17 Things You Should Never Store on Your Kitchen Countertop

It’s easy for your kitchen countertop to become cluttered with food, plates, bills, and other papers like receipts. However, it’s important to keep your countertops tidy to avoid any cross-contamination. Here are 17 things you should never store on your countertop.

Cleaning Products

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Leaving chemicals on the countertop can cause food to become contaminated with chemicals. This is supported by Reader’s Digest, which writes, “You don’t want to risk spilling any of these inedible substances onto your food or the areas where you prep it.” These products are best kept under the sink.


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These devices can become vulnerable to spills if they’re left on the countertop, and spilling any liquids over your electronics can stop them from working. They could also be a distraction in the kitchen. It’s best to keep electronic devices far away from the kitchen area.

Mail and Papers

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Keeping a stack of mail and papers on the countertop can be disastrous if anything spills, making any bills unreadable. It can also cause clutter and disorganization, and you don’t want to risk anything important getting lost. Instead, try to get into the habit of processing your mail and storing it in a safe place.

Appliances You Rarely Use

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Appliances such as blenders that rarely get used can take up valuable space on your countertops. For example, The List writes, “Although their place is rightly in the kitchen, you shouldn’t clutter your countertops with additional appliances.” Storing them elsewhere will free up space for daily tasks.

Raw Meat

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Leaving out raw meat can cause cross-contamination. It can also harbor harmful bacteria, which may even result in food poisoning. Make sure the only place you’re storing raw meat is in the refrigerator or freezer. If you need to defrost it, this can also be done in the refrigerator.


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Exposure to heat and moisture can limit the effectiveness of medications. If you have small children, then this can also be a potential risk. Children like to grab anything they can, so make sure medications are kept in a cool, dry place. Try storing them in a cupboard instead.

Non-Kitchen Appliances

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Not only does leaving out non-kitchen appliances result in clutter, but it can also encourage contamination. This is supported by Cheapism, which writes, “Items like cell phones, keys, cash (you’d be surprised how many pathogens can stick to money), or even the mail can carry germs into your kitchen and other food preparation areas that you’d like to keep sterile.”


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Exposure to heat can ruin the flavor of spices. Having a large variety of spices on the countertop can also cause unnecessary clutter in the kitchen and leave you feeling disorganized. It’s best to store spices in a cool, dry place, as this will preserve their flavor.

Fancy China and Dinnerware

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Keeping out your fancy china not only causes clutter but also risks these items being damaged. They’ll take up valuable space in your kitchen and are best kept in a safe place. If you want them on display, then you can purchase glass cupboards or put up shelves.

Storage Containers

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Zameen writes that storage containers should not be stored on the countertop because they take up too much space, and any food inside may lose its freshness due to heat and light exposure. Bulkier items like storage containers should be stored in cupboards or pantries.

Knives and Sharp Objects

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These items can be incredibly dangerous to leave out on the countertop. If you have children, then they instantly become a safety hazard. They can also damage countertop surfaces, so it’s best to store them in drawers with magnetic holders or keep them out of reach.

Wet Towels and Sponges

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Leaving out wet towels and sponges can create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. They can also cause water damage and stains on your countertops. To avoid either of these mishaps, wet towels should be hung up so that they can dry, and sponges should be stored by the sink.

Potentially Staining Liquids

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Mental Scoop writes, “Certain liquids like red wine, coffee, and oil can leave stubborn stains on your countertop if spilled and left untreated.” If you spill any of these liquids, they would need to be cleaned up instantly to prevent any damage. You can keep drinks on the kitchen table to avoid ruining your countertops.

Heavy Decorative Items

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Heavy decorative items can cause pressure, which may damage your countertops. If you’re looking to decorate your kitchen, then make sure you choose any items wisely to avoid cracks and scratches. Always consider the weight of an item and where you plan to place it.

Paper Towel Holder

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A paper towel holder will take up valuable space on your kitchen countertop. It’s an everyday item that can easily be relocated to a more convenient place to save space. You can even consider wall-mounted options, as this will not only clear up space but also increase accessibility.

Potentially Scratching Items

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Scratches can be caused by a variety of items. For example, Martha Stewart writes that scratches can be “caused by small appliances, knives, pots and pans, incorrect cleaning, and normal wear and tear.” Always use protective barriers for things that may scratch, such as coasters or mats.


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Even though cookbooks are inspiring and visually pleasing, they can cause a large amount of clutter. They could also become prone to spillages and damage if left out or stained during cooking. They’re best stored on shelves or in cabinets to help preserve their condition.

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