Round up a few key cleaning essentials to tackle the hard-to-reach places under these major kitchen appliances.
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Out of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen sees the most action. It's where you prepare dishes ahead of get-togethers and turn cherished recipes into meals the whole family loves. With all of the cooking, baking, and entertaining that goes on in this space, it's bound to get a little messy over time—even in places you'd least expect. Take underneath your major kitchen appliances, for example. Your stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher see all kinds of spills and stains, since they're where you most commonly handle food. It makes sense that crumbs would get lodged underneath each of these appliances every now and then.

If these tough-to-reach areas are in need of cleaning in your kitchen, turn to the advice we've gathered from appliance and cleaning experts to help you tackle the task.

Boy looking in cupboard in kitchen next to refrigerator
Credit: Erik Isakson / GETTY IMAGES

Why It's Important to Clean Under Major Kitchen Appliances

Over time, debris accumulates in your kitchen—especially in those hard-to-reach places, such as under your major appliances, says Leanne Stapf, the COO of The Cleaning Authority. As a result, you'll need to set up a cleaning routine (at least every three to four months) to refresh this area. "Too much debris building up can also affect the way your appliances run," she says. "For example, if dust begins to cover your fridge coils, this will cause it to work much harder to keep things cool." 

How to Clean Under Kitchen Appliances Without Moving Them

You don't have to move these cumbersome appliances to clean the crevices below them, so long as you have the right tools in your arsenal. "To clean underneath appliances without moving them, I recommend using a flat vacuum attachment that can clean hard-to-reach places and slide underneath the dishwasher," says Stapf. "Another option is to take a microfiber cloth and attach it to the stick end of your mop (or a similar item)." From there, you can use the cloth-covered mop to get underneath your stove, dishwasher, or oven to collect the buildup of debris.

What You'll Need

  • Vacuum with multiple attachments
  • Low-profile mop
  • Microfiber cloth

Follow these steps to clean under each major kitchen appliance:

Dishwashers

To clean under your dishwasher, unscrew the kickplate at the bottom of the appliance under the door, says Jessica Petrino, an educator and appliance expert at AJ Madison. Continue by cleaning underneath the area with a vacuum or dust brush. 

Built-In Refrigerators

For this appliance, Petrino recommends removing the plate covering the motor and using a vacuum upholstery tool to remove collected dust. 

Stoves

If you have a range with a tight gas connection or anti-tip bracket, you probably won't be able to get underneath the stove easily. "With some pro-style ranges, you can run a vacuum underneath," says Petrino. "You may need to remove the kickplate under the oven door to get access. With models that have a drawer underneath, you will want to do the best to Swiffer under the drawer and run a cloth along the sides between the oven and the counters."

If you have a slide-in range, you're in luck. According to Petrino, many have wings that overlap the counters, preventing crumbs or spills from getting trapped alongside the stove.

How to Clean Under Kitchen Appliances by Moving Them

If you're still struggling to get all the dirt and dust out from under your stove and refrigerator, or want to get a deeper clean, move them.

What You'll Need

  • Mop
  • Masonite
  • Vacuum or broom

Follow these steps to move and clean under your major kitchen appliances:

  1. Unplug the items to avoid potential safety hazards, says Stapf.
  2. From there, Petrino recommends adding masonite on your floors to protect them during this process.
  3. Once you move your stove or refrigerator, vacuum or sweep the area to remove any dust and crumbs.
  4. Wipe with a mop dampened with all-purpose floor cleaner.
  5. Once the surface is dry, quickly vacuum or sweep again to ensure the area is clean, says Stapf.

Professional Care

Since a dishwasher is often more permanent and therefore impossible to move, Stapf recommends calling a professional to remove the appliance properly. "Once done, you can use the same approach as a refrigerator or stove," she says.

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