Here's How Often You Should Really Be Cleaning Your Silverware Tray

Name one thing you use almost daily but rarely think to clean. How about that tray helping to keep your silverware drawer organized? Family members go in and out of those trays often removing and replacing clean eating utensils. Nevertheless, cleaning these super useful organizers with any frequency may not be on your radar. How often should you be taking care of this task? Once a month is a good target — especially if yours hasn't been cleaned out for some time.

Silverware organizers can be made of a wide variety of materials including plastic, wood, and coated metal mesh. There are even rattan versions that look good enough to pull out of the drawer to use for entertaining. Some expand to fit the size of your cutlery drawer while others are one-size-fits-all units. No matter which one you've selected for your kitchen, it's wise to put cleaning it on your routine chore list.

Why you need to clean your silverware tray once a month

How do cutlery trays get dirty when all you're storing in there are clean eating and serving implements? If your drawer holding the silverware tray is close to your stove or an island where food prep takes place, crumbs will inevitably get swept into the drawer from time to time when it's open. There are also times when utensils don't get as clean as we'd like them to while in the dishwasher. Often overlooked, that leftover grime can get transported back into the tray.

Not only is it unsanitary to store eating implements in a dirty area, but all those food morsels can be quite inviting to insects which exacerbates an already unhygienic situation. Fortunately, staying on top of this chore is relatively easy since you only have to do it once a month. All kitchens are not equally used, however. If you find that there's not much dirt there to deal with after a month, you can adjust your cleaning schedule accordingly.

The best way to clean your silverware tray

The best way to clean a cutlery tray varies depending on the type of material. With wood, metal, and basket versions, you'll empty the crumbs into your trash bin and wipe them out with a clean cloth. Before returning the tray, you may also want to vacuum out the drawer that holds it, especially if you have a metal mesh or rattan caddy that can allow small crumbs to filter through. You can also wipe the tray out with a clean rag moistened with a little vinegar to disinfect it and then allow it to completely dry before putting the clean tray back in place.

Plastic silverware trays offer the most options for cleaning and disinfecting. After dumping out any larger crumbs, you can wipe them down with vinegar or your favorite spray cleaner. If they've gotten excessively dirty or sticky, they can be soaked in warm water with a little dish soap before you scrub them clean. Popping them in the dishwasher for cleaning is also an option. Be sure to look for dishwashing instructions on the tray if you decide to go that route since some are only top rack safe.