You’re a homeowner now and you love your kitchen! There’s a boat load of recipes you’ve been seeing online that you can’t wait to cook up. Your kitchen is also waiting for you to entertain guests. Although, when your guests do come over for dinner, you want them to smell that good food you’re cooking and not something less desirable such as foul odor from meals long gone. Don’t beat yourself up, it happens- especially if you cook frequently.
Don’t let these stale stenches ruin your dinner party. Give these kitchen spots a good detox, so those nasty smells won’t have a place to grow.
#1 Disposal Flaps: Scrub Em!
Flip the flaps of your disposal and be prepared to be grossed out. Those rubber flaps pick up slime from food proteins and tend to smell after some time.
“Use a small brush, even a toothbrush, and scrub them clean with hot, soapy water,” says Donna Smallin Kuper, author of several books. While you’re at it, clean the disposal itself by sending down a couple ice cubes, a handful of kosher salt, and hot water.
Don’t forget the drain side of the sink as well. Pull out pieces of food and scrub the drain. Also, we recommend throwing that toothbrush out afterwards.
#2 Faucet and Sink: Cleanse the Crevices
Check out the lever handle on your sink faucet. Sometimes brown slime can build up around the ball joint. This one is an easy fix. Take a damp piece of paper towel with a degreaser or some vinegar and give it a good wipe.
After these keep up the hunt. the crevices at the base of the faucet, around the soap dispenser, and around the edge of the sink are all prone to developing gunk.
#3 Range: Sideswipe Food Spillage
”You probably have dinner for six spilling down the sides of your range,” says Jan Dougherty, author of “The Lost Art Of House Cleaning: A Clean House Is a Happy Home.”
It’s sticky and gaggy. It can also smell. She suggests using Krud Kutter, an all purpose degreaser. You can also use this to clean your cabinet walls or whatever else is in splatter distance of your stove.
#4 Stove Vent Filter: Boil It Clean
When you’re at the stove make sure you really look at the range hood filter or pop-up vent filter. After you are totally grossed our, vow to clean the filter every month at least. All the grease stuck to it makes a hell of a bouquet. Remove the filter, shake it out and wash it in hot and soapy water. Or if it is really bad, put it in boiling water with a half a cup of baking soda.
#5 Stove Knobs: Remove to Reveal the Gunk
Think of a horror movie. The monster is normally hiding behind a harmless looking door. Think of your stove as the monster’s hideout in real life.
Remove the knobs and soak them in hot, soapy water, or just toss them in the dishwasher. The real anti-smell work is cleaning underneath the slim rubber gasket behind the knob.
You’ll be shocked when you see the ring of brown gunk. Wipe it away with a damp cloth and replace the gasket.
#6 Oven: Use Liners for No Grease Stink
Why do your fresh-baked cookies smell kind of like chicken? Most likely from last week’s roaster juices that bubbled over onto the bottom of the oven. MMMMMmmmmmm!
In addition to making your cookies non edible for a vegan, the gooey stuff on the bottom of your oven will smoke and stink up your home. In an ideal world- and who lives there? – you’d clean the oven after every use.
In reality, you can avoid the problem by using silicone over liners. When they get dirty, let them cool and wash them with warm, soapy water.
#7 Dishwasher Door: Wipe the Reek Off the Rim
How can the machines designed to clean your home get so dirty? The inside if your dishwasher should actually be clean as long as you get rid of large food particles before you toss your dishes in. But it’s likely that grime will lurk along the edges of the inside of the door and on the gasket. Grab a rag and clean it off with (again) hot soapy water. A quick swipe with every unload will prevent this icky build up.
#8 Fridge Vent Grill: Suck Out the Smell Stuff
So many things can get stuck to the vent below your fridge including: pet hair, dust, dander, and bits of food. This can all contribute to a stinky kitchen. First, things first: pull off the grate and then vacuum underneath the fridge. The use hot soapy water to clean the vent.
More clean, less stink. Also, with less stuff on the grill it is easier for your fridge to cook your food.
#9 Fridge Drip Pan: Find It, De-gross It
You probably didn’t know that there was a drip pan under your fridge. Now you do and you should be on a mission to clean it. Water and food spillage gets into it, plus hot humid weather can equal a gross and moldy cocktail.
You can nip it in the bud by wiping the moisture and spraying the pan with a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup water). Wipe clean with a rag soaked in white vinegar. You’ll also want to check the floor beneath the pan and keep that clean as well.
#10 Cabinets: Do a 360 De-Griming
You might give your backsplash a nice cleaning often because it is visible and easy to see grime build up. Although, you may want to take a look at the underside of your kitchen cabinets. You’ll be surprised when you have a look. Chances are it’s super gross.
Give it a good degreasing, and then a regular wipe down to keep build up from forming again.
After you go low make sure to go high as well. Cooking fumes travel all the way to the top of the doors and settle down on the top of the cabinets.
#11 Cabinet Floors and Oils: Keep Em’ Separated
Chances are you have a cabinet full of your favorite oils. Your shelves are most likely also shiny and starting to smell a little funky. Clean the shelving with hot soapy water and wipe down all the bottles.
The keep the bottles off the wood by using lids of old plastic containers.
#12 Toe kicks: Wipe Away Smells From Below
Get down on your knees and inspect the kickboards in your kitchen. You’ll most likely find all kinds of stuff down there that got slopped against it while mopping or cooking.
Scrub the boards clean with hot soapy water and try your best to keep that area clean. All of that build up down there can smell bad after awhile.
#13 High Cabinets: Line Tops With Paper Towels
High cabinets catch all kinds of stuff from dust to dead bugs and anything else that might be floating in the air. Just what you want lingering right about your cooking space right? Not!
Lucky for us, paper towels are generally the same length as our cabinets. So after you clean the grease from your valuables at the top of your cabinets, roll out a line of paper towel. At least once a year replace these towels and keep your kitchen smelling fresh.