Unsolved Mystery: How to Clean the Gap Between Your Stove and Countertop

gap between stove and countertopWhat is it about the gap between your stove and countertops that makes it a magnet for crumbs, grains of rice and little bits of whatever food that happens to be within a one-foot radius of that opening? It seems like there’s always something falling or splattering into that kitchen chasm whether you’re cooking a large meal or removing grease from the top of your stove.

While we may never be able to solve the mystery of the magnetic forces that pull grease spatters and food debris into the space between your stove and counter, we can tell you how to clean up everything that falls into that space. Take a look at the following tips on keeping that annoying area clean.

Mind the Gap

If food doesn’t fall into this culinary canyon in the first place, you don’t have to worry about keeping it clean. So, why not invest in a cover for the space between your stove and countertops? There is a variety to choose from both online or in any big box store that sells home goods or even hardware. Counter gap covers are typically inexpensive and very easy to clean.

Attack the Crack

Of course, if food has already fallen in the gap between your stove and counter, you’ll need to get it out somehow. Otherwise, it could start to smell or attract unwelcome pests. The best way to clean this area will depend on how wide it is.

For narrow spaces: Use the tip of a butter knife to scrape any crumbs out. Make sure the blade is facing away from you. Wedge the knife into the gap between the stove and counter, and gently scrape any debris in your direction. Then, spray your trusty DIY kitchen countertop cleaner on a paper towel or very thin microfiber cloth. Wipe the crack or gap with the paper towel or microfiber cloth. If crumbs remain, repeat the steps until the gap is free of crumbs.

For wider spaces: This task can be easier if you have more room to work with. Wrap a clean microfiber cloth around a plastic spatula or yard stick, and use this to clear out any debris. You can follow this step up with a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any crumbs that may have fallen. Just make sure the area is completely dry before you bring electrical appliances into the picture.

Tip: These same methods can be used to clean the space between countertops and cabinets.

Boldly Go Where Few Homeowners Dare to Venture

Once or twice a year, it’s a good idea to pull your stove out from the wall or clean under the oven. This way, you’ll be better able to get to all those broken bits of spaghetti noodles, lemon seeds and who knows what else.

Tips for Cleaning Behind the Stove: Take care when moving the stove, as you don’t want to damage the electrical cord or the natural gas hose that runs from your wall. Additionally, make sure you ask for help moving this large appliance, so that you don’t injure yourself. Prevent floor scratches by lifting stove corners and placing them on a doormat or carpet swatches before you slide the appliance out.

How to Clean Under the Oven: Most stoves have a broiler or warmer drawer under the oven door. In some cases, you may simply have a detachable panel. These can usually be removed with little hassle. Once they’re out, you should see bare floor, which you can easily sweep or vacuum. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on removing and replacing the parts of your oven, or use your stove’s model number to look up directions online.

Now that you know how to clean the gap between your stove and the countertop, you might be interested in learning ways you can clean other hard-to-reach places.

And if you’re having trouble giving your home the housekeeping TLC it needs, reach out for a few sets of helping hands: Contact the professional house cleaners at your local Merry Maids. We’ll take care of the tidying up, so you can do the things you truly enjoy.

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