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The 7 Kitchen Areas You Probably Forgot to Clean

A man cleaning the drawers in a kitchen.
Budimir Jevtic/Shutterstock

It’s time to clear the clutter and wash away winter messes with a bit of spring cleaning. The kitchen can be the toughest room to tackle, but don’t give your oven and pantry all the attention. Be sure to take care of these easy-to-miss spots, too.

Spring cleaning your kitchen is usually a big job. It’s easy to focus on the major players, like the stove, fridge, and countertops. However, bacteria, dirt, and dust accumulate everywhere, not just in the most obvious places.

That’s why you’ll want to make sure the areas below all get a good scrubbing, too.

What You’ll Need

Throughout this article, you’ll notice we often recommend using warm soapy water as a cleaning solution. This is because dish soap is gentle, safe, and pH-neutral, meaning it’s not too acidic for cleaning all the grease and grime buildup you usually find in the kitchen.

Just add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket, then fill it with hot water. You can keep it in the bucket or it to a spray bottle. We also prefer microfiber towels for most projects and scrub brushes for those sticky hard-to-reach areas.

Below are the brands we recommend if you need to stock up:

OXO Cleaning Bucket

This four-gallon bucket is perfect for spring cleaning.

Dawn Platinum Dishwashing Liquid

Scrub away all the grease and grime with Dawn Platinum. It’s just the thing you need to create the warm soapy water required for most household cleaning.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Non-abrasive microfiber cleaning towels are perfect for wiping down even the most delicate surfaces. You can use these on cabinet doors, drawers, baseboards, and just about any kitchen appliance.

OXO Good Grips Scrub Brush

Excellent for getting even the most stubborn of gunky grime off of any surface. It’s also perfect for removing the grease range hood filters.

Vanitek Refrigerator Condenser Coil Brush

This flexible, 26-inch brush is particularly good for clearing all the dust, dirt, and animal hair out of refrigerator condenser coils. It can get into any hard-to-reach area that needs a good clean.

The Range Hood Filter

Someone removing the filter from a range hood.

The range hood filter does the significant job of keeping the air fresh in your kitchen. It collects grease and other indoor air pollutants from cooking, cleaning, painting, and so on. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve taken a look at your range hood filter, be sure to add it to your spring cleaning list.

First, remove the range hood filter, then fill your sink about halfway with hot soapy water. Place the filters in the sink and let them soak for at least 15 minutes. Then, use a scrub brush to lightly clean each filter until all the chunks of grease come off. Rinse and repeat the soaking and scrubbing process until you’ve removed all that gunky buildup.

Allow the filter to air-dry completely before placing it back on the range hood. If there’s still some caked-on grease, you can purchase a new range filter—just be sure to measure first.

The Wall Behind the Stove

If the hood filter has gone for months (or years) without proper cleaning, there’s a good chance the wall above and behind your stove needs a fresh wipe down, too!

Soften any icky grease stains using a hot, water-dampened towel. Then, go back over the areas using a microfiber towel that is lightly dampened with warm soapy water.

After wiping away any drip marks or grease splashes, be sure to do a final wipe down with a microfiber towel that is lightly dampened with hot water.

Cabinet and Drawer Fronts

A woman wiping down cabinets.

The front of your cabinet doors and drawers should get a good wipe down at least once a month, but we know that doesn’t happen in most busy homes. Whether you have nice natural wood tones or minimalistic white doors, here’s how to give them a solid clean.

Fill a clean bucket with warm soapy water, dunk a microfiber towel in, then ring out as much water as possible. Using the dampened towel, wipe down the doors from top to bottom, and don’t forget the handles or knobs.

After cleaning your cabinets, be sure to do a final wipe down with a clean damp towel to remove any leftover cleaning solution.

Under the Sink

You know that place where you stash all your cleaning solutions, sponges, and rags? That hot spot under the sink also needs a solid, deep clean, and probably some reorganization, too.

From expired chemicals and cleaners to old scrub brushes, this area tends to be messy and all-around just gross!

You can follow our full tutorial on cleaning and organizing everything under the sink.


Cleaning dusty, dirty baseboards can be quite a project. However, if you do, it truly makes any room look and feel squeaky-clean! You’ll need two dry microfiber cloths, a bucket of warm soapy water, and perhaps a soft toothbrush for any detail work.

Go over your baseboards with the dry microfiber towel to remove any dust. After dusting, submerge a fresh microfiber towel in warm soapy water, then ring out as much water from the towel until it is lightly dampened. From there, go over your baseboards and wipe clean.

Under Small Appliances

Small stainless-steel kitchen appliances sitting on a counter.
IMG Stock Studio/Shutterstock

Most of us wipe down our kitchen counters every day, but tend to clean around the small appliances that live there. If you haven’t pulled those out in a while, spring is a great time to do so. We’re talking about the microwave, blender, coffeepot, toaster, stand mixer, and so on!

One section at a time, unplug and move small appliances to another location so you can clean the entire area underneath them. Then, wipe down the counters with warm soapy water to remove any dust or grime.

Use a fresh damp towel to rinse the soap from your freshly washed area. Before putting your appliances back, be sure to also give them a good wipe down and remove any dust or food buildup.

Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator coils are those tubes that snake along the entire back part (or bottom) of your fridge. These little guys have the important job of pushing heat out, which is vital for keeping the inside of your fridge cold.

When the coils are clogged with dust, dirt, and animal hair, though, they don’t work efficiently to release heat. Over time, the compressor will have to work harder to release the heat, which puts quite a strain on your fridge. If you want an icebox that will last, be sure to get those coils good and clean at least once a year.

To get started, you’ll need to unplug your fridge. If the coils are underneath, remove the bottom kickplate in the front. Use a coil brush to carefully remove any loose dust or dirt, then use a vacuum hose to suck up any debris.

If the coils are on the back of your fridge, carefully pull your fridge away from the wall until you can fit behind it. Use the same method outlined above to remove any dust or dirt, then vacuum up the mess.

Most of us give all the obvious areas a thorough going over when we spring clean. This year, though, be sure to pay special attention to these often overlooked areas. Your house will look and feel cleaner than ever!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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