say chopping boards often have 200 times more coliform bacteria than a toilet seat.

The advice is to wash them with hot soapy water after each use and disinfect them using bleach at least once a week.

5. Light switch

In the same way your fridge door handle gets a lot of different hands touching it, so too does your kitchen light switch. The worst part is your light switch probably doesn’t get cleaned very often. Why would it? But that can lead to all sorts of germs living on it. Germs that are ready to transfer to your hands and onto the food you prepare.

[Related reading: Kitchen Safety Tips for a Child-Safe Kitchen and More]