The Forgotten Spot In Your Kitchen You Don't Want To Miss When Cleaning

It's cleaning day and you know all the usual suspects for sanitizing: carpets, toilets, high-traffic areas, and visibly grimy spaces take priority. But are you forgetting to clean a spot in the kitchen that is hiding in plain sight? If you are like many individuals, your kitchen counters are laden with appliances and tools that you rarely use. While it would be nice for dust and crumbs to mind their own business, debris will easily find its way under and behind coffee makers, blenders, knife blocks, or whatever other items permanently reside on the counters, making this space prime real estate for cleaning.

Whether your cabinets are too cluttered to accommodate your countertop appliances or you simply like their appearance (to be fair, some models of blenders and coffee makers can be works of art), you will want to ensure that on cleaning day you give the space under, behind, and around these items some attention.

Best cleaning practices

Begin with a dry cloth and dust the surface, brushing any crumbs or debris onto the floor (don't worry, you can sweep once the counters are clean). Follow that up with the right cleaning supplies and approach: A microfiber cloth and gentle all-purpose cleaner (for most countertop materials) will leave a gleaming surface behind, however, some countertops crafted from specialty materials, such as laminate and soapstone, may require a particular cleaning solution. You can also try making a DIY natural cleaning solution for your countertops that will leave them spotless.

Many products can simply air dry or be wiped until no moisture remains, but remember to read your cleaning product's label in case the solution requires rinsing with a clean, wet cloth. Once the surface is dry, you can move your countertop appliances back and enjoy the freshness. Just double-check that you have thoroughly dried your counter before replacing the appliance, or you'll risk trapping moisture (which can damage your countertop).

Tips and tricks

If you have a kitchen island or bar, it can be useful to unplug the appliances and relocate them momentarily, so you can clean while they are out of the way. In an overly cramped kitchen, you may have to adopt the old "lift and wipe" method, cleaning under the item and replacing it immediately. One hack to make cleaning day a less overwhelming ordeal is to place your rarely moved appliances on an aesthetically pleasing tray. When it's time to move the items to clean around them, just pull the tray forward, clean and dry the footprint, and push the tray back in place.

With your sights set on cleaning the countertops around your appliances, you may not think to check out the devices themselves. This can be a big mistake. Toaster ovens, blenders, and coffee makers that are routinely left on the counter can invite dust, food splatter, and general grossness to their small appliance nooks and crannies. While you have your cleaning supplies out, give the appliances a thorough inspection for any exterior grubbiness, turning them upside down to check for hidden messes. To avoid the risk of electrical shock, be sure to unplug any appliances prior to cleaning them and don't spray the devices directly; instead, spray your cleaning cloth and then wipe the items to avoid accidentally getting liquid trapped in the wrong spot.