10 Things to Tell Your Roommate Before They Leave the Kitchen Slideshow

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Empty the Dishwasher
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Empty the Dishwasher
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It’s an obvious one, but we’re always shocked to learn that some people actually believe that a dishwasher is going to grow arms of its own and empty itself, so it's always best to send out a reminder to empty the dishwasher. We find that whiteboards with notes like "Dishwasher is DIRTY" and "Dishwasher is CLEAN" help.

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Thinkstock/iStockphoto

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Stovetop Messes
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Stovetop Messes
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This one always gets us, but seriously, when you cook a piece of chicken on the stovetop, you know the oil is going to splatter, right? Remind your roommates to wipe down the stovetop when they’re done cooking; the oil splatter doesn’t miraculously disappear.

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Thinkstock/iStockphoto

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Moldy Sponges
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Moldy Sponges
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Ever wonder where that weird, moldy smell is coming from? It’s most likely your kitchen sink sponge. Remind your roommates to squeeze out the sponge after they’re done using it, and tell them not leave it on the bottom of the sink where it’ll get wet again.

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Stockbyte/George Doyle

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Empty the Trash
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Empty the Trash
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Did you have to struggle a bit to fit your egg carton into the trash? Is there a funky smell coming from the bin? Did you just throw some cooked fish in there? These are the questions you should encourage your roommates to ask before walking out of the kitchen, and if they answer yes, they should take out the trash.

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Lifesize/George Howard

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Clean Out the Drain
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Clean Out the Drain
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This a twofold problem, where sometimes the drain plug can get misplaced entirely — causing food to clog the sink — or sometimes people just leave wet, soggy food in the drain as if it’ll evaporate into thin air if left long enough. Cleaning out the drain should always be on the to-do list when you’re finished working in the kitchen. 

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Thinkstock/iStockphoto

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The Fridge is a Sanctuary, Treat It Like One
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The Fridge is a Sanctuary, Treat It Like One
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There’s nothing worse than opening the vegetable drawer in the fridge to find that the Saran-wrapped raw chicken your roommate placed in there has decided to leak all over the drawer and the bottom of the fridge. Despite it seeming like something they would obviously already have thought about, remind your roommates to be careful about how they store their food in the fridge. Rotten or raw food such as chicken can contaminate other food in the fridge and make people sick if you’re not careful (or shall we say clean)enough. 

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Lifesize/Ryan McVay

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Don't Forget the Floors!
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Don't Forget the Floors!
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You know what’s worse than stepping on a smashed pea while barefooted in the kitchen? Knowing your roommate dropped it there and left it for you to clean up. Sweeping the floors is never a bad idea after working in the kitchen, and should be a part of the roommate checklist. 

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Pixland/Jupiter Images

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Check the Burners
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Check the Burners
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That gassy smell and light-headedness you’re experiencing in your room isn’t your imagination, it’s the burner that your roommate left on in the kitchen because they didn’t see a flame and figured the stovetop was off. Often, stovetop burners can be lit and release gas without igniting the flame, which can lead to very dangerous situations due to gas leakage, so remind your roommates to check whether the burners have been turned off or not. 

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Thinkstock/Hemera

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Clean Your Dishes
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Clean Your Dishes
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In addition to not emptying the dishwasher, some people abuse their dishwashing privileges, and put things like sauté pans and sauce pots in there to be cleaned days later when the dishwasher is finally run. Remind your roommates that this is rude, and to clean cookware that they use immediately so that it’s available for the next person who comes in to use it.

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Photodisc/Ryan McVay

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Left-Behind Sheet Pans
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Left-Behind Sheet Pans
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Hold it right there: did you leave the sheet pan in the oven? That’s the number one question roommates should ask themselves before leaving the kitchen. They’re easy to forget about, but if left behind in the oven, they can get dangerously hot and take on burn marks that even the strongest cleaning solution will not get rid of.

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Thinkstock/iStockphoto