The First Thing You Should Do with a New Box of Toothpicks

updated Aug 31, 2020
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Hand holding new box of toothpicks by kitchen sink
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Do you keep toothpicks in your kitchen? If not, I recommend you pick up a box immediately. For around $6, you can get a box of 1,000 for spearing pigs in a blanket and mozzarella caprese skewers, for testing the doneness of cakes and brownies, and for allowing just a bit of steam to escape so that your pasta pot doesn’t boil over (just stick one between the pot and the lid). You can use them to poke holes in your baked potatoes to make sure they cook evenly or to support your fledgling herb garden

If you take me up on this tip (or if you already know the value of toothpicks and have just replenished your supply), there’s one thing you should do before you tuck them away for future use: Clean those hard-to-reach crevices around your sink and faucet.

I am a pretty avid cleaner and try to keep my kitchen sink spotless. That usually means loading the dishwasher, cleaning and drying anything that can’t go in the dishwasher, and wiping down my sink each and every night. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it is the goal. In my near-daily sink-cleaning ritual, however, I definitely neglect certain parts of my sink that need occasional, but not frequent, cleaning. 

Related: How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink

I’m talking about the crevices where the edges of the sink and faucet meet the counter. These areas are basically gunk magnets and they’re also areas that you tend not to notice until they are … kinda gross. And no amount of scrubbing is going to degunk them.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use a Toothpick to Clean the Crevices Around the Sink and Faucet 

A toothpick is the perfect tool for getting that gunk out and because you’re likely not buying a new box all that often, any time you do get a new box is a good reminder to check those cracks and hard-to-reach spots for buildup. Here’s what to do.

Holding the toothpick at an angle, use it to pry the dirt and gunked-up food and whatever else from the crevices around your sink and faucet. You’ll almost definitely need a few toothpicks, as the tip will dull over time and you want it sharp! You can, if you want, soak the end of the toothpick in alcohol or bleach, or spray the crevices with a solution of dish soap and water to loosen things up. Keep at it until there’s no more gunk left and wipe away any residue with a microfiber cloth or damp paper towel.