How to Clean the Grossest Kitchen Spots
October 30, 2017 by
Helpful tips, Motivational
Sudsy dish-rinsing doesn’t clear away that greasy layer covering the drain. But it’s easy to erase: Sprinkle with a gentle abrasive, like Bar Keeper’s Friend ($2, target.com), and scrub with a toothbrush, paying special attention to the drain’s grooves. Flush clean with water. To disinfect, apply a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water using a clean rag; buff dry with a cloth.
Is this task critical or optional? Critical. The sink is the kitchen’s second dirtiest spot (after the sponge). Without weekly scrub-downs, a plaquelike biofilm—containing germs from raw meat and more (eww)—can form and contaminate whatever touches it, says microbiologist Philip Tierno Jr.
And beside and behind them. Dust and debris really pile up here. Pulling out the appliance and vacuuming with the hose and the crevice attachment is the best way to remove them. If your appliance won’t (or can’t) budge—or you’re too scared of what you’ll discover—swipe around it using the slim, bendable Oxo Microfiber Under-Appliance Duster ($14, amazon.com). Slide it behind and along the sides first to knock any dry, clinging debris to the floor. Then slide it under the appliance to grab and pull out as much as you can. Shake the duster’s deposits into a garbage bag, then lightly dampen the head and swipe the same spots to remove stuck-on grime. Vacuum the surrounding floor to pick up the remnants.
Critical or optional? Technically the dirt and grime are far enough out of reach that they’re generally not a significant health hazard (also, you know, out of sight, out of mind), which makes this optional. But dust can impair a machine’s performance, costing you in energy bills and repairs, so it’s best to clean around and under appliances seasonally.
Around the Sink and Faucet
With an old toothbrush, use short, quick strokes to brush crumbs off the surfaces, angling the bristles to reach into crevices. Apply Mrs. Meyer’s Vinegar Gel Cleaner ($4, target.com) and let sit 3 minutes. (If your countertop is a porous stone, like granite, spray with a disinfecting cleaner instead.) Wipe up with a dry paper towel. If any stubborn gunk remains, unearth it with a plastic tool—either the narrow, angled Scrigit Scraper (a favorite of certified cleaning technician Donna Smallin Kuper, $7 for two, amazon.com) or the strategically sloped Lil’ Chizler (the go-to for Debra Johnson, manager of training at Merry Maids, $5, amazon.com).
Critical or optional? Critical. Again, it’s a cross-contamination thing: The sink and its surrounding areas can be a hazard if not cleaned thoroughly during meal prep. Tack this onto your regular countertop wipe-downs.
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