Mop the floors. Check. Wipe the counters. Check. Most of us have a standard list of spring cleaning chores that we tackle when it’s time to air out and freshen up our homes. But when it comes to the kitchen, things can get … foul. Here are 6 kitchen spots you never thought to spring clean (and will be glad you did).

1. The garbage disposal

You probably have no idea how nasty your garbage disposal is but (brace yourself) particles can easily collect in the seam where the display flange and the sink basin meet, as well as under the flap. It’s relatively easy to take care of. First use a scrub brush to clean the external parts. Next, plug the drain and fill the basin halfway with water and vinegar. Unplug the drain and turn on the disposal, which will flush it out. Then use something abrasive to get rid of any lingering particles by pouring a cup of ice cubes and a half cup of salt to grind down anything remaining. You can also use a lemon or lime peel to add an extra fresh scent.

2. Garbage can

Even though you keep your garbage can lined, it can still get pretty gross. Start by hosing it out in your yard. After you’ve rinsed it out, spray with a disinfectant and scrub with a long-handled nylon brush. (Don’t forget the bottom of the can and the lid if it has one.) Rinse again and let it air dry.

3. Under major appliances

You’ll be shocked at what’s likely collected behind and under the fridge, oven, and stove. We’re talking dirt, crumbs, and more. Pull each appliance out, clean the coils with your vacuum, and then wipe down all the sides of the appliance. Bonus is that removing dirt that might make the appliance work more efficiently (and even help you save money on your energy bill).

4. Inside the appliances

Most of us (ahem!) make sure to swipe out the microwave when something boils over, or scrub the shelves in the fridge when they get gunky. But there are some other appliances we might not think of — like the toaster. Take a few minutes to pull out the crumb catchers (yep, there is such a thing!) and empty them out and wipe them down. Crumbs can cause your toaster to smoke and stink, so don’t overlook this. Ditto for the drawers under your oven, where a surprising amount of crumbs and food particles can collect.

Also make sure to wipe down underneath the appliances you keep on your counter, like the coffeemaker, toaster or toaster oven, mixer, etc.

5. Inside your cabinet doors

You probably spot clean the outside when needed, but don’t overlook the insides of your cabinets. Use an all-purpose kitchen cleaner or white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spend 10 minutes wiping down these surfaces, and your kitchen will feel cleaner every time you open them.

6. House plants

Believe it or not, even live plants can collect dust, so gather up all the greens you have brightening your windowsill and pop them in the shower! Alternatively you can blast them with a hairdryer.

DIY hacks | Home and garden


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.