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7 Kitchen Cleaning Tricks That Really Work

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Some of our favorite tips in the kitchen are for getting it sparkling clean; these are their stories. 

1. How to cut oily, dusty kitchen grime: 

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cut through grime

To easily clean "the layer of sticking cooking-oil infused dust that accumulates on high surfaces in the kitchen," as Kristen so aptly calls it, our Senior Software Engineer Alp Aker suggested using "a microfiber cloth dipped constantly in very hot water. The idea is basically to use heat to soften the caked-on oil, so the hotter the water the better." 

2. How to get gunk out of kitchen crevices:

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crevices  crevies

To clean out all of those nasty dry bits (flour! dried egg! cocoa powder!) that get stuck in the crevices of stand mixers, I use a toothpick or pointy-ended skewer. It's satisfying to excavate all of the materials of baking projects past and then wipe them up with a damp cloth. I also make sure to unscrew the little knob where you can affix attachments to the mixer; there's always a lot of gunk hiding under there. —Contributors Editor, Sarah Jampel

3. How to banish lingering kitchen smells, faster: 

white vinegar

The internet told me that that you can simmer white vinegar on the stovetop to disipate an unwanted kitchen smell, like bacon air or seared flank steak smoke. I tried it after cooking a big vat of soup with sausage in it, which smells actually very good but gets old after a whole day of smelling it, and I absolutely think the bubbling vinegar helped clear out the air more quickly. When I needed to leave the house, I just turned the burner off and let it sit, then came home to an apartment that smelled, wonderfully, like nothing. —Design & Home Editor, Amanda Sims

4. How to get your cooktop spankin' clean:

clean cooktop

Easy-off oven cleaner is the answer to the burnt-on spills around burners! —Executive Editor & Resident Genius, Kristen Miglore 

5How to get rid of all the fruit flies:

fruit flies 

Halve two to three pieces of citrus and place them in your oven directly on the rack. Leave the oven door propped open for a few hours (or up to overnight). In the morning, close the oven door and turn the broiler on. Let the oven cool, toss the citrus, and wipe out the base of the oven. The flies are gone and your kitchen smells good to boot! —Test Kitchen Manager, Derek Laughren

6. How to make your white sink white again:

white sink white

I'm all about lemon + baking soda to clean my sink. Anytime I have leftover lemon from cooking or juicing, before tossing it I sprinkle some baking soda in the sink and use the lemon half as a scrubber. It saves my sponge from nasty sink germs a little longer! —Events Manager, Heather Wautelet

7. How to clean grout:

baking soda on tiles

I can't remember where I heard about this trick to basically reimagine every elementary school science fair volcano as a tile and grout cleaner. If your tiles are flat (maybe on a shower shelf or kitchen counter), sprinkle baking soda along the grout lines, and then pour or spray white vinegar over the baking soda and watch it fizz! If the tiles are vertical, make a thick paste of baking soda and a little water; apply it to the grout, let sit, and then spray with vinegar. After letting it sit for a few minutes, use a toothbrush to scrub it clean. It may not remove deep stains, but it's become part of my regular shower cleaning routine. —Assistant Editor, Caroline Lange

This post originally ran on September 21st; we're bringing it back to celebrate a new year (and all the grime-tackling that entails). 

How do you keep your kitchen sparkling clean? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: hacks, tricks, tips