Dirty Kitchen Areas That Deserve More Attention

If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, then you're probably aware of just how much dirt and grime can accumulate there. One second, you're chopping vegetables and letting pasta sauce simmer on the stove. Before you know it, you have tomato splattered on your stovetop, breadcrumbs on the floor, and food remnants in your microwave that you must clean up to keep your kitchen looking tidy. It's not always pleasant, but deep-cleaning the kitchen is a necessary part of being a cook.

No matter how thorough you are with your cleaning, there's a good chance you could devote more time and attention to keeping certain parts of your kitchen clean and germ-free. Your job doesn't end when the stovetop is spotless, the table and countertops are sanitized, and the sink is washed out. According to the Seattle Times, there are a few areas in your kitchen that you likely aren't cleaning as frequently or as well as they need to be — and there's no time like the present to focus on them.

The parts of your kitchen that need more attention

The parts of your kitchen that your guests see might be spick-and-span, but what about those hidden areas? While you have your kitchen-cleaning process down to a science, you may be forgetting some details.

Two kitchen areas are especially worthy of your attention: Your refrigerator could be shining on the outside but not the inside. After stocking up on more vegetables than you know what to do with, countless condiments, and plenty of leftovers, chances are your refrigerator isn't spotless. With so much space to cram in food, it's easy to only think about the food in the front of your fridge (because you see it every day) — and forget entirely about the cucumber and other expired foods in your vegetable drawer that are now going bad. Hanging on to food in your fridge for too long can lead to the takeover of bacteria and mold, making it smell, so be sure to regularly toss out-of-date items in the trash and thoroughly clean your refrigerator shelves (per Seattle Times). The inside of your oven is just as important to clean as the outside. Food remnants can bake onto its surface, causing future food to taste off. Cleaning your oven can improve the quality of food you cook and save energy costs. You'll need a sponge and oven cleaner to get it clean (per Greatist). Remember that when the job is done, you'll have a spotless, more pleasant cooking space again.

How to clean the neglected parts of your kitchen

Some are uncertain how to go about cleaning those hidden parts of their kitchen. Thankfully, there are effective ways to clean them out — and you may be able to use items you already own.

After you clear any items out of your refrigerator and oven, it's time to get to work. To clean your refrigerator and leave that caked-on grunge behind, make a bleach solution (dilute a ½ cup of bleach per gallon of water, though you may need even less water than that) or mix water and vinegar and let the mixture sit before you use it. Lather your preferred mixture on the refrigerator surfaces and in the drawers. If you're still having difficulty getting certain spots out, try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or the like — it'll work its magic on your fridge (per The Kitchn). To clean your oven, use a specialized oven cleaner like Easy-Off or a similar brand, and be sure to let it soak in for at least two hours (though a particularly dirty oven may take longer to clean). Once you've let the cleaner soak in, wipe it away with paper towels and a rigid sponge (per Apartment Therapy). When you realize just how much mess still accumulates in your kitchen — especially your refrigerator and oven — and you use these methods to clean it, you'll feel more at peace.