The 5 Dirtiest Places in Your Kitchen and How to Clean Them with One Simple Product: Dawn!

Keeping your kitchen clean isn’t always easy. Beyond daily maintenance, there are a few areas that need a little extra TLC.  Here, I’ve compiled a list of the 5 dirtiest places in your kitchen, and how to clean them using original blue Dawn and a few other little secrets!

Kitchen Sink

You use it constantly – to wash dishes, to clean fruits and vegetables, to dispose of leftover food. Your kitchen sink is used for so many different purposes that it can get downright filthy. Don’t let the running faucet trick you into thinking it’s keeping things clean. Be sure you give your sink its due attention with trusty dish soap along with that water. To do this, dampen a sponge, add a squirt of blue Dawn (I have it on demand in my kitchen’s soap pump), scrunch the sponge a few times to get it sudsy, and wipe down all surfaces in the sink. Get into the nooks and crannies around all handles, the faucet, seals around the sinks and drains. It’s easy and it works so well!


Kitchen countertops can become dirty from crumbs, fingerprints, spills, and so on. They are constantly in use when you’re cooking and even if you wipe them down, they’re not always clean. No matter what finish your countertop happens to be, there’s an easy and safe way to clean it without worrying about ruining the finish. You guessed it, apply a squirt of Dawn to a sponge or cloth, then run it under warm water and get it a little foamy. Remove all items from the counter and wipe using an ‘S’ pattern. Feel free to scrub a little bit if there’s some build up, or let the soapy solution sit of the counter for a minute or two to break down the buildup and make cleaning a little easier.  Then, with a clean sponge or cloth, re-trace your steps and wipe everything clean, removing soapy residue. Replace all items neatly and then, it’s time to Instagram your latest food creation on your freshly cleaned counter!

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Your fridge is on the clock 24/7 and endures some of the worst spills, stinky odors and overcrowding on a daily basis. It just can’t catch a break! As part of your daily routine, you’ll want to clean up any spills as they happen to prevent unnecessary food from becoming caked onto your fridge (and getting stuck on the bottom of a bottle, which then goes on your counter and gives you yet another thing to have to clean). On a daily basis, wipe down doors, including edges and handles, with a damp soft cloth and a drop of Dawn. Buff the exterior dry with a clean cloth, and you’ll quickly learn that dish soap and water is all you need to get your fridge looking beautiful. Now, with that same cloth, you can do a quick spot clean of your shelves and the inside of drawers as needed. Just a quick little wipe around will do (for now). Don’t forget to get the top of your fridge where dust can build-up!

Garbage Can

Your garbage can holds just that… garbage. You’re not alone if you’ve been the victim of that certain stench that builds while waiting for garbage day. Garbage liners catch most liquids and foods thrown out, but there’s always a bit of gunk that finds its way through the bag and into the can itself (I often ask myself, ‘just how did that corn niblet get down there?’). As a result, it needs to be cleaned regularly. It can be a dirty job, but it needs to be done!

I prefer to clean the garbage can outdoors, but if that’s not possible, put it into a large sink or tub. You’ll want to rinse it out first to remove as much residue as possible. Squirt about a teaspoon of blue Dawn, that grease and dirt-fighting wizard sauce, into the bottom of the can and then fill it with hot water. Let it stand for a few minutes to work its magic- this will make it easier to wipe out. Dump the dirty water and use a non-treasured cloth or sponge to scrub the surface and remove any odor-causing residue. Once you’re done, rinse it thoroughly and dry with a paper towel. It should look and smell pretty lovely right about now. Here’s a bonus tip for you: Sprinkle a bit of baking soda at the bottom of your trash can to help absorb stinky odors.


The top

Your stove takes a hit almost every time it is used. From the hood to the stove top to the inside of the oven – it gets covered. Even the cleanest chef is prone to food splatters and spills, specifically from grease and oils. Leaning on my secret sauce here, again, I’m going to use blue Dawn to tackle grease and oil from the stove. I’m going to use the same method as mentioned before here, apply a squirt of Dawn directly to a sponge or dish cloth under warm running water. Scrub the surface using a soft sponge (that won’t scratch) until all soils are removed. For stuck-on splatter, leave a warm cloth with dish soap on the specific area to allow the heat and product to lift any hard to clean grease. You can even use a bit of baking soda for abrasion if you need to. Finish by spraying pure white vinegar over the stove (which helps remove any remaining haze) and buff clean with a dry cloth or paper towels. That will get you a gorgeous, streak-free shine!

