Cleaning your cabinets isn't fun, but it's necessary.

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Cabinets are useful, sure, but they're also full of deep, dark corners perfect for harboring germs, stale crumbs and assorted creepy-crawlies. Fortunately, they're also a cinch to clean and disinfect well enough to pass the dreaded "white glove" test. All it takes is a little bit of time and a few common household products to get the job done.

Obviously, the easiest time to disinfect cabinets is when they're totally empty, so make the effort to do so when you move into a new pad. You wouldn't set foot into your "new-to-me" shower until you've removed all traces of the previous occupants, would you? Even if your cabinets are brand new, you should still make an effort to clean them thoroughly because you have no idea what's been in there previously.

Even if you're a self-proclaimed neat freak, it's still a good idea to clean and disinfect your cabinets a couple of times every year. Dust, hair, errant crumbs and other bits pile up over time, making even the tidiest kitchen unsanitary if left to its own devices. This is also the perfect time to add or change the shelf liner, which makes it easier to spot and clean up messes as they accrue.

Before you get started, don't be fooled into thinking that a wet sponge is all you need to excommunicate nasty germs. Doing so will just spread everything around, giving you a false sense of security and allowing germs a chance to hop aboard your dishes, glassware and other incidentals.

So roll up your sleeves and head on over to the next page for easy and efficient tips for disinfecting your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.