9 Kitchen Items You’ve Been Cleaning All Wrong

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I bet you were nervous to open this article. I always am when I read a headline that suggests everything I thought I knew could be wrong. But congratulations, you took the first step. You’re here because you know there are few things in life more satisfying than a sparkly-clean kitchen. And we’re here to tell you that with these nine helpful tips, and not much extra time, you can easily start keeping your kitchen tools and appliances much cleaner—and breathe easier because of it!

1. Unorganize Those Spoons

Isn’t it refreshing to be told to get un-organized? The logic here is that even though an organized silverware basket in the dishwasher may be easier to unload, utensils lined up in the same direction, especially nesting spoons and forks, can trap food and gunk. Water will not flow as easily between them and things can get stuck.

dishwasher photo
Photo by David Locke

2. Keep That Skillet Dry

You probably already know you should only hand-wash your cast iron, but did you know that you need to make sure you thoroughly hand-dry it and then oil it too? Otherwise you’ll quickly be adding rust to your ingredient list every time you cook in it. You may also try the technique that cleans the pan with a potato.

skillet photo
Photo by wlayton

3. Stainless Steel Should Get Its Own Special Cleaner

Trust me, you will never get the perfect shine any other way. Try this formula. Or hey, if you are satisfied with clouded and streaked surfaces, then carry on with your all-purpose cleaner.

House Beautiful

4. Garbage Disposal Stench

Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned your garbage disposal? Small bits of food left unrinsed can lead to a smell coming from your sink. Combat the stench by putting a few ice cubes in to clean the blades. Then run a few citrus peels through to leave a fresh scent.

garbage disposal photo
Photo by Dean Hochman

5. Can Openers Do Get Dirty

When was the last time you cleaned your can opener? Never? Oh dear, time to start. Cleaning a handheld can opener is easy enough. Just soak it in warm soapy water then wipe it down with a cloth. For an electric opener, you will want to soak any removable pieces. Then wipe down the base and pieces before reattaching them.

can opener photo
Photo by DaveCrosby

6. Scrub Your Board

As much as we all love our wooden cutting boards, they do take a little more work than their plastic counterparts. Warm soapy water will work after cutting fruits or veggies, but you will need something a little more intense for when you finish cutting raw meat. A bleach solution will eliminate any danger of cross contamination.

cutting board photo
Photo by Honor Photo Bar

7. Special Glassware Requires Special Care

Hand-painted and vintage glasses should get special treatment. If you take the time to hand-wash them, the paint will last longer and you’ll avoid any etching that could be caused by a dishwasher.

hand painted glassware photo
Photo by Barbara B’s Stuff

8. Your Coffee Maker Definitely Needs More Attention

Cleaning your coffee maker goes beyond descaling it once a month—an essential step if you want enjoy the full flavor of your coffee. First, take off any removable pieces and soak in soapy water. Then wipe down the outside before reattaching. The more often you do it, the less the coffee oils will contaminate your pot.

coffeemaker photo
Photo by bcjordan

9. Don’t Forget The Dishwasher

This is probably one of the most important kitchen appliances to keep clean. If it’s dirty, then every dish in your kitchen will be dirty. An empty run with white vinegar in the detergent compartment will break up any stains or lime deposits. You should then make sure to take out the racks and wipe down the sides and door of the dishwasher. Pay special attention to the wheels on the racks because food and bacteria can easily get trapped in them.