Oh Good – Turns Out We're Spring Cleaning Our Kitchens Wrong

Pass the bleach.
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We are finally in spring, so it’s time to get the gloves out so we can deep clean our homes and give them a fresh lease of life.

Which parts of your home get a scrub down when you’re doing a spring clean? For many of us, the kitchen is usually the first place to start. However, not everything in the kitchen gets the attention it deserves, like underneath the microwave. Or how about the coils on your fridge?

Yup, it turns out we can’t even spring clean our kitchens correctly – and could be letting them become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Polly Shearer, a cleaning expert at Tap Warehouse, has outlined seven parts of your kitchen that are usually overlooked but do need tending to in a spring clean, so that you can avoid germs lurking where they shouldn’t be.

1. Sinks

When a kitchen has a smelly sink, your nose instantly picks up on it. However, with time you can become used to the stench - which is why it has to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Washing the dishes daily will inevitably cause small bits of food to fall down the drain and although it may not seem like much, the accumulation does build up and is more than likely to be at the centre of the odour.

One simple trick is to pour boiling water down the drain which will hopefully break down the food. If it doesn’t, check your cupboards for white vinegar - a small cup worth down the drain followed by a hot rinse 30 minutes later should unclog it.

If that isn’t enough, mix white vinegar with baking soda and pour the solution down the drain; leave it for a couple of hours to work its magic, followed by a kettle of boiling water.

2. Taps

Taps often develop stubborn limescale over time, especially if you live in an area with hard water. Lemons can perform miracles when it comes to removing limescale because of their acidic nature and will leave your kitchen tap sparkling clean.

Simply rub the flesh of the citrus fruit onto chrome taps or faucets and rinse with clean water. Ensuring you rinse the tap with water afterwards is a vital step, otherwise you’re at risk of eroding the finish on your tap with the lemon residue.

3. Fridge Coil

Cleaning your fridge can be a tiring task especially if it’s full of food, but it’s not only the inside of the fridge that needs cleaning, the outside does too.

With the increase in energy prices, we’re all on the lookout for ways to save energy and one way to do this is to ensure your appliances run as efficiently as possible. Fridge coils are often overlooked - yes, those metal things on the back of the fridge that have been sitting there collecting dust for years…

What’s more, dirty fridge coils can actually shorten the life of your appliance. They overload the compressor which can result in a repair totalling hundreds of pounds.

A little hoover of the fridge coils just once a year, especially if you have pets, will go a long way to keeping your fridge functioning efficiently. Don’t forget to turn the appliance off first before cleaning!

4. Underneath appliances

Cleaning the hob, microwave, toaster and other amenities sitting on your kitchen counter are key areas to clean as it’s easy to spot stains or spillages that are within your view.

One area often left out of the usual spring clean is underneath the appliances. It’s surprising how much grime and little bits of food can build up under amenities, holding all kinds of germs including Salmonella and E coli. A simple wipe down underneath of your appliances once in a while will ensure there’s no build up of potential harmful bacteria.

5. Extractor fan

No one likes the smell of a freshly cooked meal coming from the kitchen? Although, once you’ve finished cooking, getting rid of lingering odours is vital to keeping your kitchen airy and fresh. If your extractor fan is dirty and has a build-up of grime, it will hinder how well a job it can do.

If your extractor fan has filters, take them out and wash them with hot soapy water one by one, ensuring they’re dried out fully before placing them back in. If you use your extractor fan regularly, aim to clean the filters every three months to keep them in good condition.

6. Kettle

When you think about how much a kettle is used, especially for us Brits, cleaning the kettle should be much higher up on the priority list. If you live in an area with hard water, descaling your kettle is well worth your time to avoid floaty bits in your tea.

Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to do: throw a few sliced lemons into the kettle and boil. Let it sit for ten minutes before boiling again. The natural acids from the lime will break up the limescale in the kettle and can be rinsed away.

If you have quite a significant build-up of limescale in your kettle, try filling it with a 50/50 mixture of white wine vinegar and water to around a third of the kettle. Boil it and let it soak for five minutes before draining the solution whilst scrubbing the inside. A few clean water boils afterward should get rid of any remnants of vinegar and if not place a few lemons in to freshen everything up.

7. Bin

You probably change your bin bags a few times a week, but how often do you clean the actual bin itself? Oily foods and leftovers that have been discarded quite often seep through the bag and into the inside of the bin, causing a stench throughout your home.

Giving your bin a proper clean using hot, soapy water will be more than enough to eradicate any leftover grime. If your bin is regularly giving off a foul odour, try putting some ground coffee in the bottom which will neutralise any funky smells.

As the temperature gradually starts to increase, it’s worth being aware of the effect warm weather has on your bin; it’s not unusual for maggots to be found among rubbish as flies become drawn to leftover waste which rots faster in the heat.

During warmer months, your bin should be cleaned more frequently. A white vinegar and water solution boiled in the kettle is sufficient to extinguish maggots and their eggs too.

Excuse us as we buy a shed load of bleach...