Top Places You Forget to Clean in Your Kitchen

Keeping your kitchen clean may seem like a never-ending process. Every night after dinner, you run the dishwasher, wipe down the counters and scrub the stovetop. But what about the items you don’t clean every day?

If you don’t maintain a monthly kitchen cleaning checklist, there may be some areas of your kitchen that you skimp on when it comes to cleaning. Check out the most commonly overlooked areas identified by the experts at ServiceMaster Clean®, and get back on track to having a completely clean kitchen today.

Monthly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  1. Stovetop Fan

First, check for grease on your range hood and filter. If you haven’t been paying attention, both are probably caked in grease. Remove your filters from underneath the hood, and then follow these easy directions to clean your stovetop fan:

  • Fill a bucket with boiling water. The hotter the water, the better.
  • Add 1/4 cup baking soda and a tablespoon of de-greasing dish soap to the hot water.
  • Submerge your greasy filters in the water, being careful not to burn your hands.
  • Soak the filters for 10-15 minutes.
  • After soaking, scrub the filters with a non-abrasive brush and more dish soap to remove tough grease.
  • Rinse filters thoroughly in hot water, and pat them dry with a clean rag or paper towel.
  • Before putting the filters back, wipe out grease stuck in and around your hood with hot water.
  • Once everything is clean and dry, replace the filters.


  1. Coffee Maker

If coffee makers go uncleaned for long periods of time, they can grow yeast, bacteria and even mold. Luckily, cleaning a coffee maker is simple. Just take out the removable parts and wash each by hand. Make sure that you sanitize the filter basket area, too.

To thoroughly clean the carafe and interior mechanism, follow these steps:

  • Place a filter in the coffee machine.
  • Fill the reservoir with one part water and one part vinegar until you reach the machine’s cup capacity line.
  • Run the machine, pausing the cycle halfway through.
  • Let the coffee maker sit for 30 minutes. The vinegar will sanitize and decalcify the internal structure of the machine and the carafe.
  • Finish the cycle, and dump out the mixture.
  • Replace the filter, and brew two full pots using only clean, filtered water.
  • Clean the carafe with warm, soapy water, and then dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel.


  1. Dishwasher Filter

If you want sparkling dishes every time you run the dishwasher, clean your dishwasher filter often. This little mechanism also traps and removes food particles, so cleaning it helps ensure grime, mold and spoiled food don’t contact or get stuck to your dishes.

Start by removing the bottom rack of your empty dishwasher to locate the filter. Remove all loose debris with a damp cloth. Then, follow these steps to thoroughly sanitize the filter and dishwasher:

  • Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of salt and 1 cup of bleach together.
  • Pour the mixture directly into the bottom of your dishwasher and let it sit overnight.
  • In the morning, leave the dishwasher empty and run a normal wash. Afterward, your dishwasher should sparkle.


  1. Refrigerator

Your fridge needs monthly attention, too. Since it stores a range of raw and cooked foods, drinks, condiments and even old or moldy items, cleaning your fridge regularly is a critical component of keeping you and your family healthy.

To get to every nook and cranny and avoid contamination, start by removing all the food from your refrigerator. Then:

  • Remove all shelves or drawers. Soak them in warm water and dish soap.
  • Scrub the inside of your fridge with warm water and dish soap. Be sure to use some elbow grease on any tough stains!
  • Dry your fridge with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Scrub and rinse the drawers and shelves. Make sure they are completely dry before placing them back in their designated spots.
  • Replace your food. Toss expired or questionable items.
  1. The Space Between

The tiny spaces between appliances and countertops trap all food, crumbs and dirt that fall through them. It’s easy to see something drop in these spaces, get annoyed, and then quickly and completely forget about it. To clean these areas, squeeze a small broom into the crack and sweep out as many particles as you can.

  1. Light Fixtures

While cleaning your kitchen, don’t forget to look up. Your light fixtures can accumulate dirt, grime and dust, too. Luckily, cleaning your light fixtures is usually a simple process you can complete with a damp cloth. Consult the manufacturers’ instructions to learn the best way to clean your specific light fixtures.

If you’ve checked these monthly tasks off your kitchen cleaning checklist, you should be left with a truly sparkling cooking space. Keep your kitchen clean by following this checklist every month, and you’ll never have to worry about overlooked areas again. Find even more cleaning checklists, tips and techniques to keep your home looking its best on the ServiceMaster Clean® blog.