Although "spring cleaning" season has come to an end, there are a ton of common areas -- especially in the kitchen - that you might not have thought about. Even though these places need more attention than just a once-a-year sweep, tackling them isn't as daunting as you might think.
Cutting board: cutting boards, especially wood ones, need to be cleaned well to remove odours, stains and bacteria. Halve a lemon and sprinkle coarse salt on the cutting board. Massage the lemon flesh over the board, grinding the salt in using a circular buffing motion -- this will help remove stains and bacteria and deodorize the board. Rinse well and stand up to dry. For deep cuts, use super fine grit sand paper to smooth out the surface and then finish up with a thin coat of moisturizing mineral oil.
Dishwasher: unfortunately, your dishwasher isn't a self-cleaning appliance, so over time bits of food get stuck, residue builds up and mould and odour can grow. To clean, remove the filter and replace, then drop in an affresh® Dishwasher cleaner tablet to power away any hard water and mineral deposits.
Overhead exhaust: cleaning helps remove grease particles, microscopic grease in the air, as well as kitchen odours. Filters become gross and grimy over time, so remove and clean to help the kitchen stay and look great. Soak in a bucket filled with hot water and a scoop of automatic dishwasher detergent for 20 minutes, or even pop it in the dishwasher.
Toaster oven crumb tray -- you may not even know this exists, but if your toaster smells like burnt toast each time you use it, it's time to empty the crumb tray. Toaster ovens usually have a small lip that sticks out from the tray, typically located under the toaster oven door, which can be easily pulled to remove the tray. Simply dump contents into the garbage, buff off any stains by dipping a damp sponge in paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar, rinse well and dry. Replace and voila, a clean toaster!
Spice storage -- spices, unlike diamonds, don't last forever (even though we think they do). It's time to pull out all of your spices, anything older than about a year has to go (they can become rancid or stale over time). Make a list of spices you need to replenish and wash your spice containers (if they are reusable). This is a great opportunity to remove spice stains by applying a paste of water and baking soda to stained areas and scrubbing well. You may want to consider laying down a cupboard liner and leaving a box of open baking soda in the spice cupboard as a way to combat future smells and stains.
Some of the most need-to-clean areas are often the least obvious. These are just a few simple tips and tricks to get through these tasks with ease. To learn more about my cleaning routines, tips and tricks, visit my YouTube channel, Clean My Space.
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