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How Do I Sanitize a Stainless Steel Bowl?

I had a rat problem when we replaced the floor in the master bedroom. We killed the two that came in. The pantry was their favorite place, so we threw everything out and bleached it.


I had a large KitchenAid mixer in there that had a cover over it. The cover was hopeless so I threw it away, but there were numerous rat droppings in the mixing bowl (stainless steel). I emptied it and then put it away sealed in a trash bag.

I got mine years ago for $175 and it is like new. I don't want to have to buy a new one as they are now $250 and up. Even though I can clean and sanitize it, I don't know if I will ever feel comfortable using it again. What would be the best way to sanitize a stainless bowl? And, if I don't get rid of my anxiety about it, what should I do with it after I clean and sanitize it? Would it be alright to donate it? Thanks.

By Carol

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April 24, 20110 found this helpful

Oh, poor you! I'd be freaked out, too! I would be more worried about cleaning the mixer, I think. Were they on that, too? The bowl should be easy to sanitize. I would fill up my sink with bleach and water and let the bowl (and all detachable stuff) sit in there for awhile. Then, because I'd be freaked, I would boil everything that's detachable in a stockpot full of water for 10 minutes, and I might then wash it with soap and water. Remember, rats are in all the warehouses anyway- that's why they tell you to wash off the tops of canned goods before you open them. Make sure you wash the mixer good with bleach too. Good luck! And remember, don't mix ammonia and bleach together, you'll make ammonium chloride gas, which is fatal.

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April 24, 20110 found this helpful

If I found myself in the same situation, it would probably bother me for a while but I'd quickly get over it. I would not spend all that money to buy a new mixing bowl. None of us would ever eat again if we saw a mouse or a rat

running loose in some food plant.

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

Well, I think you are just a bit horrified by the rat feces in the bowl. Try to forget that. I imagine just the thorough washing you did "sanitized" it, but here are a couple of ideas. Take the bowl out on the patio or in the garage (some place safe from kids/pets and possible damage), fill it almost up to the top with water and about a cup of bleach, let it sit for an hour, wash again and dry or fill it almost up with water and pour a small bottle of peroxide or apple cider vinegar in it, let it sit again, wash and dry (all of these kill germs). I doubt very seriously that stainless steel is very porous to have absorbed much of the feces /germs, and also keep in mind that vegetables grow in the ground with worm and animal and bird droppings and the remains of animals and people, and yet you eat potatoes and carrots, water has fish and other water creatures feces in it and more, yet you still drink water, both you and your husband have vomited and yet you kiss each other, and the air you breath has tons of trash in it, to include dust from dead people and animals, etc. I am just trying to give you some perspective to get over your disdain for what happened in the bowl, not to be gross.Hope this helps some.

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

Restaurants and hospitals use stainless steel counters and sinks because they are very easy to disinfect. I don't think there would be any germs left after a run through the dishwasher but ThriftyVicky's bleach or other cleanser is a good idea too. Barkeeper's Friend is a cleaner that is recommended for stainless steel. But be careful in combining cleansers as they can become dangerous.

If you really can't get over the disgust, please do donate it! Those Kitchenaid mixers are very expensive and someone would be thrilled to get it.

Good Luck!

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

I think that everyone's recommendations are great, but if you still can't bring yourself to use the mixer bowl or beaters, you should be able to order those parts from the KitchenAid website more cheaply than replacing the whole mixer. I hope this helps!

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

A good washing in a little bleach water will do it. However, vinegar or peroxide do not kill germs. Hospitals use bleach for surfaces and alcohol and betadine for sterilizing flesh, not vinegar or peroxide. Peroxide cleans but does not disinfect.

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April 26, 20110 found this helpful

I completely understand your feelings. No matter what, you will always know what was in there. Another good place to find replacement parts is They have replacement parts of every appliance imaginable. I have replaced mixer beaters and dishwasher racks from there.

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April 26, 20110 found this helpful

Bleach in water, let it set overnight or for a few days, then set it out in the sunshine to let that beat on it for a day or so. Then I'd put it through the dishwasher on "sanitize" cycle. Good luck getting past the mental images!

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Home and Garden Cleaning DishesApril 24, 2011
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