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Kitchen Nightmares

Do you know what’s hiding in your kitchen? Domestic CEO does a countdown of the 4 dirty little secrets you should look for in your kitchen today. 

By
Amanda Thomas,
August 29, 2012
Episode #026

Kitchen Nightmares

by Amanda Thomas

In my years as owner of Moxie Girl Household Assistants, I’ve had the opportunity (if not exactly the pleasure) to clean a lot of kitchens. And I’ve found that there are a few places that even the tidiest people forget to clean. In fact, in most kitchens, these areas are just plain nasty!

Today, I am going to give you a countdown of the 4 grossest areas in your kitchen. I share this info with you in the hopes that you will take the time to scrub or scour them for yourself. So, get your barf bag ready and let’s dive right in to uncover your kitchen nightmares!

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Nasty Place #4: Underneath the Kitchen Sink

The first spot on our list is the most tame. The area underneath the kitchen sink is usually a strange collection of half-used cleaning products, really filthy old sponges, and a variety of other small items that seem to get shoved or misplaced there.

Once you pull those items out, though, you can sometimes find a hidden treasure: a small leak. If you are unfortunate to find a little leak in your sink clutter, you are also going to find that the small drip has likely caused damage to particle board, cabinets, as well as anything made of paper or cardboard that you were storing.

See also: How to Organize Your Kitchen

These little drip leaks can seem like no big deal, but left long enough, they create a stash of mold and germ-infested moisture that not only looks gross, but usually has a pretty funky smell too. If you ever have a strange smell coming from beneath your kitchen sink, immediately inspect it. If you’re lucky, it might just be a dead rodent, but if not, it’s likely a leak. Even if you don’t detect a funny smell, you may want to pull stuff out, declutter, and reorganize the space so it will be easier to deal with if you ever do get a leak.

Nasty Place #3: Tops of Cabinets

You may be asking yourself, “Why would the tops of my cabinets be nasty?” I completely understand this question. It’s likely that the cabinets are 8 feet high or more, so how could anything other than a little dust gather up there? I don’t know how it happens (it’s a good question for Everyday Einstein), but grease loves to collect up on that high ledge, and it can easily become so thick that you need a paint scraper to get it off. That’s right – a paint scraper. Once you’ve scraped a layer of the greasy film off, you can then use dish soap on a scrubby sponge to scour the layers of grime. Yep, it’s as fun as it sounds. But the sooner you get up there to do it, the less elbow grease you’re going to need to remove the muck.

Nasty Place #2: Behind, Below, and Around the Stove

Remember the spaghetti sauce that dribbled as you spooned it from the pan on the stove to your plate on the counter last year? No? That’s ok, you’ll remember it as soon as you pull out your stove and see it all the way down the side of the appliance. You will be amazed at how much goop has dripped in that little space, how many Cheerios have fallen behind the stove (don’t ask me how it happens, but it does), and, worst of all, how many small rodents have taken up home underneath because there is a constant supply of food for them.

Keep the critters away by gently pulling your stove out at least every 6 months to do a quick sweep and wipe. Just be careful of the electrical cords and gas lines that are attached to the wall behind. Take a quick peek to make sure you aren’t going to disconnect anything if you pull the stove all the way out.

Nasty Place #1: Your Fridge

In general, fridges can get pretty gross. From stuff spilling and not getting cleaned up right away, to the remnants of dried vegetables or moldy fruit in the produce drawers, it’s easy to see how this can become one of the ickiest spots in your entire house. Pull out the bottom drawer and you will likely find a sticky, syrup-like layer that is the culmination of everything that has spilled on a shelf in your fridge. You thought you cleaned it up when you wiped down the shelf, but little did you know that the liquid drains to the top, goes down the back of your fridge, and accumulates beneath that bottom drawer. Again, a paint scraper will help you scrape off the layer, or you can alternate using a warm water soak and a scrubby sponge to try and dissolve and scrub away the sticky mess.

Also make sure to pull out your fridge to check the floor underneath and behind, especially if you have cats or ferrets as pets. More than once, my team has pulled out a fridge to find that these flexible little critters have decided to make the warm space behind the fridge their own personal hideout/litter box. If you aren’t sure if your animal does this, please check sooner rather than later.

So, now that you are officially grossed out, it’s time to inspect your own kitchen to see how many of these disgusting little secrets you can find. If you don’t have any, you deserve a big pat on the back for keeping your kitchen cleaner than 90% of the population (that’s my educated, yet completely non-scientific guess).

If you find something particularly surprising, post it on my Facebook wall or Twitter feed.

I would love to share in your horror! And on that note, I’m off to make myself a sandwich.

I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

Kitchen Sink, Stove and Fridge images from Shutterstock

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