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The kitchen is commonly referred to as the centrepiece of a home, serving as a gathering place for creating delectable meals and fostering cherished moments. However, it can also be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria if proper cleaning and hygiene practices are not followed. While some areas of the kitchen may seem obvious when it comes to cleanliness, there are several surprisingly dirty places that often go overlooked. In this article, we will explore eight of these often-neglected areas and provide tips on how to keep them clean.

1. Refrigerator Seal:

One area that is often forgotten during kitchen cleaning sessions is the rubber seal on the refrigerator door. This seal may seem harmless, but it can harbour a significant amount of dirt, food particles, and even mould. As you open and close the fridge, these contaminants can spread to other surfaces. To prevent this, regularly wipe down the seal with a mixture of mild detergent and water to ensure it remains clean and free from bacteria.

2. Cutting Boards:

Cutting boards are essential tools in any kitchen, but they can also be a hotbed for bacteria if not properly maintained. This is especially true for cutting boards made of wood. The tiny cuts and grooves left by knives provide a breeding ground for germs. To clean cutting boards effectively, wash them with hot soapy water after each use and sanitize them with a mixture of vinegar and water or a mild bleach solution. Additionally, consider using separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.

3. Kitchen Sink:

The kitchen sink is used for various purposes, including washing dishes, fruits, and vegetables. However, over time, food particles can accumulate in the sink, leading to the growth of bacteria. To keep your sink clean and germ-free, make it a habit to regularly clean it with a disinfectant cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water. Additionally, remember to scrub the drain and faucet handles to eliminate any hidden dirt or grime.

4. Can Opener:

The can opener is often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, yet it comes into direct contact with food cans that may be contaminated with bacteria. Make sure to wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water after each use, paying special attention to the gears and blades. For manual can openers, consider using a toothbrush or a small brush to remove any trapped food particles. If you own an electric can opener, be cautious not to submerge it in water, and instead, clean it with a damp cloth or sponge.

5. Oven Knobs:

Oven knobs are frequently touched with greasy or dirty hands, making them a prime spot for bacteria growth. These knobs can easily be cleaned by removing them and soaking them in warm soapy water. Employ a gentle brush to eliminate any dirt or grease by scrubbing diligently. While the knobs are off, take the opportunity to wipe the surface of the oven as well, ensuring no dirt or grease remains.

6. Spice Containers:

Spice containers may seem harmless, but they can accumulate dust, moisture, and even insect particles over time. To prevent this, wipe down the containers regularly and check for any signs of spoilage or insects. It’s also a good idea to store spices in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Consider transferring spices to airtight containers to prolong their shelf life and keep them free from contaminants.

7. Blender Gaskets:

The rubber gasket on blenders is often overlooked when cleaning the appliance. This gasket can accumulate residue from previous blends, leading to unpleasant odours and potential contamination. To clean the gasket, remove it from the blender and wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water. Pay attention to any nooks or crevices where residue might be hiding. Once clean, make sure to dry the gasket thoroughly before reassembling the blender.

8. Dish Drying Rack:

The dish drying rack is a convenient place to dry your clean dishes, but it can become a breeding ground for mould and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. To keep it clean, wash the rack with hot soapy water, paying attention to all the nooks and crannies where water can accumulate. Consider using a small brush or a toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn residue. Additionally, occasionally soak the dish drying rack in a mixture of vinegar and water to disinfect it and eliminate any lingering odours.


Q: How often should I clean the areas mentioned in the article?

A: It is recommended to clean the areas mentioned in the article on a regular basis. Some areas, such as cutting boards and dish drying racks, should be cleaned after each use. Others, like the refrigerator seal and can opener, can be cleaned once a week. It’s important to establish a cleaning routine that works for you and fits your kitchen’s needs.

Q: Can I use harsh chemicals to clean these areas?

A: For most of the areas mentioned, mild detergents and natural cleaning solutions are sufficient. Harsh chemicals may not be necessary and can sometimes leave behind residues or be harmful if not used properly. However, when it comes to sanitizing, you may consider using disinfectants or a mixture of water and bleach in specific cases. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and use appropriate protective gear when working with chemicals.

Q: Are there any alternative methods for cleaning?

A: Yes, there are alternative methods for cleaning some of these areas. For example, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the kitchen sink, refrigerator seal, and oven knobs. Vinegar can also be used as a natural cleaning agent for cutting boards and spice containers. Research and experiment with different natural cleaning solutions to find what works best for you.

In conclusion, maintaining a clean and hygienic kitchen involves paying attention to both obvious and often-overlooked areas. By being aware of these eight surprisingly dirty places in the kitchen and following the cleaning tips provided, you can ensure a safer and healthier cooking environment for you and your family. Remember, cleanliness should never be compromised, especially in the place where we prepare the food that nourishes our loved ones.