most difficult area in the kitchen to clean and how you git 'er done
I've got my own list:
the kitchen sink drainer, between the gasket and the underside of the basket--ick! (I pry open the join with table knife and wedge in my scouring cloth; awkward at best.
the inside of the disposal and the underside of the rubber opening of same--double ick--grind a couple of halved lemons, then use the scouring cloth which I then throw away or bleach.
the roller-cutter on the can opener--scouring cloth and toothbrush dipped in 10% bleach
All these places that organic materials congregate are like toga parties for bacteria so I try to keep up on them but every once in a while they really gross me out.
Please post your 'horror areas' and how you deal with them! There must be some better ways to tackle those problem areas so we can cook in a more healthful environment.
In addition to the nasty, nasty, nasty cutting wheel on the can opener (I use some bleachy scrub and a toothbrush, too) my serious grunge area is the gasket along the top of my freezer. My refrigerator has the fridge over the freezer, which is great for day-to-day use, but stuff drips off things as they go in and out of the refrigerator and catches on that gasket. It's disgusting. I just scrubbed it again yesterdat for the 8 millionth time.
I use a Zyless can opener which does not cut the can but breaks the seal on the edge and allows you to lift the entire top off. The opener never comes in contact with the food in the can but I used to routinely put my hand jeld Swing Away in the dishwasher. I don't use the strainer/stopper I keep one of those little wire mesh stainless thingies from the Asian grocery store and that is easily cleaned in the dishwasher. My disposal does not have the rubber flaps but is open and I use a disposer cleaner every couple of weeks , the brand is Spring Again and it does a very good job. I sure wish that there was/is an easy way to keep the top of the fridge clean. At 5'4" I don'tlook up there very often and when I do it is oh ick! and getting the step stool out to get up there.
I have hunter green counter tops and they show all crumbs so I am always wiping the counters down. I guess that is a bit of good and bad. They are real noticable so it keeps me after them.
Now if I could just get my dogs to wipe their own feet when coming in from out side especially since we seem to be in a monsoon season and the mud is really difficult to keep up with.
I have a 5-inch wide section of countertop to the right of my stove that is open towards the stove with laminate on the front. Meaning, every crumb, crumble, noodle and the occasional mushroom or broccoli that falls off the right side of my stove is right there on the floor for all (or at least me) to see if I stand at the stove and look down and to the right. It's a good 3 square feet of filth under the counter that you can see but not get at. The lefthand counter that abuts the stove is, of course, containing drawers so it's not open enough to scooch the stove to the left and get in there to clean, and in order to get at it I would have to pull the stove all the way out into the middle of the room to climb back there. Given that the stove is attached to a gas line, that's not possible. Talk about design flaw! Talk about NASTY!
As for how to clean- I haven't the slightest, have you?
I have seen a rubber strip, sort of gasket like that is made to help with that very problem, to bridge that gap. Also to bridge the gap between a washer adn dryer. You might ask in some appliance stores or hardware stores where they might be able to tell you where to get one if they don't have them. OTOH coud you not just shove the range over so it is snug gainst the counter top or if not snug, pretty close?
To clean out my disposal, I pack the disposal with ice cubes, give a good squirt of dishwashing liquid, then run cold water and flip the disposal on until the ice is all gone. I follow it with a few frozen lemon halves (I stick them in the freezer after I juice them). Voila, clean and fresh! The rubber thing I stick in a bleach water solution overnight, then everything is fresh and ready to go in the morning! I usually do it only once a month or so.
To keep my kitchen sponge from smelling gross, I rinse it and squeeze it out, then microwave it on "High" for 1 minute. This kills most of the bacteria. Be advised that it will be HOT! Let it sit in the microwave with the door ajar to cool off for a few minutes before handling it, or remove it with tongs. Afterwards, if there is any gunk on the inside of the microwave, it will be softened from the steam released from the hot sponge--a perfect time to give it a wipe down (I use a paper towel, rather than the clean sponge).