A utensil drawer houses everything from forks, knives, and spoons to ice cream scoops, vegetable peelers, corn skewers, and spatulas. If yours is like many utensil drawers, there are probably baby spoons (even though your baby is now 17) and a few random drinking straws, leftover plastic forks from a fast food drive-thru, and even a few unidentifiable objects inside.
These drawers tend to become catchalls. When you can’t quite figure out where something should go, it often gets tossed inside a utensil drawer. After all, once it goes in there, it might not be seen for the next decade.
If that describes your utensil drawer, you clearly don’t employ a maid service. No maid service worth their pay would ever allow a kitchen drawer to turn into the mess this aforementioned one has become. In fact, it’s likely that a maid service would clean the drawers out on a regular basis.
If it sounds like that’s what you should do, the following steps will help you do so in an organized manner. You’ll need to gather a few tools with which to do the job, but you probably have most of them in your kitchen anyway. Hopefully they’re not in the utensil drawer.
Items Needed to Clean a Utensil Drawer
Assemble the following items when cleaning out and organizing your utensil drawer. Doing so ahead of time means you won’t have to stop and hunt for something once your job is underway.
- Basin, a bucket, or access to kitchen sink
- Warm Water
- White vinegar
- Liquid dish soap
- Clean, dry dish towel
- Drawer Liner of choice
- Cleaning rags or sponge
Empty Out the Drawers
Start this task by emptying out your utensil drawer or drawers. Yes, most homes have at least two utensil drawers. One tends to house all the eating utensils while the other houses the cooking utensils and the other miscellaneous junk mentioned earlier. Both drawers need to be emptied for this cleaning process. Yes, right now!
Once all of the utensils and assorted stray items are removed from the drawers, remove the utensil holders, too.
Time for a Good Scrub
While the utensil drawer or drawers are empty, it’s time to clean both of them, the drawers and the holders. Fill a bucket or basin—or your kitchen sink—with hot water that you’ve mixed with a few drops of liquid dish washing soap. Swirl the mixture around so you create some suds.
Submerge your utensil holders in the soapy water. Soak a sponge or a cleaning rag in the soapy water and wring it out. Wipe out the insides of the utensil drawers, where months or maybe even years of crumbs and other types of dirt and debris are living.
Disinfect for Your Health
Since utensils will go back in these drawers, and those utensils touch your mouth or at least your food, it’s the perfect time to disinfect the inside of your utensil drawer. This is completed by pouring some white vinegar on another cleaning rag, and then wiping out the drawer’s interior. The vinegar will evaporate quickly and leave the drawer disinfected.
Now it’s time to return to the basin, bucket or kitchen sink, in which you left your utensil holders soaking. Give them a good scrub with a sponge or dish cloth, then rinse thoroughly in hot water. Place them upside down on a clean dish towel so they will begin to dry.
Organize the Drawer
Before returning anything to your cleaned and disinfected utensil drawer, it’s time to do a bit of organizing. Surely some of the things you removed at the start of this chore can be either thrown out or given away. If those baby spoons pack that much of a sentimental punch, pack them away in a box in your attic.
Organize one drawer for use solely by eating utensils. A second drawer can house cooking utensils, peelers, graters, ice cream scoops, corn skewers, and any other food related accessory or utensil.
Organize each item by size on your newly cleaned kitchen counter. If you have a service for 16, but there are only two of you living in your home, consider packing away several place settings in an easily accessible spot. You’ll want to get them out of storage if the entire gang converges on your house during the holidays.
Put Everything Back
Next, it’s time to wipe out any remaining water in those utensil holders. You may want to line the drawers with some sort of drawer liner. You can also just use butcher paper or something like it. Place the holders back inside the utensil drawer and begin putting your organized eating utensils and cooking utensils in their respective slots.
You’ll be so proud of your accomplishment that the next time you’re tempted to toss a few cast offs from the hamburger drive-thru into your drawers that you’ll definitely think twice. You’ll be reminded of the satisfaction of a job well done every time you open one of your utensil drawers.
If you vow to complete this task every six months or so, it will seem much easier to manage if you make yourself a cleaning schedule. And without as much time in between to collect those cast offs and extra junk, it won’t take nearly as long.