5 Germy Kitchen Spots You Probably Need to Clean, Like, Right Now

But you're going to feel so great after they're spic-and-span.

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615915652

Photo by: gilaxia/iStock

gilaxia/iStock

Food Network just launched our first-ever Fantasy Kitchen Giveaway. To celebrate, we’re helping you make life a little better in your own kitchen with this Kitchen Tip Tuesdays series on FN Dish. Check in here every Tuesday for the next few weeks for new tricks, wisdom and tips we love. And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win $250,000 toward the kitchen of your dreams here.

You give your counters a customary swipe at the end of the day and have diligently learned the best way to load a dishwasher. But there are likely a few spots in your kitchen that aren't getting a deep clean often enough. When was the last time you thought about these germy spots?

Photo by: venusphoto/iStock

venusphoto/iStock

We're sure you rinse the carafe after every use (right?) but the interior needs a bath every few months to banish build-up and bacteria that like to grow in the damp inner workings of the machine. Every few months or so, you need to descale it — a fancy term for running a water-and-vinegar solution through the machine a couple times. Get the full instructions here, and tips on cleaning French presses, coffee-pod machines and more.

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475559606

Photo by: lisaaMC ©lisaaMC

lisaaMC, lisaaMC

Ironically, often it's our cleaners themselves that can harbor the most ick-factor. Your kitchen sponge is definitely not also getting clean when you wash the dishes (though that's a convenient lie we tell ourselves!). You can sanitize your it effectively in the microwave or dishwasher — here's how. But no matter how diligently you clean your sponge, it's got a (very) short lifespan; toss it after a week or two to truly keep germs at bay.

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Photo by: Foodcollection RF ©This content is subject to copyright.

Foodcollection RF, This content is subject to copyright.

We know it’s a pain to clean the ever-buried interior of your fridge, but between the spills, moisture and bevy of hands constantly reaching in, it requires a deep clean about once a season.  Pick the day before a big grocery shop (when your fridge is the emptiest it’s gonna be) to clear everything out — we’re sure you’ve got some jars and leftovers that can you toss anyway. Take out the removable pieces, and wash everything with warm, soapy water or a disinfectant spray that’s OK to use around food. Spot a smudge or spill between deep cleans? Use Food Network Kitchen’s homemade all-purpose cleaner (it’s just vinegar and citrus) to wipe it up.

Freshen a microwave with lemon, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Picture yours — does it look like it’s freckled with tomato sauce? Fill a bowl with water and some lemon juice or vinegar. Microwave until things get steamy, let cool a bit, and then remove the bowl and wipe everything down with a sponge. The acidic sauna you just created will make stuck-on food release with ease.

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178611710

Photo by: AJ_Mascari ©AJ_Mascari

AJ_Mascari, AJ_Mascari

Tell the truth — when was the last time this guy got a good clean? Since it touches food, you should really treat it like any other cooking tool. Many can just go into the dishwasher (easy!), but if not, wash it by hand (being careful around the blade – a small brush can help) with warm, soapy water.

Your culinary dreams could be a reality with the first-ever Fantasy Kitchen™ Giveaway where you could win $250,000 towards the kitchen of your dreams. Enter for a chance to win once a day at Foodnetwork.com and again at GeniusKitchen.com.

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