The Dirtiest Things In Your Kitchen (& How to Clean Them Up)

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woman-cleaning-kitchen-counter

We recently remodeled our kitchen. For a few weeks after we finished the project everything felt so fresh, new, and clean. There’s nothing better than a new refrigerator with no expired food hiding inside, am I right?! Now, a few months later, the place is showing telltale signs of daily use. So I’m on a mission to get it as clean and sparkly as it was right after we redid it. In that spirit, I went on a hunt for the dirtiest spots (and things) in the kitchen, armed with a few tools to clean them all up. Here’s how you can do the same. (And don’t forget: always read the directions on your cleaning products before you get to work – and use as directed!)

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1. Sponges and Dishcloths
It makes sense that the things you use to clean everything else would be the dirtiest, right? Sponges and dishcloths can harbor lots of bacteria, and the last thing you want to do is to spread the nasties around. So, between uses, heat your cloths and sponges in the microwave to zap bacteria. About 30 seconds on high should do the trick!

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2. Around the Trashcan
This is one of the messiest areas in our kitchen! I have a toddler who’s learning to clean up his own plates, which naturally means we have spills around the trashcan on a daily basis. Clorox Clean Up Spray Cleaner + Bleach gets rid of the mess. Spray your trashcan, too, while you’re at it. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then wipe it all clean. It’ll banish food stains, disinfect the area, and leave it smelling super fresh.

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3. Can Opener
Sometimes the smallest things get the ickiest. Can openers can hang onto food particles from cans, which spoil or rust on the teeth of the opener. If your can opener is dishwasher safe, pop it in there with your next load of dishes. If it’s not, hand wash it with warm soapy water and let it air dry. Don’t forget to rinse it after each use as well.

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4. Silverware Tray
Here’s another sneaky one! Your dishwasher does all the dirty work for you, but sometimes it needs a little TLC. Before you wash your next load of dishes, remove the silverware tray and let it soak in hot soapy water in the sink for a few minutes. Give it a scrub and rinse with cool water before returning it to the dishwasher.

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5. Refrigerator Door Handles
I don’t even want to think about what kind of bacteria you can find on a refrigerator door handle! Considering how many times it’s handled daily, it’s bound to be…gross. So clean it daily with Clorox Clean Up Spray Cleaner + Bleach to banish the yucky stuff. Spritz the cleaner onto a paper towel and wipe down the handles, to avoid spraying refrigerator doors. Make sure to wipe the back sides of the handles as well.

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6. Cutting Board
Wood cutting boards are a handy addition to any kitchen but they’re also a hotbed for bacteria from food. After each use, scrub the cutting board surface with hot soapy water and rinse with cool water. Dry the board with an absorbent towel to remove as much water as possible; this will help extend the life of your cutting board as well.

Ta-da! It feels so nice to tackle all of these little spots and get everything freshened up. And now that the kitchen is sparkling clean, we can focus on more important things. Like what in the world we’re making for dinner tonight.

Photos: Chelsea Foy