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drain catcher in sink

The Dirtiest Spots in Your Kitchen—And How to Deep Clean Them

Even if you clean nightly, your kitchen is a magnet for bacteria. These deep clean strategies will help you get rid of the grime.

5 min read

You might mop the floor and straighten up the cabinets, but there are sneaky spots where bacteria hide in your kitchen that you’re probably not cleaning—but should. Coffee makers, cutting boards, and your spice rack probably don’t top your list of germ magnets, but these and other areas need cleaning, too. Here’s how.

clean kitchen countertop with coffee maker

Coffee Maker

Clean it: Your coffee maker needs more than a cursory wipe. To clean the coffee maker, use a half-and-half mix of vinegar and water, and pour it into the empty carafe water chamber, filling it to the top. Then run a half-brew cycle. Turn off the coffee maker and let it sit for an hour before finishing the full cycle. Wipe down and wash all pieces with soapy water.

Top tip: Run the full fresh-water (no vinegar) cycle two more times to really get it squeaky clean and free of debris.

grout brush cleaning stove top


Clean it: Inside your oven, dishes broil, bubble, and burst, sending particles of food everywhere. To clean the oven, remove racks. Create a baking soda paste of 3 tablespoons of water and ½ cup of baking soda, then use a grout brush or one with a smaller head to spread the paste over the interior surface and in the little nooks and crannies (avoid the heating aspects). Let it sit for a minimum of 12 hours or overnight, then wash the paste off with a wet cloth. Wash the racks with soap and water and pop them back in.

Top tip: If the paste is resistant to removal, spray vinegar on the surface to help soften it first.

clean spice shaker drawer

Spices and Shakers

Clean it: Spices and salt and pepper shakers can get super messy on the spice rack. Keep things tidy by organizing small jars in containers first, and wiping down the larger containers with soap and water. Once a week, remove spices from the rack and wipe the shelves down with liquid dish soap and water. Reassemble dry.

Top tip: Keep spices, herbs and shakers from getting sticky by storing in a cool, dry area that is away from light. That means don’t put them over the stove!


Clean it: It’s the vessel you use to clean everything else, but how often do you give the sink itself a deep cleaning? Give it a daily onceover with a heavy duty scrub brush, dish soap and warm water. Once a week, use a half-and-half mix of water and vinegar and a damp cloth or mildly abrasive sponge to clean the basin, as well as the faucets, spray nozzles, and sink strainers

Top tip: Don’t stop with the sink: Use a scrub brush to clean the sponge holder and the sink mat. If you have a garbage disposal, you can clean that, too.

clean kitchen sink area

Countertops and Cutting Boards

Clean it: Easy to clean but often forgotten, you can cleanse the countertops regularly with soap and water, wiping down with a cloth. As for cutting boards, wash the board with warm water, dish soap, and a soft sponge after each use. For hard to remove gunk, dip a damp cloth in rock salt, and let the abrasive particles slough off the grime.

Top tip: If your wooden cutting board smells a little funky even after cleaning, you can remove the stench by rubbing it down with the cut side of half a lemon. Pat with paper towels and air dry.

microfiber duster cleaning countertop


Clean it: For a deep clean of the fridge, take out all items, check expiration dates, and toss whatever is no good. Then give your fridge a proper cleaning. Wipe down the drawers and shelves using a cloth with soapy water. A scrub brush will help remove any hard pieces of food that have crusted onto the surface.

Top tip: Don’t forget to clean under the fridge, too—food has a way of sneaking below the box/ Use a microfiber duster designed to reach under appliances to snag dirt in hard to reach spots.


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