Your kitchen is probably the dirtiest, most used room in your house next to your bathroom. There are many daily and weekly cleaning habits we should get into when it comes to keeping our kitchen clean and healthy, but there are some jobs that are only necessary to complete once in a while. Our spring cleaning series so far has included posts about WHY YOU SHOULD SPRING CLEAN, CLEANING SUPPLIES AND TOOLS, CLEANING PRODUCTS, KEEPING YOUR CLEANING TOOLS CLEAN, and HOW TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM. If you missed any of these posts, click on the links to learn more.
Spring cleaning your kitchen will be a lot easier if you have a regular kitchen cleaning schedule throughout the year. Let’s look at some of the regular maintenance things you can do to keep your kitchen clean:
REGULAR KITCHEN CLEANING:
- Wipe down surfaces: Wiping down all your counters, cooktops, and surface areas after doing dishes is a good habit to get into. You can use an all purpose general cleaner or even just soap and water. Unless raw meat or chicken has been exposed to the area, you shouldn’t have to disinfect it every time, but a thorough wipe down several times a day is going to help keep you kitchen looking clean and healthy.
- Do those dishes!: Even if you live alone, dishes should be done on a regular (at least daily) basis, no matter how many are dirty. Bacteria and germs will start growing on these dirty, wet surfaces quickly and your kitchen will start to smell and attract pests if you do not clean your dishes daily. If you have a dishwasher, you can wait until it is full to run it ONLY IF you rinse your dishes pretty thoroughly. Otherwise, just run it every night before bed or don’t use it if you can’t fill it up adequately.
- Floors: Just running a quick vacuum, Swiffer, or broom over the kitchen floor to clean up those crumbs we wiped off of our counters once a day should be enough to help control bug problems and that annoying feeling of stepping on unidentifiable crumbs in our bare feet!
- Mopping: Once a week, run a wet mop of your preference (depending on your floor type) to clean up any sticky messes and prevent build up. Our kitchens spew a lot of unseen grease, dirt, and grime that you may not realize is there until it is so built up that it is hard to remove.
- Clean out your sink: After doing dishes, wipe down your sink with an all purpose cleaner and rinse well. Even though it was clean water in the sink when you washed your dishes, all of that old food and bacteria was just sitting in that water for awhile until you were done. I also wash out my sink BEFORE washing dishes because a lot goes on in our kitchen sinks! Cleaning out the sink will help combat any smells and any germs from forming.
Beyond basic cleaning every day/week that needs to be done, some areas need to be cleaned out more than once a year during spring cleaning.
DEEP CLEANING APPLIANCES:
- Microwave: Cleaning out your microwave only needs done sporadically throughout the year, as soon as you notice it is dirty. An easy way to clean your microwave is to put in a cup of white vinegar (add a half of a lemon if you have one) and microwave it for 3 -5 minutes. When that is done wipe out the microwave immediately while the steam of the vinegar is still wet. For hard to clean spots, I will dip my cloth into the hot vinegar (CAREFULLY) and use it to scrub more. Remove any removable dishes and wash with soap and water. Make sure everything is completely dry before returning to microwave. Leave microwave door open to air dry.
- Coffee Maker/Keurig: If you have a coffee maker that brews full pots of coffee, run a cycle with white vinegar instead. This will help remove old coffee and hard water buildup in the pipes. You can use white vinegar to remove stains from the carafe and the whole outside areas. Make sure everything is rinsed well and run several cycles with just plain water to get rid of all the vinegar within the pipes. For a Keurig, mix half water and half white vinegar and run it through until all the mixture has come out. Next use plain water several times to rinse out the insides. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for how to take apart the Keurig to wash in soap and water.
- Refrigerator: The biggest trick to keeping your fridge clean and healthy is to remove all out of date and old food every week. We go through the fridge every garbage night to remove everything we know we aren’t going to use, moldy items, and out of date condiments. Before going grocery shopping, you should move items around and clean up any spills, crumbs, or other nastiness you may find left behind. Wipe down shelves with general all purpose cleaner or soap and water and dry thoroughly. Another way to make sure your fridge stays clean is to make sure you learn how to properly store your foods to make them last longer. Leftovers shouldn’t stick around more than a week…no one is going to eat it after a week anyway!
- Stovetop: If you are regularly cleaning off your stovetop, it shouldn’t get too dirty overall, but sometimes you might want to put in a little more elbow grease to help remove burnt on or greasy areas. Using soap and water, baking soda, or even an all purpose cleaner and a gentle scrubbing sponges, you should get deep into the areas that are often neglected. Take off any removable pieces and wash them in warm soapy water and let them dry thoroughly.
- Oven: The oven often gets neglected, but if you clean up messes as they happen, it won’t be too hard to deep clean later. There are specific oven cleaner, which can be toxic, take a lot of time, and smell horrible. Some ovens clean themselves. You can also use baking soda to scrub and loosen dirt and grime and then a dish soap and water mixture to clean up the mess and help dissolve grease. Be careful with the glass on the oven door and don’t scrub too hard or you may get scratches. Your oven racks can be removed and either taken outside and scrubbed down or be placed on a towel within your bathtub (to prevent scratches) and scrubbed in there.
SPRING CLEANING KITCHEN:
I saved this part for last because while you can, AND SHOULD, do the previous steps several times a year, there are some areas that can be done yearly or as needed to qualify as a deep clean. When I do my spring cleaning, I tend to do all of the above steps AND the following steps to get as deep of a clean as possible.
- Cabinets: Kitchen cabinets don’t SEEM to get dirty, but there thin layers of grease and grime can start to build up on all kitchen surfaces. Cleaning your cabinets depends on what they are made of. If you have particle board, lower priced cabinets, or polyurethaned wood cabinets, you can use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to break down the grease. Just wipe down thoroughly with clean water when you are finished, as dish soap residue can leave a film that will attract more grease.
- Inside cabinets: If you are looking to organize during your spring cleaning, remove items inside and wipe down the inside really well. Change out your shelf liners if you need to and organize the inside as you want. Again, soap and water or a general cleaner is all you need to clean these areas.
- Walls: Especially behind the stove, sink, and any appliances. These areas get really dirty over time. Clean these areas well with all purpose cleaner or soap and water and don’t forget light switches and wall plates. If needed, remove any decorations and wall hangings and make sure the clean the wall behind them AND the decorations themselves.
- Garbage cans: Take your garbage cans outside and sprinkle with baking soda. Let them sit for a few hours, then add some dish soap and a hose and start cleaning out the inside and outside of the garbage can. This is the area that holds the most odors and germs in your kitchen. While you are at it, grab all your other garbage cans in the house and clean them all thoroughly. Leave them out in the sun to dry thoroughly before bringing them back inside.
- Filters: Above your stove there is an air filter for your fan that need to be removed and soaked in dish soap and water and then scrubbed clean. If you have water filters in your fridge, make sure to change them out.
Your kitchen may have different needs than mine and I guarantee I missed a few areas, so let me know what I missed!! Keeping your kitchen clean and healthy will make cooking and eating a much more pleasant experience for everyone. Deep cleaning doesn’t need to be done all the time, but as often as necessary and at least once a year during your spring cleaning. Keeping up on maintenance throughout the year will make your spring cleaning much easier.
Please follow Being Grown Up on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Check out the Being Grown Up podcast on Anchor.fm/kim-stamler and your favorite podcast provider. Follow and like my page and check back often for more posts about what you need to know about being grown up. XOXO