Spaces You Forget to Clean and How to Clean Them

28 February

If you’ve just put your tools down after a long day cleaning the kitchen, satisfied that you've scrubbed everything that can be scrubbed, polished all the polishable items and removed the germs from every nook and cranny, I'm here to tell you that you've failed – there is always somewhere that gets forgotten. Of course, germs proliferate so quickly that they reappear almost as quickly as you vanquish them, in greater numbers and, if anything, angrier, so it might be best to just let them get on with it and live in filth. However, if that doesn't sound appealing, and you're absolutely opposed to the idea of relinquishing control of the kitchen to microbial vermin, then read on, and discover a few oft-forgotten nooks and undiscovered crannies in which you can wage perpetual bacterial warfare against those relentless germs to your hearts content.

The crack between the oven and the walls, or the oven and the fridge, or the fridge and the wall or any other dark and menacing looking crack, the component parts of which will depend on the physical configuration of your kitchen, are excellent places to find surviving outposts of germ troops, thriving on the spilt egg yolks, scattered rice remains and forgotten broccoli florets. If said crack is too small to get at with a broom or other conventional cleaning apparatus, which is likely, try using a cake slice or other sufficiently lengthy and supple utensil, wrap it in a damp tea towel, wiggle it around, sweep it majestically back and forth, and marvel at the surprises your new weapon unearths.

Knife blocks, a staple of the modern kitchen, are incredibly useful for, well, storing knives, obviously, but I'm willing to bet you've never cleaned out the slots those knives so conveniently slide into. Shame on you. If motivation strikes and you feel like finally getting on to that, grape yourself a couple of pipe cleaners, douse them in vinegar or some other multi-purpose spray, and get wiggling.

Your dishwasher is supposed to clean stuff, right? Well, according to some statistics that I didn't research thoroughly enough to reliably call ‘fact’, but they were on the internet so they must be true, 50% of dishwasher door seals have some sort of fungi growing on them. The doors themselves can apparently also be a breeding ground for black mould, which is probably not great for your health either. Clean those door seals with a mixture of one part vinegar to four parts water with a small brush, then put a capful of dishwasher-safe white vinegar in the machine and run it on the hottest setting. Voila, your chances of death by dishwasher have been drastically reduced, or marginally reduced, depending on what stats you choose to believe.