The One Thing I Never Thought to Clean in My Kitchen — But I’m Glad I Finally Did!

published Jun 1, 2018
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Most of us have our kitchen cleaning routines down — which surfaces to scrub, where to sweep, how often to trade out our sponges, and all the rest. Once you get into the habit of the things you clean daily or weekly or seasonally, you’re pretty much set.

Or so I thought until recently, when I came upon something I’d just never thought to clean.

It came to me while I was baking lasagna. See, I make lasagna reasonably often, and I have a habit of overfilling the dish as I load in the layers. I can make a decent mess when I take the foil off the casserole dish or as I pull the whole thing out of the oven. It happened again recently and I ended up with lasagna juice spilled all over the oven and all over my oven mitts. Not a disaster, just a mess.

(Image credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

But when I looked at my marinara-saturated oven mitts, all of a sudden I noticed just how filthy they were. And with that came the realization that I have literally never washed them.

I use my oven mitts pretty much daily, and not once had it occurred to me that I could wash them (a surprising fact because I launder my kitchen towels pretty regularly these days and, since I report on all the secretly filthy places in your home, tend to be meticulous about washing items that come into contact with food).

But these oven mitts, which I use to handle dishes every day, were covered with stains and splotches from one spill or another. And each of those is, of course, an opportunity for that spoiling food to harbor bacteria that I can pass along throughout my kitchen. Gross.

So I washed them in my next round of kitchen linens. I won’t say the result was particularly impressive — while the marinara came out, most of the other stains had set in long ago — but there was a crustiness that dissolved in the wash, making me feel like I had accomplished something. At the very least, I hopefully removed a layer of soil that could easily have made me or my family sick by accident.

Now the oven mitts are on the same cleaning cycle as the rest of my linens, which is way more often than the cycle they had been on.

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What about you? When was the last time you washed your oven mitts?