How to clean the kitchen stack – Ultimate Guide

As a homeowner, you know that keeping your home in impeccable condition is a never-ending task. One room that can be particularly tricky to keep clean is the kitchen. Between stovetop spills, dishwasher messes, and dirty countertops, it’s easy for the stack of dishes to quickly pile up. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to clean the kitchen stack so that your home stays tidy and clutter-free. 

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Types of kitchen stacks:

There are many types of kitchen stacks in the houses, but the most common two are:

Dishwasher stack: Dishwashers can be especially problematic when it comes to germs. Dishwashers may actually spread more bacteria than your toilet, simply because they’re stacked with damp dishes. If you don’t keep your dishwasher clean, it can lead to problems like bad breath, body odor, and even skin conditions. Another type is the kitchen countertop stack.

What are the causes of kitchen stack?

The stack of dishes in the sink, on the countertops, and in the dishwasher are all indications that there are problems with your dishwashing practices. Dirty kitchen stacks cause dangerous hygiene issues that can affect the health of you and your family members. Examples include bacterial growth that causes foodborne illness or other illnesses transmitted through contact with dirty dishes. The telltale signs of dirty dishwater include dried food stuck to dishes and caked-on debris in the bottom of the sink.

How to clean the top kitchen stack?

  • Empty the dishwasher and wipe out any dishes that still have food particles stuck to them.
  • Load dirty dishes into an empty dishwasher and run a cycle on medium heat without soap. Be sure to choose ‘light wash’ or ‘air dry’. You will now find that your top portion of the kitchen stack is cleaner than before.
  • Re-wash the dishes by hand using a mild dishwashing solution and a sponge. Pay special attention to hard-to-remove food residue on pots, pans and utensils. Rinse thoroughly under running water once you’ve finished cleaning them.
  • Wipe down counters with a damp cloth or paper towel as soon as you notice a build-up of dirt and grime.

How to clean the middle kitchen stack?

  • Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher as soon as possible, or hand wash them if you don’t have a dishwasher. In between cleaning days, store dirty dishes in the cupboard above the countertop to keep your kitchen looking neat.
  • Use a small brush to clean the inside of your stovetop oven. You can also scrub stubborn food stains on the surface of your range using dish soap mixed with baking soda, or make your own paste of baking soda and vinegar. Let it sit on the stain for several minutes prior to wiping it away with a damp sponge.
  • Wipe down the inside of your microwave using a clean, damp sponge. Don’t forget to clean around the rubber seal at the base of your microwave door. If you find that your glass turntable is cracked or chipped, replace it immediately to avoid potential injury.
  • Use a dishtowel to wipe up spills on your kitchen counter after each meal.

How to clean the bottom kitchen stack?

  • Pull out your appliances and wipe down any spills underneath them. Start with your fridge, then move on to your freezer, microwave oven and finally, your range or cooktop. Wiping up spills is especially important if you’ve just fixed a greasy or spicy meal.
  • Clean the base of your kitchen appliances using a damp cloth, mixed with a little dish soap if necessary.
  • Wipe down burners on your gas stovetop with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or dish soap. If you have electric coils, gently scrape away any food debris from each burner pad using a small piece of wire.
  • Wipe down exterior edges with a soapy sponge or cloth followed by clear water to remove any soap residue.

How to clean the kitchen stack in general?

  • Avoid using harmful cleaning chemicals on your stovetops and other surfaces that come into contact with food. Instead, use dishwashing liquid diluted with warm water. Mix baking soda with dish soap if necessary to create a paste.
  • Use vinegar diluted with warm water on your stovetop burners. Allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping away grime using a sponge or cloth.
  • Avoid using abrasives, steel wool scouring pads and/or metal spoons on delicate surfaces.
  • Avoid placing items that aren’t designed to go in your dishwasher on the top rack.
  • Clean hard-to-remove food particles from cutting boards by rubbing them with a piece of lemon and salt before rinsing and drying them.

Tips for preventing kitchen stacks from forming in the first place

1. Make a daily routine

One of the best ways to keep your kitchen stack clean is by creating a daily routine that allows you to wash dishes as soon as they are used. By doing so, you can keep dirty plates, pans and silverware from taking over your countertops for days at a time. If you have children, having a daily routine will help them learn to clean up after themselves.

2. Use the dishwasher strategically  

Another great way to clean the kitchen stack is by using your dishwasher strategically. If you have roommates, placing everything dirty in the dishwasher each night will ensure that dirty dishes are not sitting out all day long. This can be particularly helpful if you have a roommate who tends to leave their dishes in the sink for days at a time.

3. Use drip pans on your stovetop

If you live alone and despise doing dishes, one of the best ways to clean the kitchen stack is by placing drip pans under your burners. This way, when something boils over or splatters, the mess will fall into the drip pan. You can then transfer your drip pans to your sink or dishwasher to be cleaned at a later time.

4. Clean sinks with baking soda

If you have a particularly nasty sink, one of the best ways to clean it is by using baking soda and vinegar. Even if a simple scrub does not do the trick, baking soda can be a great alternative. You can sprinkle some on the sink itself and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, you can scrub it with a sponge or brush to get rid of those hard-to-remove stains

5. Clean your drains regularly 

This brings us to another great way to clean the kitchen stack – clean your drains. If you have a garbage disposal, make sure to use it regularly and avoid putting too many fibrous foods down the drain. Fibrous food can tend to clog up drains more easily.


Kitchen stacks can be frustrating and embarrassing, but with a little understanding of their causes and some simple solutions, you can keep them from forming in the first place. We hope these tips have been helpful and that your kitchen stays tidy from here on out!

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