Those familiar with the ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ motto will be surprised to learn that when it comes to your kitchen, sparkling appearances can be deceiving.
There are lots of places in your kitchen that hide dirt, grime and bacteria.
Any Mrs Hinch fan will know the shock of discovering one if they took the drawer out of their washing machine and found black gunk underneath like the cleanfluencer did!
Well, Deyan Dimitrov, cleaning expert and CEO of Laundryheap, claims there are more areas of sneaky dirt hanging around our homes.
Check out his list of the seven dirtiest items in the kitchen below…
Toaster crumb tray
Deyan commented: “The secret to great toast is a clean toaster. A handy tip to check whether your toaster is due a clean is to look down its bread slots – if there’s a visible assortment of crumbs at the bottom and sides, it’s time to give its crumb tray a clean.
“Make sure to unplug your toaster first (with dry hands!), then remove the crumb tray and empty it out over a sink or bin. Use a dry toothbrush to clean in and around the bread slots to dislodge any big crumbs and follow with a standard wash, with washing up liquid, to get rid of any sticky spots.
“Once it’s bone-dry, insert it back into the toaster and shake the whole appliance out over a bin or sink to make sure you get rid of every last crumb.”
Deyan said: “Even if your oven gloves look pristine on the outside, they can be a hotspot for harbouring all kinds of germs and nasties inside their crevices, including crumbs and small pieces of food!
“Most oven gloves will be fine to add to your weekly load of washing, but make sure to read the cleaning instructions on the label of your gloves before washing them, as silicone gloves should be hand-washed.
“It can be helpful to pre-soak your oven gloves in a solution of one tablespoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of baking soda for 10 minutes beforehand.
“If you’re not sure whether your oven gloves are safe to launder in your machine – or if you want a super deep clean – you can always get them professionally laundered to be on the safe side.”
Deyan added: “Wooden spoons are prone to allowing bacteria to fester within their grooves and cracks, especially when they come into contact with raw meat. If you fail to scrub them properly during a clean, you risk contaminating other utensils and any food they come into contact with.
“To avoid spreading unhealthy bacteria, regularly soak your spoons in a solution of hydrogen peroxide before cleaning.
“Create a diluted mixture by adding one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to two litres of water, soak your wooden utensils in it for a few minutes, and then wash and dry them as you normally would.
“It can also be helpful to store your utensils together in a pot, as their upright positions will allow them to drain properly and be kept as dust-free as possible.”
Deyan noted: “Grease, crumbs, and flyaway pieces of food can get embedded in your apron, especially if it has a front pocket, so the cleaner it is before each cooking session, the better.
“A good rule of thumb is to wash your apron every few uses, to prevent dirt from building up.
“If you’re faced with a big spill or don’t want any cooking smells lingering on your apron’s fabric, soak it in a lukewarm solution of water with one part laundry detergent and one part vinegar for 15 minutes, before giving it a wash at a high temperature.
“Alternatively, you could get your apron professionally cleaned for any big stains or smells that may be too complex to tackle at home.
“If possible, hang your apron up in a well ventilated space (such as on the back of your kitchen door) to prevent any musty smells and dampness from spreading and keep its fabric as fresh as possible.”
Sauce and spice shelves
Deyan commented: “Whilst your colourful collections of sauces and spices can be a wonder for the eye, they often conceal dust, powder, and accidental spillages on the shelving underneath.
“I would recommend giving the storage areas of your condiments a thorough clean with surface cleaner and a damp cloth every few weeks, to ensure that any dirt and grime doesn’t fester away in hidden areas.
“Make sure that the shelves are completely dry before you add your bottles and tubs back in, to prevent any dampness.”
Deyan told the Daily Star: “Many of us often forget to separate our towels for different jobs in the kitchen. If you use the same towel for everything, you could end up transferring germs onto your skin, or other dinnerware, which can cause skin irritation and an upset stomach if accidentally ingested.
“I would recommend using a separate towel for each of the three main cleaning jobs in your kitchen: drying your dishes, wiping your hands and cleaning surfaces and spillages.
“I would also advise that you wash each of your towels every few days to prevent any unwanted bacteria sticking around for too long. It could even be a good idea to invest in several sets of towels that you can alternate between every week as one set goes through the wash.
“Remember to wash your towels at a high temperature of 40 degrees to ensure they come back completely sterilised, or opt for a ‘hot wash’ through a professional laundering service.”
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Deyan said: “The food you heat up and cook in your microwave will often spit everywhere if the bowl or plate isn’t covered, which can leave a mixture of oils and sauces around its inner walls.
“You should give the inside and outside of your microwave a thorough clean every week, as a quick wipe down with a cloth isn’t as effective in removing grime as you may think, especially when most people forget to target their microwave’s ceiling.
“To thoroughly clean the inside of your microwave, put one tablespoon of white vinegar and 250ml of water in a bowl and heat it in your microwave for two minutes at a high heat, until the water boils and your microwave’s window gets steamy.
“Leave your microwave to cool down completely (around 10 minutes) and wipe all the inside walls with a standard surface cleaner and damp cloth. Any stubborn marks and stains should come off easily.”