Clean Spills Immediately
That wayward gravy dribble on your countertop looks harmless, but the longer it lingers, the more dangerous it will become. A quick swipe with a paper towel isn't really going to take care of the job if you wait a while to do the honors. Even warm water and soap won't do the trick completely, although it will help. One secret to keeping bacteria in check is to eliminate spills as soon as they occur. That way bacteria won't get established in the first place.
There's a fundamental difference between cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Cleaning removes dirt, grime, grease and some bacteria. Disinfecting kills bacteria on contact. If you let food residue dwell on your countertop, you probably have more bacteria around than a simple cleaning swipe will tackle. Don't go there. Clean spills immediately and you'll have less disinfecting to do on a regular basis. If you've ever had ants in your kitchen, you know the drill. Get rid of the scouts and you won't have an ant invasion.