I've noticed some of the most difficult messes to cleanup happen in the kitchen. I opened the fridge and a large container of salsa fell out and spilled on the floor and beneath the fridge. It was chunky and a rag didn't absorb it well.

Lot's of things in the kitchen are partly solid and partly moist so it's not easy to pickup in one piece but to chunky to wipe up or wash away. Another example is spilled stew or cereal. Any advice on how to clean up things like this?

  • I’m going to grab the club soda. Mijo, I can still see the salsa you spilled. You can’t let it dry. Jun 20 '17 at 14:41
  • If you have kids, just tell them it's the "five hour rule," and let them go at it. Jun 20 '17 at 14:52
  • Ive always found baby wipes are good at getting everything up.
    – Doug
    Jun 21 '17 at 6:10

Dry stuff : vaccuum cleaner or broom.

Liquid stuff: rag, mop, paper towels,

Chunky stuff: rags, paper towels.

For chunky spills, you can use a food scrapper to help pickup the solid part of it, and after that use a mop to clean up the liquid part of it.

After that, just clean up floor with floor cleaner.

  • I have a solid/liquid vacuum cleaner that will suck almost any kind of kitchen spill, even oil, stew, buttercream cakes, spaghetti, etc etc (mentioned what in fact I had to clean in the past). Bought it (really cheap) in a home depot/DIY store.
    – roetnig
    Jun 20 '17 at 11:17
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    Rags aren't very good when it's really chunky and really runny like salsa.
    – northerner
    Jun 20 '17 at 11:58
  • Not perfect, but at least Rags are better than paper towels because you can re-use them;
    – Max
    Jun 20 '17 at 13:01
  • But would you want to reuse anything soaked in "difficult mess"? Jun 20 '17 at 14:42
  • 1
    @northerner - Actually, if you're married, I'm pretty sure the wife will think using some of your favorite, old, "vintage" T-shirts would be perfect for such a task. Jun 20 '17 at 14:54

Use something that can "scrape" - old bench scraper, edge of a shovel, stiff straight edged piece of cardboard or packaging plastic or sheet metal, old ruler (or dethroned emperor) - to direct the bulk into a bag/newspaper/... Then, follow usual practices for liquid spills...


With sloppy, gooey messes, I've found that table salt can help to make the liquid more "solid". It's actually on the side of the Morton Salt container to clean up eggs.

You might also try a small amount of flour or corn starch to help soak up the juices too. It might seem to make a bigger mess, but it'll be easier to sweep or scoop up, rather than chasing around slippery juices.


For chunky stuff, I use a paper towel or rag to push the chunks onto a dustpan, and then empty it into the trash. I then clean it up as if it were a liquid mess.

I'll wring the rag out as I go and then shake it over the trash can to dislodge the chunks that stuck to it.

I find that using something absorbent reduces the amount of liquid that I end up pushing around and reduces the area and amount that I have to clean as a liquid.

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