When I visited my long-distance boyfriend’s apartment for the first time, I discovered that the organized persona he put on in front of me was just that. He and his roommate were unaware of some of the most basic housekeeping necessities. Like washing things.
Please, learn from their mistakes!
The dish towel
There was a dish towel that sat on the kitchen counter for drying hands and dishes. Noticing that it had a bit of a smell to it, I asked my boyfriend when it had last been through the wash. “Um… I’m not sure.” Pro tip 1: if you can’t remember when you last washed a towel, it’s been too long since you washed it! Pro tip 2: invest in more than one dish towel. They are cheap.
The cabinet handles (and most other kitchen surfaces)
Dirty towels aside, I started cooking dinner as a thank you for letting me stay with them. Except, when I grabbed the handle of the cabinet to get things out, I found that it was coated in a film of oil. Gross! I wiped it down, and then reached for the handle on a drawer. Covered in oil! If you can’t keep your hands clean while you cook, you have to at least clean your cooking grease off your kitchen surfaces when you’re finished!
The stove burners
Ingredients finally assembled, I set the pan on the stove to cook. Almost immediately, smoke started drifting off the burner. “Oh yeah,” the roommate said, “that burner is dirty. We don’t use that one any more.” If your burner is dirty, CLEAN IT! Burners can be removed from the stove for exactly this purpose. Usually, the stove cover can also be lifted up to clean the spills and crumbs underneath.
The shower curtain
Tired and messy from navigating their kitchen, I hopped into their shower. And then I hoped right back out when I saw all the mold growing in the folds of their shower curtain. Rule: when you get out of the shower, don’t leave the curtain all bunched up at one end of the shower. If it’s bunched up, the curtain won’t dry. If the curtain can’t dry, it will mold. If this fact is news to you and your curtain is already spotted with mold, give it a good scrubbing with a diluted bleach solution, or, if you feel like taking it off the curtain rod, you can throw it in the wash with your next batch of towels as long as you use the warm setting (but I don’t recommend putting it through the dryer-just hang it back up to dry).