The hood

Now look up, you probably forgot about the hood above your stove! Do you remember the last time you cleaned your oven vent filter? The purpose of the hood filter is to collect grease, so you’ll likely find it will look and feel greasy. If it becomes too blocked with grease, it loses its effectiveness. Don’t be alarmed- cleaning it is easy(ish)! Remove the filters from the hood, keeping any screws (if you’ve got any) in a safe place. Fill a sink or bucket with boiling water- the hotter the water is, the better. Put a squirt of Dawn and 1/4 cup of baking soda into the hot water, and use a wooden spoon (or coat hanger) to stir it up and create bubbles. Don’t use your hand because it will be too hot! Submerge the greasy filter in the water until it’s completely covered and let it soak for at least 10 minutes. Carefully remove the filter and using a scrub brush, scrub it. Use more dish soap as needed to help get it clean. Once clean, rinse the filter thoroughly with hot water and dry with a paper towel. Leave it to air dry and replace it in your stove hood. It’s a good idea to clean your filter every few months, or whenever it starts to look unsightly.

These may be some of the dirtiest spots in your kitchen, but with regular maintenance, your kitchen’s scariest cleaning ventures will become easier to manage. Suddenly, these will be the 5 cleanest places in your kitchen!

To learn more cool and unexpected ways you can use Dawn around the house, visit!

For more cleaning secrets check out our E-Book Bundle! It has 3 e-books (The Complete Guide to Essential Oils, My 3 Wave Cleaning System, 50 DIY Cleaning Recipes) and will get you started with all your cleaning needs!

Disclaimer: I’ve created this post with my friends at Dawn to share some different ways you can use it around the house!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I have an awful egg smell on my granite countertops. I have tried and tried, but it is still there.
    Tried a variety of household cleaners. Tried baking soda sprinkled on counter overnight. Bowl of vinegar left on counter. Bowl of coffee grounds left on counter. And still the smell persists.
    Any idea on what I could use to finally get rid of this smell?

  2. The hot water and dw soap works great for cleaning the stove vents. They haven’t been this clean since they were new…. thanks!!

  3. “To learn more cool and unexpected ways you can use Dawn around the house, visit!”

    This link no longer works!

    • Hi April, My thoughts exactly. If a person finds that Dawn, for some reason, isn’t what they want to use, I’m sure that there are other dish soaps out there that work just as well. If your dish soap isn’t giving you the results that you want, try a dish soap that has degreaser added. It will say it on the label.

  4. Melissa, please help me with suggestions on how to clean the glass window on the inside of my oven. We have tried sprays, baking soda paste and lemon, none of these work. The grease build-up is gross and I want the window clean again. We have even tried the caustic spray cleaners but they don’t work either, I would like to use something that doesn’t give me a headache. Any suggestions?

    • I use the cleaner designed for my ceramic (glass top) stove/range (available at the grocery store). I was told by a Maytag repairman that I can use a razor blade (I use single-sided from the hardware store) on my ceramic top, very carefully, to remove burned on food, so I also use it on the inside surface of the glass in my oven. My oven is self-cleaning, but the glass is never clean! While the oven is barely warm, I squirt on the ceramic-top cleaner and use the scrub side of a sponge and the razor blade. Works every time! Hope this helps!

    • I soak a paper towel (or more) in vinegar. I put baking soda on the glass and then put on the vinegar-soaked towel. It does a good job but I have to barkeepers powder does it better. Might have to let that sit a bit.

  5. I absolutely hate cleaning my oven! Its not a self cleaning so it requires all those horrible toxic chemicals and their smells! Is there an easier and much better way to clean my oven? I love your tips! Fyi: I use blue dawn all the time! Even make my laundry soap with it! Works fantastic!

  6. I love your blog and your videos (who knew cleaning videos were entertaining and informative?!!?) I have cleaning question or rather I’m looking for a recommendation, hope this is an ok place to ask… any tips for cleaning a rough wood wall? Our home is a rustic cabin and the wall behind the kitchen trashcan is GROSS!! Its has a stained finish but is basically a very rough board, help??? Thanks so much!

  7. I do a lot of greasy spicy cooking ,and I have a glass stovetop ,unfortunately I was depressed and stopped cleaning my house for the past 2 years now I wanted to clean and I tried your methods but had a lot of gunk on the stove top ,finally landed up with deep scratches how do I fix it . Thank you for being an inspiration .please help me start.

  8. Do you know the best substitute for Dawn? It’s so good apparently and they’re not selling it in Australia. They’re missing a marketing bonanza Down Under!

  9. How about the toilet tank? What do you recommend for that job? Because its surface does not have porcelain on it, must you use a gentler product?


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