Five Things We Never Think to Clean in the Kitchen

In general we use the kitchen so much that we're forced to keep it clean. But in such a busy room, there are bound to be lots of little neglected crannies. Tackling these five really feels like a cleaning triumph.

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Here are the five kitchen tasks we never think about doing, but which nevertheless eventually must be done:

1. Wipe off the tops of your cabinet doors and drawers. It may sound like makework, but those surfaces--exposed to some degree, and yet not likely to be noticed during a regular cleaning--accumulate a lot of dust and (blech) grease. Wiping them down with a microfiber towel and a good (green!) all-purpose cleaner should only take a few minutes. If the grease is especially stubborn, let the cleaner sit for a minute or two to soak in.

2. Wash items stored on high shelves (in cabinets or out). Items stored high up in a kitchen, in cabinets or otherwise, are bound to gather some sticky dust. Give them a good wash and wipe down the shelves themselves as well.

3. If you've got a diswasher, clean inside it. Pay special attention to areas where dirt can build up, like the rubber seal around the door and the top edge of the door as well.

4. Clean the light fixtures, including under-cabinet lighting. Under-cabinet lights are especially vulnerable to splashing sauces and oils, but we don't look at them directly all the time, so they're often overlooked. Go at your pendant lights and ceiling fixtures as well; once again, since they're high up, they're likely to gather grease.

5. Wash the filter for your range hood (and the inside rim of the hood). Ideally, if you've got a ventilation hood, the filter should be washed every few months. We hardly ever think of doing it, but it does make a difference in how well the hood functions.

Congratulations! It takes a lot of will to clean where nobody notices the dirt. Now on to the bathroom...

Photos: Flickr members blmurch and marinegirl, licensed under Creative Commons