Even if your countertops are always immaculate and the dishes rarely pile up, chances are your kitchen has plenty of easily missed areas where dirt can accumulate. Use these great ideas to deep-clean those hard-to-reach places where grime builds up.
Dust, debris and pet hair can build up behind the refrigerator vent, making it work less efficiently and increasing your energy bills. Check with your owner's manual, but for many refrigerators, you can pull off the removable vent at the bottom of your refrigerator and use the crevice tool of your vacuum to vacuum the coils. Before you replace the vent, wash it or wipe it down with Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial
As for the handles, which can quickly get grimy, use Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial
and a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe them down, making sure not to miss the undersides of the handles and the area where the handle joins the door. For more in-depth tips on cleaning your refrigerator, check out our Fridge Cleaning
Drips and crumbs tend to gather in the space between the stove and the countertop. Debra Johnson of Merry Maids, a national cleaning service, suggests using a stiff brush to loosen and remove the crumbs. You can then wrap the bristles of the brush with a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water and sweep out the crevice again to clean and degrease the area.
If you have a range hood with a fan, the vent can quickly get grimy. Johnson suggests removing the filter at least every six months and giving it a good cleaning. If you have a carbon filter instead of a metal one, replace with a new filter as needed.
A soft-bristled toothbrush (see sidebar) is a great tool for cleaning on and around the burners of the stove as well as in the area around the burners says Amy Olson of THE MAIDS Home Services, a residential cleaning franchise.
Remove the knobs, if possible, and then use the dry toothbrush to loosen crumbs before using Windex® Original Glass Wipes
to wipe away remaining crumbs and residue.
A toothbrush is also just the right size to scour around the faucet knobs on your sink, in the crannies of the drain, or along the seam where the sink joins the counter. If the grout around the sink has been discolored, brighten it up with your cleaning toothbrush plus fantastik® All Purpose Cleaner With Bleach
to remove stains like those from food, greasy soil and mold & mildew. (Since the toothbrush may cause splatters, be sure to wear old clothes.)
For grease-spattered microwave interiors, Olson of THE MAIDS suggests boiling a cup of water with a few lemon slices in it for one minute in the microwave. The steam will soften stuck-on food, and then you can use clean water and a sponge to wipe away remaining grease and residue. To avoid possible injury from burns, be sure to allow the boiling water to cool for a few minutes before opening the microwave door and removing the container of water.
Cabinets and Drawers
If you reach into your drawer for the measuring spoons and come up with a handful of crumbs instead, it's time to take action. Empty the drawer and use the corner nozzle on your vacuum hose to suck up crumbs, dust and other debris from every crevice and corner of the drawer.
For an extra-deep clean, take the drawers off their runners to vacuum behind them. Use Pledge® Multi Surface Wipes
to get rid of even more dust. You can also use the wipes to clean and remove smears from the exteriors of your wooden cabinets.