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Getting Cockroaches Out Of Appliances: Step-By-Step Guide

There is nothing worse than going to heat up your breakfast only to see a cockroach scurry across the kitchen cabinets. But where did it go after it disappeared? Did you really just see a cockroach go into the refrigerator? Unfortunately, your eyes are not deceiving you. Cockroaches are often found in kitchen and home appliances of all sizes, a fact that is sure to send a shiver down your spine.

So, how do you get cockroaches out of appliances? Ridding your appliances (and your home) of cockroaches requires a multi-step approach. First, you must thoroughly clean the appliances. Next, invest in some sort of non-toxic poison or traps. Finally, seal off any cracks where the pests may be entering to prevent further invaders. If the problem persists, you may be required to consult a pest control professional for complete elimination.

Cockroaches are annoying pests no matter where you find them. However, finding cockroaches in your appliances is especially frustrating. It is important to take aggressive action to rid yourself of cockroaches entirely before they become a much larger issue. In this post, we will share several steps for ridding your appliances of cockroaches once and for all.

Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Cockroaches Out of Appliances

Finding a cockroach in your oven, microwave or refrigerator, dead or alive, is never a pleasant experience. Even if you are not afraid of these intrusive guests, cockroaches leave you wondering if your home is really as clean as you think it is. Rest assured, while cockroaches are more active in dirty homes, they can still be found in the cleanest of abodes.

Signs You May Have Cockroaches in Your Appliances

Before you attempt to rid yourself of roaches once and for all, you must first determine that cockroaches are the cause of your woes. For most people, a cockroach sighting is the first sign of their existence in your home. Sometimes the first sign of a cockroach you will see is a dead cockroach lying belly up on your floor! 

However, other signs may alert you of their presence long before you see one crawling across your countertops. One of the most obvious signs of a cockroach infestation is the dark droppings that they leave behind. These droppings look very similar to coffee grounds or pepper. When found in your kitchen, you may simply dust them off the countertop, asking your roommates to do a better job cleaning up after themselves.

It is important to identify and prevent cockroach droppings on your countertops as they contain pathogens and bacteria that can easily spread!

If you live in an area of high moisture, you may notice the smear marks that a cockroach will leave as they crawl along your walls or flooring. These marks are dark in color and irregularly shaped, often found on horizontal surfaces or near the floor.

There are other, less common signs you may notice. Some of these include shed skin, cockroach eggs, unusual musty odors, or even damage to your property.

roach in applianceWhy Do Cockroaches Like Appliances?

So, why do cockroaches like appliances anyway? Cockroaches are known for their affinity for warm, moist hiding spots. Additionally, they are always on the lookout for crumbs. Because of this, they are very attracted to your appliances. Things like your dishwasher, refrigerator, and washing machine are the most likely hiding spots. However, cockroaches have also been known to live in microwaves, toasters, blenders, coffee pots, and a myriad of other places.

Did you know that cockroaches can also infest your electronics?! That, however, is a topic for another day.

Steps for Getting Rid of Cockroaches in Your Appliances

You likely found this article after spotting a cockroach in one of your kitchen appliances. You’ve come to the right place! Here are some practical steps you can take to get rid of the cockroaches that are calling your kitchen home.

Thoroughly Clean In & Around Each Appliance

roaches in kitchenAs we mentioned previously, cockroaches gravitate towards dirty areas. Although your home may be clean, your appliances may tell a different story. The first thing you should do after spotting a cockroach in your appliances is to thoroughly clean the appliance. This includes the surface area but it also involves moving the appliance from its position to clean behind and underneath.

This can be quite a task if the appliance the cockroaches have chosen is something large such as a refrigerator, washing machine, or dishwasher so be sure to ask for help during this process! It is important to also clean inside the appliance. Remove any shelves, drawers, or other features as you are able. If you are cleaning the refrigerator, also be sure to empty the water tray and clean the freezer while you are at it.

Try to eliminate any source of excess moisture or crumbs to decrease the attractiveness of the appliance.

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Don’t Leave Food or Trash Out Longer Than Necessary

Second, assess your kitchen habits. If you live alone or with one other person, you are likely not taking the trash out every day. Cockroaches are attracted to this as a primary source of sustenance. To eliminate excessive use of trash bags, consider switching to a smaller bag size, allowing you to take the trash outside at the end of each day.

