With the weather warming up, it’s time to dust off your cleaning skills and deep clean the forgotten (ahem, neglected) parts of your house.
The kitchen is one of the rooms you probably use most often and it seems like there is always something to clean whether it’s tossing out leftovers or cleaning out the oven after a casserole bubbled over.
Clean Your Kitchen in Sections
The best, most efficient way to clean your kitchen is in sections and to start from top to bottom. For instance, you’ll want to dust off your top shelves, kitchen fan and wipe off the counters before you start cleaning the floors. This way, you don’t create a mess on an already-clean surface (duh, but really).
To make things even easier, take one section of your kitchen at a time. You can divide your kitchen into the following sections:
- Cabinets/Ceiling Fans/Drawers
- Stove/Oven/Microwave (do the microwave first so you don’t drop stuff onto a clean stovetop!)
Tips for Cleaning Your Pantry
Now that you’ve divided your cleaning into sections, it makes things a lot more manageable. You can take just one section at a time!
- Clear off all the food from the shelves and throw away all of the expired food or almost-empty chip bags or boxes with stale cereal (guilty!)
- If your pantry is overloaded with canned goods, put together a box you can donate to your local food bank
- Get a warm washcloth and wipe down any sticky jars or dusty cans and let dry
- With a handheld vacuum, suck up any crumbs or dust sitting on pantry shelves
- To clean off drippings from honey or jam or anything else sticky, sprinkle with baking soda and put a warm washcloth over it for a few minutes, let it sit and then wipe it up.
- Once all of your shelves are clean, organize your pantry items so that the heaviest foods are at the bottom shelves (jugs of oil, heavy bags of flour, etc.)
Tips for Cleaning Your Cabinets/Drawers
- Simply use a duster or lint-free dusting cloth to wipe off the dust and oil residue that can accumulate at the top of a cupboard
- For cupboard exteriors, a warm washcloth with soapy water will get those spills and splatters off
- For tougher spots, use a combination of white vinegar and hot water for a non-toxic option and use a soft, dry cloth to finish things off. Add baking soda for really tough spots!
- Avoid using anything that will dull or scratch the surface of your cupboards – that’s why a washcloth or soft sponge is a great option, just put some elbow grease into it.
- Take out everything in your drawers and use a handheld vacuum to clean up all the dust and crumbs and then reorganize everything. For your “junk” drawer, throw out anything that is old or you don’t use anymore and consider buying some drawer dividers as well.
Tips for Cleaning Stove/Oven/Microwave
- Using the “Self Clean” button on your oven can sometimes do more damage than good and can take time – not to mention the toxic smells that fill your kitchen! Instead of using this option or harsh chemicals, try creating a baking soda paste to coat your oven with (remove oven racks and let them soak in hot, soapy water) overnight. Read more about the details here.
- Stove tops are always a chore to clean, but carefully pouring some boiling water over the tough spots and letting it sit for a minute can grease and stains right up!
- According to Good Housekeeping, the best way to clean your microwave from the inside is to put a bowl of 1 cup of water and a chopped up lemon and several tablespoons of vinegar in your appliance. Then turn on your microwave (on high) for several minutes until the water boils and the window is steamy. Let it cool for 15 minutes before opening the door and then remove the bowl and wipe it down with a sponge. This method has worked extremely well in my own personal kitchen!
Tips for Cleaning Sinks/Counters
- One of the easiest ways to get rid of spots in your sink is to use an eraser-type sponge like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You might even need to use an all-purpose cleaner with bleach, if the stains really aren’t coming off.
- To sanitize your sink, plug the drain and fill it with warm water and put in a tablespoon of bleach and wipe down the handles and faucet and let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse.
- If your drain is stinky, use baking soda to help neutralize the odor! (can you tell baking soda and vinegar are your best friend, yet?!)
Tips for Cleaning Appliances
There are a lot of appliances that need to be dusted off and cleaned, but we wanted to share tips on cleaning your dishwasher appliance!
- The dishwasher is probably not something you think to wash, but it needs a good wipe down once in awhile too! Just pull out the racks and wipe it down with a warm soapy water and a cloth and scrub the racks’ wheels with a toothbrush to get off any bacteria.
- Run your dishwasher on an empty cycle with white vinegar (where you normally put detergent) to clean up any lime deposits and to break up stains. You can even dust off the fan slats.
- Dry everything with a clean cloth.
Tips for Cleaning the Fridge/Freezer
I don’t know about you, but the fridge is one of the messiest parts of my kitchen. Especially when I leave leftovers in the fridge for weeks or old bottles of teriyaki leak and created a bunch of gunk on my shelve. Here’s the best way to tackle your fridge.
- Remove all food
- Remove any fridge drawers and shelves and let them soak in warm water and dish soap
- Use warm water and dish soap to wipe the interior of the fridge and use baking soda to remove any stubborn stains
- If you have a stainless steel fridge, to clean the exterior, spray with vinegar and wipe it down with either a paper towel or very soft cloth. The important thing here is to wipe in the direction of the grain so you don’t get streaks! You can even add a little olive oil for an extra shine.
- Same cleaning techniques can be applied to your freezer!
As you can see, cleaning your home doesn’t have to involve harsh chemicals or be overly complicated. Sometimes a little baking soda and vinegar can do the trick! If you want to try your hand at making some other “green cleaners” here are some great recipes that work like wonders!
Tips for Cleaning Floors/Rugs/Curtains
We don’t really have tips per say for this since it’s pretty straightforward, but before you get cleaning make sure to grab all of your rugs, kitchen towels, curtains and throw them in the laundry. These often get forgotten. Once the floors are clean, add these linens to your kitchen and you’ll feel like all is well with the world!
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