8 Things That Should Be On Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

Go past the everyday clean with these tips.

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March 22, 2023

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Photo by: Dima Berlin/Getty Images

Dima Berlin/Getty Images

Spring cleaning season is the perfect time to address those oft-forgotten areas of your kitchen. It might be easy to remember to wash your dishes, but when was the last time you cleaned the dish rack you use to dry them? This is the perfect time to sanitize, maintain and organize your kitchen.

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Photo by: W Rcit R Dwng Canthr / EyeEm/Getty Images

W Rcit R Dwng Canthr / EyeEm/Getty Images

Refresh Your Fridge and Freezer

Don’t cut corners when it comes to cleaning your fridge. Empty its contents (throwing away what’s spoiled, of course), remove the shelves and clean any spills, crumbs or food scraps that have collected in the fridge. Vanesa Amaro, famous on TikTok for her kitchen cleaning tips, recommends scrubbing the removed shelves clean in the sink. Any frozen leftovers approaching (or past) the two-month mark should be tossed, as this is the recommended maximum amount of time a food can be frozen, and then reheated.

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Photo by: Grace Cary/Getty Images

Grace Cary/Getty Images

Clean Out Your Oven

Food drips and splatters over time can build up in the back corners of your oven. If you’ve got a newer model of oven, take advantage of spring cleaning time to use the self-cleaning option. But if your oven is especially dirty, self-cleaning might not be the safest option. In that case, you can also put in some elbow grease and clean it yourself. A combination of baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean oven racks, or simply use a store-bought commercial oven cleaner. Don’t forget about oven doors.

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Photo by: Justin Paget/Getty Images

Justin Paget/Getty Images

De-Grease Your Stove

Caked on grease and oil builds up over months of cooking, and a spring reset is just what your stove needs. Food safety expert Toby Amidor uses a 1-to-2 baking soda to vinegar mixture to cut through heavy grease, letting it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it off. However, some simple Dawn dish soap, per Amaro, can do the trick for a hood range or a gas stove top.

Cleanse Your Microwave

That wince when you open the microwave door and see tomato sauce splattered is a natural experience for every microwave owner. A Scrub Daddy sponge and dish soap can be your best friend in cleaning spills. But if you want a less chemically-dependent strategy, household supplies will still work. Vinegar proves to be an all-star spring cleaning ingredient with this steaming gadget. Use it to soften hard stains before wiping them off. (Don’t forget to clean the dust that collects on top of the microwave as well.)

Sharpen Your Knives

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to just be sanitizing. Maintenance is a huge part of it as well. Your trusty knives have helped your cooking all year long, and it’s time to give them some TLC by sharpening them. Using a knife sharpener is a good call, but if you don’t own one already and aren’t ready to invest in one, give a honing rod a try to keep your knives up-to-par for as long as possible. You can also bring dull knives to local kitchen or hardware stores, or even farmers' markets, where professional knife sharpeners can get the job done for you on the spot.

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Photo by: penguenstok/Getty Images

penguenstok/Getty Images

Deep Clean Your Dish Rack

This is such an everyday use item that it’s easy to forget it needs to be cleaned itself. Though it’s designed to hold dishes that have already been cleaned, leftover food residue, soap and water can collect in nooks and crannies of your dish drying rack. If it sits on top of a mat, that’s a potential growth site for bacteria. The last thing you want is to set your spotless dishes and glassware on a dirty dish rack.

Disinfect the Dishwasher

Your dishwasher does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to washing dishes, and the food scraps and debris builds up over time. Use this time to make your dishwasher more efficient (and get rid of any lingering odors) with a deep clean. You’ll need to remove and rinse the filter, wipe down the interior and run the dishwasher with a cleaning tablet. Though vinegar is a great cleaning ingredient for other areas of the kitchen, skip it for the dishwasher - its acidic nature can erode dishwasher parts.

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Photo by: Westend61/Getty Images

Westend61/Getty Images

Rinse Out the Garbage Can

Taking out the trash (and recycling) and replacing the trash bag is fairly routine, but spring cleaning provides optimal time to wash and sanitize your garbage can. Amidor recommends cleaning with a bleach-water mixture, though the ratio is crucial to avoid an unpleasant bleach odor lingering. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for cleaning with bleach suggest using a diluted solution and making a new one after 24 hours to ensure its strength.

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