Correct cleaning & sanitizing procedures for pots & pans

Written by erin maurer
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Correct cleaning & sanitizing procedures for pots & pans
Pots and pans require a two-part process to remove grime and germs. (pot image by dinostock from

Kitchen equipment, including pots and pans, commonly face exposure to bacteria, yeast, mould and other items found on uncooked food, which may contribute to food-borne illness. To keep a family healthy, understanding the proper way to clean pots and pans is important. Not only must you remove dirt and grime, but sanitising kitchen equipment also is essential to preserving a family's health.

Proper Cleaning and Sanitation Method

The proper way to clean and sanitise pots and pans is a two-step process that involves cleaning the dishes with a dish detergent. After cleaning, pots and pans must be sanitised with a sanitising solution. The cleaning step removes dirt and grime while sanitising removes bacteria and other germs.

Equipment and Materials

To properly clean and sanitise pots and pans at home, only basic kitchen equipment is needed. A homeowner needs a clean dishrag or sponge, a sink, hot water and dish soap. While a dishwasher is effective, properly perform a cleaning and sanitising procedure is more important.


Begin the cleaning and sanitising process by filling the sink with hot soapy water. Water between 76.6 and 82.2 degrees C is recommended for killing germs, according to the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Program. Submerge pots and pans, scrubbing them with a clean sponge or dishrag. Once the cleaning is complete, rinse in water hot enough to kill germs to sanitise. Place in a dryer rack to air dry, which lessens bacteria's ability to multiply.

Benefits of Dishwashers

While hand washing procedures will effectively clean and sanitise pots and pans, using a dishwasher is beneficial. A dishwasher automatically performs the correct cleaning and sanitation procedure as it's programmed to complete those specific tasks. Additionally, water between 76.6 and 82.2 degrees C is uncomfortable for many people, and dishwashers protect hands from the heat. Dishwashers also include a drying cycle, which properly dries pots and pans in a manner that reduces bacteria multiplication. Read the pot's and pan's manufacturer guidelines as all materials are not dishwasher safe.

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