10 Kitchen Items You Should Always Clean Outside

published Jul 12, 2023
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From cooking to hosting to starting your day off fully caffeinated, your kitchen is likely one of the busiest parts of your home — and for that reason, it might also be the messiest. And we get it: Keeping up with all that scrubbing and dusting can be time-consuming, and you might be tempted to put all those pesky (but necessary) chores off until you get a burst of motivation. 

The key to avoiding that? Finding easy ways to do your kitchen chores more efficiently. Taking certain cleaning projects outside, for example, can make the process a whole lot faster and more efficient — not to mention, can prevent your kitchen sink from getting scraped up and even bigger, unnecessary messes from being created.

Time to grab your bucket and turn on the hose. Here are 10 kitchen items you can — and should — be cleaning outside, especially during the summer months: 

1. Grill grates

Your grill might be getting a lot more use during the summer months, but cleaning them can be a major hassle. Zeynep Mehmetoglu, owner of the residential cleaning company Maid Bright, recommends cleaning these greasy grates outside with hot water and dish detergent, as you’ll have more space. “Plus, cleaning them inside can scratch your kitchen sink,” she says.

2. Cast iron cookware

Cast iron cookware, Mehmetoglu says, can also scratch your kitchen sink if you’re not careful. They also accumulate lots of grease, which means you might be better off cleaning your cast iron outside with a bucket of water and your favorite non-abrasive sponge.

3. Trash cans

If there’s any one item you take outside to clean with a hose, it should be your trash can. “The hose pressure helps clean residue from the bin, and the sun will dry them on a summer day which will help with any residual odors,” Mehmetoglu says. 

4. Vacuum cleaner

Next time you empty your vacuum cleaner, bring it straight outside to your garbage can. That way, you won’t accidentally get dust and debris all over the floors inside, says Mehtemoglu. You can also clean the filters, attachments, and parts while you’re outside (and let them dry off in the sun).

5. Oven racks

Like grill grates, your oven racks can quickly accumulate grease and stuck-on food that regular soap and water won’t be able to remove. Since you’ll have ample ventilation, it’s best to head outside when you can. “Oven cleaners are very strong chemicals that are better used outdoors,” Mehmetoglu says. 

6. Large stock pots and party platters

Summer entertaining can be a real mess, and those crab or lobster bakes in large pots and large platters can be bothersome to clean indoors due to their size. With larger items you also run the risk of having more food residue to scrub and odors that will fill your kitchen — that’s why Mehmetoglu recommends using a hose and dish soap to scrub them clean outside.

7. Drink dispensers and ice buckets 

If you’re hosting an outdoor party, go ahead and leave the drink accessories outside to clean when you’re done. “While these items are not greasy, they are too large for your kitchen sink to clean indoors,” says Mehmetoglu. 

8. Outdoor cooking utensils

Grilling utensils like large spatulas, tongs, and skewers are both large and greasy, so they’re often better cleaned outside. Soak ‘em in a bucket of soapy water, scrub as needed, and then rinse!

9. Patio furniture

Patio furniture can quickly accumulate pollen, dirt, and food stains during the warmer months. “It is best to use a hose for pressure and scrub them clean,” says Mehmetoglu. Then, all you have to do is let them dry in the sun.

10. Window screens

Mehmetoglu recommends washing window screens at least once a season to stave off pollen, cobwebs, and dust. While this chore can be cumbersome inside your kitchen, it’s much easier to use a hose and some warm soapy water to give your screens a quick spa treatment out in your yard or patio.