Everyone has a different definition of cleaning the kitchen. Some of us consider it clean if we’ve wiped down the counters and appliances then mopped the floor. Others take pride in having everything freshly scrubbed and a floor so clean you could eat off of it.
No matter what routine you follow, it’s easy to forget about these cleaning trouble spots in the kitchen. If you’ve got a free hour, consider spending it tending to these places or add them to your kitchen Spring Cleaning plans.
10 Cleaning Trouble Spots in the Kitchen
1. Refrigerator and freezer gaskets collect crumbs and grow mold. Use your fingers to pry them open gently then clean them with a toothbrush dipped in soapy water. Now is also a good time to check their seal since failing gaskets pose threats to food safety and run up your electricity bills. Test yours by closing the door over a dollar bill then try sliding the dollar bill around the edge of the door. If you can move the bill, it’s time to replace your gasket ASAP.
2. Refrigerator door ice dispensers are handy, but they get surprisingly grimy. Clean yours with hot, soapy water and use a soft brush to dislodge any buildup. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth to finish.
3. That refrigerator door water dispenser gets nasty, too, thanks to yeast and mold growth. To clean it, dip a white pipe cleaner into some water and gently insert it into the water dispensing tube then swirl. Next, dip another white pipe cleaner into vinegar and gently insert it into the tube. Let it remain in place for 5 minutes then remove it and run a cup of water to finish cleaning the tube.
3. Remove mold and mineral buildup from your coffee maker and get a faster, better-tasting brew by running a pot of half white vinegar, half HOT water through twice. Follow by running three cycles of water only, and your machine will work like new. Got a Keurig? Here’s how to clean a Keurig (and fix yours if you think it’s broken).
4. Can openers get filthy and that’s why they’re one of the first things health departments inspect in restaurants. Clean manual openers in the dishwasher. For electric openers, unplug the machine then use a toothbrush dipped in soapy water to clean the mechanism. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth to finish.
5. Crumbs in toasters pose fire hazards, and that goes for toaster ovens, too. It’s a good practice to empty the crumb tray after each use. You should also occasionally give it a deeper cleaning with a pastry brush to dislodge crumbs clinging to the grates.
6. Dirty gas stove burners are dangerous. If the gas flames are more yellow than blue, it’s time to clean your burners. Wait until they’re cool then wipe them with warm water. Use an old toothbrush to loosen grime and the end of a paperclip to clean the holes. If the flames are still yellow, it’s time to call the serviceman.
7. Run range hood filters through the dishwasher weekly to remove grease and dust. If you don’t have a dishwasher, scrub them in the sink using hot, soapy water and an old toothbrush. Rinse well and make sure they’re fully dry before reinstalling them.
8. The gasket around the kitchen faucet is one frequently overlooked place. It’s also a place where mold, mildew, e. Coli, and other nasty stuff likes to grow. Scrub this spot with a toothbrush and hydrogen peroxide to get it clean then make a point of hitting it with a homemade Daily Sink Spray.
9. The garbage disposal gasket collects grime that causes odors and provides a breeding ground for fruit flies, among other things. Once a week use your fingers to gently pry the rubber flanges up then scrub their undersides with hot, soapy water and a brush. Stubborn grime can be removed using a homemade soft scrubbing cleaner. Rinse well with hot water before tucking them in place.
10. Popcorn ceilings collect grease, dust, and cobwebs, so it’s no wonder that people hate them. Use your vacuum’s dust attachment to remove obvious cobwebs. For a deeper cleaning, or in larger kitchens, attach a thick-napped paint roller to an extension pole and roll it across the ceiling, occasionally pausing to remove accumulated dust and cobwebs from the roller.
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