We often focus on our bathrooms when it comes to cleaning the house. And when it comes to the kitchen, some sweeping and wiping on visible areas is all it takes. However, are we really sure that our kitchen is already clean that way?
You might be raising an eyebrow with the first one on this list. How could you forget the countertop if it’s basically the first spot that you clean in the kitchen, right? Some people even cannot stand leaving their countertops dirty that they’ll wipe and clean it immediately after using. However, there is so much more that goes into maintaining and cleaning this kitchen spot.
If you have to choose which kitchen space is going to get used every day, it will be an easy win for the countertop. This is where you’re preparing the ingredients before and after cooking. That is why it is prone to spills, residues, and even damage from knives and hot pans. Therefore, keeping it looking pristine and clean is a must if you want the kitchen to stay hygienic.
Do your homework on how to clean your countertop accordingly. Depending on its material, there might be more steps to do besides wiping. For example, one of the most well-known countertops is granite. Not only are they durable, but they also look so good that they easily deserve to be the “centerpiece” of any kitchen.
The drawback of having this gorgeous and sturdy countertop is that they need sealing. According to this website, you can do the water test to check how absorbent your countertop is. And based on the result, you can use a high-quality granite sealer to protect the surface from absorbing spills. It might seem like a hassle to do this, but it’s an easy step in exchange for getting a countertop free from gross residues.
Other than sealing, owners usually forgot about the sides of their countertop. In particular, we’re talking about the space between the oven and the countertop, or even that area behind the countertop where it meets the backsplash.
Depending on how your countertop is designed, make sure you’re checking every space in between. Other then the top surface, the sides, and the bottoms should also be cleaned diligently. We usually forgot and even ignored these places because they don’t touch our foods anyway, but over time, they’ll accumulate all things yucky.
Just like you would on the countertop surface, you can use a wet cloth soaked in grease-fighting soap to wipe these areas. You might need to move some appliances, especially if you haven’t done deep cleaning on the countertop for a long time. This way, you’ll not be missing any areas.
Another kitchen area that we often forget cleaning are the cabinets. And no, we are not talking about wiping their doors from time to time. You should also clean their handles and knobs. Remember that knobs and handles can become one of the dirtiest parts because we hold them every day without even washing our hands.
And since we’re in the kitchen, there are a lot of times where we just hold something raw or greasy and then also open the cabinet to get an equipment quickly. But other than a wipe down, some knobs and handles are actually removable, so you can just soak them in soapy water or put them in the dishwasher.
Just like the countertops, make sure you’re not only wiping the face of cabinets. Their tops, sides, and bottoms often accumulate dust and other residues over time. And once you got the exterior of your cabinet spotless, clean the insides, making sure you’re reaching every corner. Doing so will ensure you that the ingredients and kitchen gadgets you put inside won’t get contaminated.
It might be surprising, but even though your fridge looks clean, germs can still be lurking around inside. Spills from liquids and the fact that you sometimes leave foodstuffs passed their shelf life in the fridge are enough reason to back this claim. We also forget its rubber seal around the door, which makes an excellent hiding place for gross stuff.
The best thing that you can use for cleaning the fridge is baking soda. It is a safe and effective way of removing stains. At the same time, it also removes odors without the danger of chemical substances. As for the fridge door, white vinegar is safe to use for stainless steel materials. Overall, make sure you’re extra careful in using other cleaning substances. Remember that the fridge directly comes in contact with your food.
Most users do not bat an eye in cleaning their stovetops. You might think that the spills will get burned anyway, right? Well, even if it’s just every week, consider giving your stovetop a makeover. Your removable burners are there for a reason. Yep, it’s time to actually remove them and give them a good soak in warm soapy water. This will make the removal of all those nasty grease and grime much easier.
Before you say, “But it has a self-cleaning feature!”, consider doing the cleaning of the oven yourself. It may be laborious and time-consuming, but in the long run, your oven will thank you. The self-cleaning feature of ovens usually relies on super high temperatures, and using it often can damage your fuses and control panel. Instead of risking the lifespan of your unit, spray the interior with a cleaner.
According to DiligentChef, you can let it sit overnight to make sure it soaks all the splatters and residues inside. Then, wipe them off the next morning, making sure you’re getting even the black spots. If your racks are dishwasher-safe, you can put them in the dishwasher to save time. However, you can also soak them overnight and then rinse the following morning with warm soapy water.
You can also use cookware with splatter protection and disposable oven liners to catch spills. However, if you are really busy, you can still take advantage of the self-cleaning function. Just make sure you only do it for super tough cleaning.
Every once in a while, disassemble your kitchen gadgets and check every nooks and crannies. Some parts are already dishwasher-safe, but if not, warm soapy water will do the trick. Some common gadgets that you might be forgetting are the can opener, coffee machine, and blender.
Rags, Towels and Sponges
The sponges, rags, and towels on your kitchen can become every germ’s favorite spot. Depending on how much you use them, consider changing these things every two weeks or earlier. Make sure that they get dry thoroughly after each use to prevent mold growth and other nasty accumulation. Some might also recommend putting your sponges in the microwave for one minute to dry them out.
Since you’re washing a lot of things in the kitchen sink, make sure you’re disinfecting this area more often than other areas. It’s the perfect environment for all things gross to thrive, and you don’t want to risk spreading them on your food. And no, just because it gets cleansed anyway during dishwashing, it’s already enough. Cleaning the sink is as simple as pouring hot water down the drain to unclog it. And for the sink itself, a blend of baking soda and lemon juice is a natural cleanser that you can use for wiping.
Another kitchen appliance that we often overlook is the dishwasher. Just think of the things you’re putting in there for cleansing. Just like the fridge, make sure you’re brushing the grooves of the rubber seal on your dishwasher. You can also use white vinegar and water to clean the insides and then run the machine on the hottest wash cycle to rinse this homemade cleaner.
The idea might gross you out, but yes, eventually, you have to clean your trash can in the kitchen. Remnants from preparation of cooking and eating will end up in your kitchen trash can. And over time, they end up decomposing and get smelly. Of course, this also makes the trash can a good spot for germs and molds to accumulate.
After you take out the trash bag or lining, hose the inside and then wipe it dry. After this, spray the inside and even the top and bottom of your kitchen trash. Use a disinfectant to make sure you’re getting rid of the gross stuff and smells, and then scrub each area thoroughly. You can let the trash can sit for about 5 minutes and rinse it again before drying.