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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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.