Additionally, get in the habit of storing your food in sealed containers instead of letting snacks sit out on the countertop. After each meal, wipe the countertops with a gentle household cleaner to eliminate crumbs or drops of food that remain after your meal prep. By keeping a clean kitchen, you can minimize the potential of cockroaches taking over your kitchen appliances.

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Apply a Layer of Boric Acid Around the Appliance

After eliminating the source of sustenance by thoroughly cleaning the appliance, you are ready to take the next step towards eradication. When you have pests in your kitchen, it is important to use non-toxic alternatives to traditional pest control techniques.

One of the best solutions for cockroaches in and around your appliances is boric acid. When you apply this in a thin layer around the appliance, the cockroach will be forced to walk through it. Small amounts of boric acid will not harm pets or humans. However, it will prove deadly to your unwanted guests!

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Place Non-Toxic Traps Around the Affected Area

There are several non-toxic cockroach traps available on the market today. These are an excellent alternative for cockroach infestations that seem to be more widespread throughout your kitchen or home. Most non-toxic cockroach traps are sticky traps and can be inconspicuously placed in the area around the appliance.

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Seal Any Cracks Around Your Kitchen

After cleaning your home and eliminating the cockroaches that are calling your appliances home, it is time to take preventative measures. Many kitchens, especially in older homes, develop cracks and crevices surrounding the countertops, flooring, or even the kitchen plumbing. Using caulk or another sealing agent, carefully close off these entry points to eliminate easy access to your appliances.

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How to Get Roaches Out of Your Microwave

Some appliances are easier than other. A common place for roaches to gravitate to is the microwave. The spills and crumbs are too much for them to resist. Follow a five step process to remove roaches from your microwave.

  1. Unplug the microwave and remove the plate or loose items that may be inside the microwave.
  2. Utilize a strong cleaner to remove grease or other baked in food. Allow time for the cleaner to soak in (10-12 minutes)
  3. Wipe down inside and outside of microwave cleaning every surface thoroughly.
  4. Sprinkle interior and exterior areas of microwave with boric acid and let set outside in the open for a day.
  5. Mix boric acid with flour, water and sugar to make a roach death ball. place on of these inside the microwave to see if any roaches still are still present.
  6. Clean the exterior a second time with microwave cleaner.
  7. Place clean microwave back in kitchen.

microwave cleaner for roaches

Other Common Areas for Cockroaches to Hide

Unfortunately, cockroaches don’t confine themselves to your kitchen appliances. If you notice cockroaches in your kitchen, it is likely that they have also invaded other areas of your home. After addressing the initial sources of infestation, systematically work through these other hot spots to prevent further issues.


Dead cockroach on floor of bathroomOther than kitchens, bathrooms are often the second most likely spot for cockroaches to hide. Cockroaches are drawn to damp, dark areas, a perfect description of that crowded cabinet under your sink. Taking the time to deep clean the bathroom and applying some of the techniques above can help rid your bathroom of roaches.

Laundry Rooms and HVAC Closets

Oftentimes, laundry rooms and your HVAC unit closets are in dark, damp corners of your home or basement. This is the perfect environment for cockroaches. By keeping your laundry room free of clutter and doing your best to ventilate the area, you can minimize the possibility of a cockroach infestation.


Whether your basement is finished or unfinished, it is likely one of the darkest, dampest areas of your home. Because of this, it is also a common hiding spot for cockroaches. Be careful to never leave food in your basement and to clean the area regularly to avoid excessive attraction.


From your kitchen and bathroom to the laundry room and HVAC system, there are certain varieties of cockroaches that thrive in your drains. There are many products available to use for this unique purpose, eliminating the cockroaches dwelling in your pipes.


roach garageWhile not a main part of your home, cockroaches in your garage are likely to find a way to enter the house. It is important to clean your garage regularly, eliminating any reason a cockroach may find this space attractive.

Cockroaches are one of the most frustrating and disturbing pests to find in your home, much less your kitchen appliances! We hope these tips have provided you with some practical steps to take to rid yourself of these annoying pests once and for all.

Contact a Pest Control Professional If Issue Continues

There may be times when even your best attempts are not enough to eradicate the cockroaches from your home. If you have taken the steps listed above and are still experiencing cockroaches, the infestation requires professional pest control intervention. Some professional cleaners can also help deep clean your appliances and kitchen. 

Pest control professionals can quickly locate the points of entry and eliminate these pests once and for all. If left untreated, cockroach infestations can quickly take over not only your kitchen but other areas of your home.

Another Pest Control Article: 9 Ways to Kill Termites Naturally that Actually Work

Matt McWilliams

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.