In no particular order, these are five areas whose dirt or germ factor have been at the forefront of my mind lately, and I feel should be at yours:
1. The silverware drawer tray
I’m not quite sure how it happens, but the silverware drawer accumulates an excessive amount of food crumbs and miscellaneous debris. Perhaps our living partners are, unbeknownst to us, eating every snack and meal directly above said drawer. That’s really the best conclusion I’ve arrived at thus far, though I’m open to entertaining other hypotheses.
Regardless, to remedy the situation you’ll need to remove all the silverware. If you have a tray insert, pull that out of the drawer and either run it through the dishwasher or give it a good cleaning using some dish detergent. If you don’t have a tray, simply wipe out the drawer’s interior. Replace the tray, replace the silverware, and bask in the glory of knowing your utensils are actually clean.
This is usually more of a germ-based infraction, although sponges and rags can be coated in visible dirt as well. To address that surface dirt, sponges can be thrown into the dishwasher. If you want to disinfect them, however, that wash cycle won’t cut it. Place your wet sponge into the microwave in order to kill germs; experts say 1-2 minutes on high will get the job done. Be aware that the sponge will be hot when you remove it (duh).
3. The kitchen sink drain
There are few things so gross as the gook that accumulates in and around this area– especially in sinks without garbage disposals which require drain stopper-thingy’s. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience of being overwhelmed by a highly noxious odor and then realizing that unobtrusive little drain is (almost impressively) the culprit.
To combat the drain mire, you’ll need to begin by removing any food remnants that are hanging out around the drain. Slap on a pair of bright latex yeller’s if you’ve got them, cause this is a task you don’t really want your hands directly involved in. Next you can either use a chemical cleaner, or opt for the more natural solution of baking soda and vinegar.
Run some hot water down the drain to begin with. Next, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of distilled vinegar. The two components will have some science-y reaction that results in bubbling and foaming. That’s a sign that you’re on the right track, not that your drain has contracted rabies. Allow the mixture to brew and stew down that for 10-20 minutes before running the hot water for about a minute. Drain: dominated.
4. Behind and atop appliances
Dirt and dust collects behind and on top of appliances like it does no where else. Have you ever checked out what’s happening on top of or behind your fridge? It’s a jungle I tell ya.
To clean the tops of things like fridges, you’ll need (a stool or chair if you’re 5′ 2″ like me) a good spray cleaner and some paper towel or a rag. Spray enough to really coat that baby so that the dust and dirt won’t just go flying in all directions, but will obediently find their way onto your cloth.
To clean the area behind appliances, you’ll first need to pull them out from the wall. Call in backup for this task if necessary. Your next step should definitely involve either a broom or a vacuum to collect all the craziness happening back there. Follow that with some mop action for the floor and a cleaner and cloth to wipe down the side’s and back’s of appliances. Push the appliance back and smile at the thought that you’re no longer potentially growing a personal collection of asbestos or some shit behind your fridge.
5. The remote control
I don’t even want to go into why this makes the list today. Suffice it to say: germs. Hands. Lots them. All the time.
To disinfect the clicker, simply use some rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or a disinfectant wipe. Wipe down the front and back of the remote, as well the buttons. You may also want to use some Q-tips for the harder-to-reach crevices. Channel surf to your heart’s content.Image credits: IHeart Organizing, IHeart Organizing, Leslie Goodwin, Sukkertoy for oyet, Naomi Yasuda