11 Places You Forget to Clean in Your Kitchen

When it comes to cleaning our kitchens, most of us have mastered the art of scrubbing down countertops and washing the dishes. But what about those sneaky, out-of-sight places that quietly collect crumbs, grease, and dust, only to be rediscovered during a vigorous clean?

From the top of the fridge where dust bunnies hold their secret meetings, to the mysterious underside of your stove that might just be home to a forgotten slice of last year’s pizza, it’s time to explore and conquer those forgotten nooks and crannies. Yes, it might be gross, but cleaning these places you forget to clean in your kitchen will make you feel better – and live healthier, since you prepare meals in the kitchen.

With cleaning products in hand and a cleaning spirit in heart, let’s leave no corner undusted, no crumb un-vacuumed, and let your kitchen shine in all its hygienic glory. Let the great kitchen deep clean begin!

1. Handles & Drawer Pulls

Let’s start with one of the items that’s not just one of the dirtiest places in the kitchen but also one of the most overlooked: handles and drawer pulls. First, think about how frequently your hands – and the hands of everyone else in your home – come into contact with handles and drawer pulls in the kitchen.

Now, think about how these surfaces are touched multiple times a day with hands that touched raw meat and unwashed produce. It’s only logical for them to be breeding grounds for bacteria.

2. Buttons & Display Screens

Buttons and display screens suffer the same fate as handles and drawer pulls; these are high-contact surfaces. And while we touch them all the time when cooking, we rarely think about cleaning them. The lack of food particles, oils, and bacteria can accumulate in these areas, making them a hotspot for bacterial buildup.

3. Cabinet Shelves

It’s no surprise that cabinet shelves are one of the places you forget to clean in the kitchen. They are members of the if I don’t see it, it needs no cleaning club. Cabinet shelves are like hidden treasure troves of messiness, with spills, crumbs, and food debris accumulating over time, especially in corners and at the back.

Needless to say, neglecting these areas not only affects the cleanliness of your stored items but also promotes bacterial growth.

4. Top of the Fridge

The top of the fridge is another victim of our neglect due to its height and the misconception that it remains clean. Hey, out of sight, out of mind! However, it’s amazing how easily this area accumulates dust, grease, and grime, especially if your kitchen lacks proper ventilation. Regularly wiping down the top of the fridge prevents dirt from migrating to other surfaces.

5. Under Major Appliances

The spaces beneath major appliances are those places you forget to clean in the kitchen, and once you do, you can’t believe how you’ve been living like that and didn’t do it before. How all those food particles, crumbs, and spills find their way under appliances is astounding. We know moving your refrigerator or dishwasher is the last thing you want to include in your cleaning routine. But doing so will help maintain a cleaner kitchen environment. 

6. Minor Appliances

Toasters, blenders, and coffee makers are all workhorses in the kitchen. And once again, despite being some of the most used items in our daily lives, they are neglected in our cleaning routines. Being on countertops and next to the kitchen makes it easy for crumbs and spills to accumulate on these appliances. Also, we constantly touch them with our hands, and they’re not always properly sanitized. 

7. Filters (Microwave, Oven, Hood, etc.)

Filters in kitchen appliances, such as microwaves, ovens, and range hood filters are some of the dirtiest places in the kitchen because they play a crucial role in trapping grease, smoke, and airborne particles. While they help maintain a clean and healthy environment, they need attention as well. If left uncleaned, they become clogged and lose their efficiency.

By regularly cleaning or replacing filters you’ll ensure that the appliances function optimally and the kitchen environment is healthy.

8. Oven Hood

Speaking of your oven hood, the oven hood is one of those places where even when you see they’re dirty, it takes you forever to make the decision and clean it once and for all. 

As you cook, steam, grease, and food particles are released into the air. The oven hood is designed to capture these substances, preventing them from spreading throughout your kitchen. However, as the air passes through the hood, grease and cooking residue can accumulate on its surfaces, including the hood itself and its filters. 

9. Sink Drain(s)

Sink drains are one of the most common places you forget to clean in the kitchen, either because you it them for later or it simply never crossed your mind that the drains need a cleaning session from time to time. 

It’s impossible for the sink drain not to be dirty as it is constantly exposed to food particles, oils, soap residue, and other substances. Moreover, the warm and moist environment of sink drains provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. No need to mention that bacteria can thrive on the food, crumbs, and oils present in the drain. 

10. Drying Racks

There’re two reasons why drying racks are some of the dirtiest places in the kitchen.  One, they are exposed to moisture, which can create a favorable environment for mold and mildew growth; two, you may place dishes and utensils with remnants of food, sauces, or liquids on them.

As these items air-dry, any remaining food particles can drip or fall onto the drying rack, leading to the buildup of sticky or greasy residue. Combine this with the moisture and you have the perfect recipe for germs and unwanted bacteria. 

11. Inside Your Dishwasher

It may seem counterintuitive since the dishwasher is designed to clean dishes, but it is one of the dirtiest places in the kitchen. The thing is that despite rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, small bits of food still remain and end up in there.

Also, if your home has hard water, mineral deposits such as calcium and magnesium can build up on the interior surfaces of the dishwasher. And worst all, the warm and moist environment inside the dishwasher is ideal to promote the growth of mold and mildew, particularly in hard-to-reach areas such as the gasket around the door and the crevices of the racks.

Hopefully, with this list of places you forget to clean in your kitchen, you’ll never have your relaxation ruined by grabbing another item off the top of your fridge or re-washing dishes. But just in case you do, Summit Maids is here to help. Our team of cleaning services in Cleveland, OH is ready and waiting to lend a hand.


  • Jacob W. Bailey

    Jacob is the Cleveland-based founder and CEO of Summit Maids, a local cleaning company with a mission to make a mark on its community by providing good jobs to more than 1,000 people.

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