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How to Clean All the Annoying Nooks & Crannies in Your Home

Where counter meets stove, and other danger zones.

March 21, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland
Photo by Julia Gartland

Welcome to Spring Clean Your Life, your one-stop shop for gotta-try-those tips & bookmark-me inspiration to spruce up your kitchen and home this season—and well beyond.

The last time I did a top-to-toe deep clean of my house, I wasn't focused on the normal targets of floors and counters and such—well, okay, I was, but my mind was more preoccupied with all those stubborn little places that gather dust (and worse). You know what I'm talking about—the ones that hide their faces from scrutiny until suddenly you're reaching for a long-lost spatula and wham! Crud on your fingers. (You just felt it, didn't you?)

With a little help from our friends—sorry, our amis—at Andrée Jardin, French brush-makers extraordinaire, we've compiled a few tips for keeping those nooks and crannies squeaky-clean, even when they're out-of-sight-and-mind.

Step 1: Keep track

Speaking for myself, I frequently fail to notice how dusty my bedroom bookshelf's gotten until I reach for a novel—which (unfortunately) is not that frequently lately, so when I do grab one I usually wind up with a fistful of dustbunnies. Keep note—maybe even in a notebook!—of all the problem areas in your home that you forget about, and take the time to check in on them regularly. You'll thank yourself next time you want to say hello to Jane Austen.

Step 2: Look with a clear eye

There's an old saying that zookeepers get so used to the animals that they stop noticing how...fragrant they smell. A similar adage applies to your home. I'm in my kitchen every day, but only now and then do I raise my eyes to the heavens and notice how sooty my vents are getting. Next time you're cleaning, pretend you're visiting your home for the first time. You might be surprised to find what's lurking in plain sight.

Step 3: Go high & Go low

After you've started cleaning in earnest—giving everything a quick run-over with a vacuum or broom first—don't be afraid to go for those inaccessible spots way up high (think the top of your fridge or cabinets) or way down low (don't be afraid of the no man's land under your sofa). We love a good long broom or duster for this task, both for the reach you get and because it's always nice to have a little distance from the clouds of dust you'll occasionally kick up. Andrée Jardin's duster and ceiling fan brush (you forgot about the tops of your fan blades, didn't you?) fit the profile nicely.

Step 4: Go in-between

Then you'll want to check out the in-between spaces, where it's all too easy to lose little bits of cooked food, earrings, paper clips, and all those other little household items that tend to vanish when your back is turned. We love using Andrée Jardin's radiator brush to clean out, well, radiators, but also any other troublesome crevice we encounter. Their blinds brush lets us breeze through blinds three at a time—preventing a cascade of sneeze-making dust when we open or raise them—but also work in concert to sweep clean any old space, like those always troublesome fridge-counter and stove-counter gaps.

Step 5: Maintain

Okay, your house is clean. Even the parts you forget about, or can't see, or can't access! Well, keep it up. Have a duster at the ready and do a weekly route around your house. Or even just keep an eagle eye on the dark little corners. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention? Protect yourself from a pound of dust later.

More from Food52

What's your best tip for cleaning out-of-the-way places in your home? Let us know!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • BerryBaby
  • Dennis Pierce
    Dennis Pierce
Gerard Coletta

Written by: Gerard Coletta


BerryBaby March 21, 2018
Toothpicks. They get into crevices where nothing else can. Use them around faucets, the seams where the cooktop meets the counter, edges if most everything!
Dennis P. April 12, 2018
That works. I've heard of people using old dental picks too.