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Cleaning Behind and Under Appliances in Your Kitchen

March 3, 2024
Cleaning Behind and Under Appliances in Your Kitchen


Keeping the areas behind and under kitchen appliances clean can be a challenging task. Appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers often get pushed up against walls or into corners, making the space behind them difficult to access. However, letting dust and grime build up in these hidden spots can create unsanitary conditions and even attract pests. With some preparation and the right tools, I can thoroughly clean the tight areas behind and under my kitchen appliances.

Reasons For Cleaning Behind and Under Appliances

There are several important reasons why I make the effort to clean behind and under kitchen appliances:

  • Prevent Dust and Dirt Buildup – Leftover food particles, grease, and dust bunnies end up in hard to reach spots behind appliances. If left alone, they can build up over time and become difficult to remove. Regular cleaning prevents excessive buildup.

  • Eliminate Odors and Bacteria – Food scraps that fall behind the refrigerator or stove can rot, creating foul odors and breeding bacteria. Thorough cleaning removes odors and sanitizes surfaces.

  • Improve Efficiency – Excess dust in condenser coils underneath a refrigerator forces the appliance to work harder to cool down. Keeping coils clean improves energy efficiency.

  • Stop Pest Infestations – Crumbs and spills attract unwanted kitchen pests like cockroaches and mice. Prevent infestations by removing food sources.

  • Enhance Air Quality – Dust buildup aggravates allergies and asthma. Regular cleaning improves indoor air quality.

Preparation Steps

Cleaning behind and under large appliances requires some preparation:

  • Set aside 30-60 minutes for the task.

  • Gather all necessary cleaning tools and supplies:

  • Broom

  • Crevice tool
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Dustpan
  • Flashlight
  • Small hand vacuum
  • All-purpose cleaner

  • Pull appliances away from walls carefully. Put towels or cardboard underneath to slide more easily.

  • Unplug appliances before cleaning around them for safety.

  • Remove loose dirt with the broom and dustpan before wiping down.

Cleaning Under the Refrigerator

The condenser coils underneath the refrigerator collect a lot of dust and pet hair. Here is how I thoroughly clean this area:

  • Carefully pull the refrigerator forward and sweep or vacuum under it with the crevice tool. Make sure to get corners.

  • Use the crevice tool or a long duster to clean out the coils individually.

  • Spray coils down with an all-purpose cleaner. Allow to sit briefly before wiping away grime with a microfiber cloth.

  • Check for food spills under the fridge. Scrape away hardened spills.

  • Mop or vacuum underneath using a crevice tool before pushing refrigerator back into place.

  • Place crisper drawer panels in dishwasher to clean.

Important Notes About Refrigerator Coils

  • Avoid using solvents or abrasive scouring pads on coils.

  • Make sure coils are completely dry before turning refrigerator back on.

  • Vacuuming coils 2-4 times per year improves efficiency.

  • Replace refrigerator water filter if applicable.

Cleaning Behind and Under the Oven

The oven area usually needs a very deep clean:

  • Pull oven and surrounding cabinets forward to access the back and underside. Use care not to detach gas lines.

  • Use a broom to sweep out loose dirt from underneath oven.

  • Spray down surfaces with all-purpose cleaner. Allow to sit before scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush.

  • Use a toothbrush or other small brush to scrub crevices. This removes baked-on grease.

  • Pay close attention to the underside of the oven bottom and areas around the burners.

  • Remove stove grates and burner heads. Place in sink to soak in warm soapy water. Scrub with non-abrasive sponge.

  • Vacuum or sweep again when finished to remove any remaining debris.

Cleaning Behind the Dishwasher

The area behind the dishwasher can accumulate moisture and limescale:

  • Pull dishwasher forward carefully. Turn off power and water connections first.

  • Clean large debris using a broom and dustpan. Vacuum remaining dust and dirt.

  • Use a non-abrasive scrub pad and cleaner to remove grease and limescale buildup from back of dishwasher.

  • Dry area thoroughly with towels to prevent mold growth.

  • Remove dishwasher filter cover and clean out food particles trapped underneath using a toothbrush and water.

  • Check door gasket for mold. Clean with diluted bleach and rinse if needed.

  • Verify drainage hose behind dishwasher is kink-free before pushing back into place.


The time spent giving kitchen appliances a deep clean behind and underneath them pays off in cleanliness, sanitation, and better appliance performance. Just be sure to take the proper safety precautions like unplugging units and carefully moving any gas or water connections. Set a reminder to do a thorough cleaning behind appliances every 3-6 months for the best results. Maintaining these hidden areas makes my whole kitchen cleaner and less prone to problems.

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