Have you ever had a smell in your kitchen and you couldn't figure out where it was coming from? Yeah, me too. Once it was actually in my bedroom. However, in that instance, my dog had taken a piece of chicken (without my knowledge) and dropped it under my bed...lovely. I had no idea where this smell was coming from and I didn't discover it until she was camping out under my bed and then came out with the piece of chicken. I have a video of it somewhere - ask me about it, I'm happy to share! In the meantime, once you get through this blog, there's a pic of Roxi with the chicken that was under my bed for over a week.
While most of you won't have to deal with rotting chicken under your bed, you might have to deal with a smell in the kitchen. Here are some helpful tips!
1. Disposal Flaps: Scrub Em!
These things are gross. If you flip the flaps in your disposal, you'll see. Slime from food proteins line the flaps and result in a not-so-appealing odor. To clean, use an old toothbrush (obviously one you plan on tossing) and scrub these flaps with hot, soapy water.
2. Faucet and Sink: Crevices = Gross
Levers on sinks get a nice brown slime around them. Don't believe me? Lift the lever and look under it. In addition, you'll note this slime gunk around a soap dispenser, the edge of the sink, the faucet, and the top of the drain. Lucky for you it's super easy to get rid of! A little 409 and a paper towel will get that off.
3. Stove (side): Food Spill Central
Check out the side of your oven. You might need to pull it out to really see. But spills happen and a lot of times we don't even notice that it's there because we can't see it. If you pull out your oven you'll see you probably have an entire meal there - I wouldn't eat it though ;)
You can clean this up with any kitchen cleaner - it might take a little scrubbing, but it will come off. If you ever have spots that don't come off, I personally use the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers - I think they're fantastic and as a former preschool teacher, these things were a dream in my classroom with writing on tables/walls. If they'll work in a preschool classroom, they'll work on your oven.
4. Stove Vent Filter: Boil It
Some people don't even know there's a vent at the stove. I didn't at first. The filter should be cleaned about once a month. Take out the filter and wash it in hot, soapy water. If you're having a hard time cleaning it, you can put it in boiling water with about 1/2 cup of baking soda for a few minutes.
5. Stove Knobs: Remove knob, find gunk
Most people don't even think about removing the knobs. Cleaning the knob itself is great, but cleaning underneath & behind the knob is better.
6. Oven: Use Liners - Yes, seriously.
This tip speaks to me on levels I can't even explain. I didn't know about these until recently, and by recently I mean, like today.
We all wish we could clean our ovens right after every use so we didn't continue to burn whatever fell off the pan and onto the bottom of the oven and then burn to a hardened crust that is virtually impossible to scrub off.
ENTER IN - SILICONE OVEN LINERS! You can wash them in warm soapy water after they get dirty and it prevents you from having to break your back sitting on the floor trying to scrub the inside of your oven.
If anyone has any pro tips on actually cleaning the inside of your oven, I'm all ears. But from now on, OVEN LINERS IT IS!
7. Dishwasher Door: Wipe It!
Didn't think your dishwasher could get dirty, huh? It can. It's typically pretty clean, but sometimes grime can appear along the edges inside the door and on the gasket. If you wipe whenever you unload your dishwasher it will prevent it from coming back! WOO!
8. Fridge Vent: Does Anyone Really Clean This?
How many people do you know that clean their fridge vent? I'm not sure I know anyone who does. But lots of things can pile up in the vent below your fridge. Hair (human and pet), dust, dirt, foot particles all wind up in this vent. Remove the grate, vacuum under the fridge and clean the vent grill in hot, soapy water.
9. Fridge Drip Pan: Yes, This Is Really A Thing
There's a drip pan under your fridge. It will collect water and food spillage - so that's cool. Also, knowing that you haven't cleaned it in a while means there's probably mold and germs galore. Wipe out the pan and disinfect it with a solution consisting of 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water - finish by wiping clean with a rag/cloth soaked in white vinegar.
10. Cabinets: Check under them!
Ever checked under your cabinet doors? Or the inside of your cabinet doors? You might want to (I mean, you probably don't, but you should). Check all your cabinets for dirt and grime and wipe clean.
11. Cabinet Floors and Oils: Issue A No Contact Order!
There's a ton of cooking oils out there (olive oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, etc.) and they can make your shelves smell kind of funky. You can clean the shelves with hot, soapy water and wipe down the bottles to get rid of that smell. Once you do that, try to keep the bottles off any wood surface - placing a small plastic bin in your cabinet to hold them is ideal and it's also easy to clean if there's any spillage.
12. High Cabinets: Clean The Tops!
As a relatively short person, I never think to even look at the tops of my cabinets because I can barely reach the cabinet itself (and I definitely can't reach the top shelf without a stool), so looking on TOP of the cabinet it virtually out of the question. However, some people like to place things on top of there and those areas are full of grease, grime, dust, dead bugs, and whatever else is in the air, and that can create an odor.
Wipe them down and then, if you want, line the top with paper towels. You can toss and replace as needed!
Hopefully these tips will aid in future cleaning habits for your kitchen and help keep your home smelling awesome! Also, I hope your dog never hides chicken under your bed...