What Is That Smell? Common Kitchen Cleaning Misses

The kitchen is one of those time consuming spaces in your home. There are so many crooks and nooks that are missed. For me, I only have time to do a major deep clean monthly because I am so darn busy. I should be doing deep cleans of my kitchen weekly but…I’m busy out in the field. So, as the saying goes, “the cobbler’s kids go without shoes!” I want to take a few minutes to point out major spots in your kitchen that need to be addressed because, well, they get stinky! Keep up with these little stinky hide outs and stop questioning those weird smells.

Yeah, I’m sure you guessed this one! The trash is where a good bit of stink tends to accumulate. I mean really, if you have a kind still in diapers then your trash is going to smell. Between diapers and left overs, trimmings and wrappers it is bound to get gross on occasion, right?!?
So we suggest giving it a good hot water/vinegar soak to eliminate odors from that trash bucket.

“Keep up with these little stinky hide outs and stop questioning those weird smells.”

Here in Connecticut it is mandatory to use reusable bags typically unless there’s a pandemic apparently. Typically, they can collect all sorts of harmful bacteria if the meats are leaking and the produce is in there along with other items. Plus, if you are like me you shove them all together and let them bake in the back of the trunk which is harboring growth of said bacteria. While I am unpacking I typically wipe mine down with a soapy rag now and let them air dry before shoving them back in the car. I have also made a habit of bringing them in monthly and washing them out like I would a load of laundry. If they have the insert I take that out and spray it down/disinfect it with our Hypochlorous Acid disinfectant spray to ensure safety.

I have preached about the sink often. In my home, I really like to leave the sink wiped down and cleaned out so I come home to a happy kitchen (often the dish ferries drop me off more dishes while I am gone). That sink has been used for multiple drink dumps, meat juices, cleaning dirty potatoes which is just dirt, and all other crumbs over the course of the day. Now how often do you really clean the sink? Wipe it with hot soapy water to clean out food cunk and other gross particles. I also advise you deep clean the sink weekly or bi-weekly at least. Fill up the sink with a water/vinegar solution and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Let it drain and wipe it down. Also, keep in mind if you have a garbage disposal keep it clean. You can easily do this with baking soda and vinegar – just like a kids volcano project! Put ½ a cup baking soda into the disposal and slowly add ½ cup of vinegar. Put the sink stopper on top and the mixture will fizz up! Just wait a few minutes, then pull the stopper and flush with boiling hot water.

Oh the microwave. I love and hate it! It’s an amazing invention with its flaws and wish I didn’t need it so much but it saves the day often. Boy does mine get a work out! It seems that no matter what I use to cover food it still gets super messy (it’s the kids no me – I swear). When it starts getting stinky with splatters and spills I use a mixture of vinegar (2-3 tbsp will do) and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl or Pyrex measuring cup for about 10 minutes. Once the alarm goes off don’t open it for another 5-8 minutes. It is amazing how fast the gunk comes off! Be careful though that may be HOT.

Oh the refrigerator. You hold all those wonderful ingredients that become our beautiful meals but man do you get trashed. It’s great to get rid of the old food and clean up minor spills but it is suggested that you clean out the meat drawer and veggie drawer often.
● The crisper: Take it right out and empty all of the contents. Wash it out with soapy water (we love Dr. Bronners) every month if possible or even twice to stay on top of germs.
● The Meat Drawer: Basically if you are doing one drawer do the other! I would also keep the crisper and the meat drawer the same each time. Don’t switch them out and cross contaminate.
● Water Filter/Spout: Make sure you wash down that water dispenser. I use a vinegar water spray or our Hypochlorous Acid spray to disinfect.
● Door Jam/Handle: In my years I have found that there is a TON of gunk in the seal along the door. I have no idea how it gets stuck in there but I’m beginning to think maybe there are fridge goblins and they leave treasures in there! Anyway, pull back the plastic seal and give it a good wipe down. Sometimes I have to use a toothbrush to get in there. Make sure you dry it too.

“Fill up the sink with a water/vinegar solution and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Let it drain and wipe it down.”

There are a couple ways that wonderful time saver can get stinky. The trap at the bottom catches food bits and can collect, so keep that clean and check it often. Also, if you don’t run it daily like we do, you may want to rinse the dishes better. They have all that leftover ranch from pizza night and buffalo sauce from wild wings wednesday left on them. If that sits it’s bound to smell a bit after a while. Similar to the microwave, I put a cup of water in there with 1 cup of vinegar on the bottom rack. In the top rack a small bowl of baking soda. It’s like a bath bomb for your dishwasher! You can just stick with the vinegar if the thought of any bomb in the dishwasher is scary. Either way, that bad boy will be good to go.

Welp, there you have it. That’s a basic list of some of the hidden smells lurking in your kitchen. Try to keep up on these monthly if you can. Put them on the calendar or add them into your cleaning schedule however you please. It will help in a big way and you won’t hear yourself say “what is that smell!” anymore. Take care folks we will be back next week with more cleaning tid bits to keep you fresh in between cleans.