The Simplest Way to Keep Your Messy Pantry Absolutely Clean

published Jul 20, 2022
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lisas pantry makeover

Since I moved into my new home last year, I’ve recommitted to keeping my kitchen neat and orderly. This is especially true for the fridge, which, while not out-of-the-box new, was sparkling. So, I’ve been determined to keep my refrigerator as clean as the first day we moved in.

Usually, that means wiping down the shelves and occasionally removing them entirely — which can be annoying because my fridge has long shelves that can be tricky to fit under the faucet in my sink. That’s why I was eager to try these washable mat liners designed to keep shelves clean and prevent items from skidding or moving around. 

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
Here they are straight out of the box.

A pack of eight mats costs just $12, and comes in either a neutral clear or fun, neon colors such as green, pink, and blue. I opted for a multicolor pack, but you can choose to receive just one single color. At $1.50 per liner, the mats measure about 18 x 12 inches and are designed to be cut and fitted into any space you need. The smooth side is meant to be placed downward on the surface you’re trying to cover, while the dotted side faces up. 

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
These mats measure 18 x 12 inches, but you can easily cut them to size for whatever you need.

Honestly, I had a little bit of trouble getting these to work in my fridge. I can see how these mats would be a revelation for folks with wire shelves, though.

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
It works in the fridge, but it's even better in my pantry.

While this wasn’t a slam dunk in my fridge, I found a better use for them. I decided to use the mats to line my pantry shelves.

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
They come in a rainbow of colors, but you can opt for a package of one solid color if you prefer.

See, I have this one shelf in my pantry cabinet full of flour and baking ingredients. There’s constantly sugar and baking soda flying around, so the shelves can quickly get dirty. They’re also not as easy to clean as my fridge shelves, which I can at least remove and wipe down in the sink.

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
Dusty bits of flour and baking soda are a pain to clean.

I had to cut the mats to fit the shelf, but once I did (I tried to be very precise so there weren’t any gaps), I was pleasantly surprised! I left the mats in for a few days so they’d get dirty, and then cleaned them by removing them entirely and rinsing them in the sink. You can also take a wet cloth and wipe them down, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just moving the debris around the pantry shelf. I actually wanted to rinse off all of the old flour and the tiny bits. 

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
See the mat poking from beneath? It's super easy to rinse and wipe clean.

What I like about these mats is that they’re fully removable. Unlike contact paper that sticks to the surface, these pull off easily without damage (there’s no adhesive — I stuck these down in my cabinets with just a little bit of water).

Credit: Ashley Rodriguez
Let the flour fly! This mat is easily washable.

Instead of trying to scrub down shelves in a cabinet, you can remove these mats to give your cabinets a good cleaning. I found this especially helpful for cabinet shelves that are higher up and harder to reach. Being able to simply remove the mat and rinse or scrub it under a faucet versus having to clean tough corners makes these mats ideal for keeping surfaces clean. Next up: maybe lining my kitchen drawers!

Have you tried using mats as a quick and inexpensive solution to keeping your shelves clean? Tell us in the comments below.