Here’s your to-do list and a few tips to give your kitchen it’s shine back.
To get things rolling, clear off the countertops. This includes the sneaky pile of mail as well as countertop appliances such as a kitchenaid or toaster. Liberally spray your countertops with an all purpose cleaner and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then use a sponge to wipe it away. If you run into any stuck on pieces, enlist the help of a bench scraper to easily scrape it away. While everything is off the countertops, take some time to go through it before putting it back. Throw away what you don’t need and reset with a nicely organized space.
While you have the counters cleared off, attack the backsplash as well. The backsplash is there to do one thing: keep your walls protected from grease and dust. Turns out that’s a messy job. Outside of the frequent wipe downs, your backsplash needs a good scrub about about once a month. Use a good all purpose cleaner to demolish the build up.
It’s easy to lose food in the fridge. Since food continues to get added to the fridge, older food often gets pushed to the back and lost. Plus, it turns out salad drawers often contain 750 times the safe level of bacteria. Start by taking everything out of the fridge. Throw away expired food and wash your drawers. Take a disinfectant wipe through the rest of the fridge. You should also vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge to keep it running well.
It’s time to pull out the elbow grease to work on those burned on spots. A cream cleaner such as Mrs. Meyer’s baking soda cream cleaner and a good sponge is helpful for scrubbing away spots with ease! For gas stoves remove the grates first and allow those to soak in the sink if necessary. If you notice food remnants between the range and countertop, use a butter knife to gently slide across the end of the counter to pull food out. Then wrap a paper towel around the knife and spray with cleaner and slide against the edge of the counter.
First, gather anything in the kitchen you may need to clean (including food containers from your newly cleaned fridge) and wash them. You don’t want to get your newly cleaned sink dirty within minutes. Once it’s empty, use a gentle cleanser and soft cloth to wipe everything down. Then pour 1 tsp. of baking soda and ¼ cup of lemon juice over your whole sink and down the drain. Let this sit for about 10 minutes and rinse away with hot water. If you have a stainless steel sink use a dry cloth to eliminate water spots.
When was the last time you cleaned the top of the cabinets? All you need is a long armed duster to work around the perimeter of the kitchen. While you are up there, don’t forget the top of the fridge! Then move on the the faces of the cabinets themselves. Use a rag and warm soapy water to wipe down the doors and cabinet pulls. Open the doors and wipe down the sides and inside as well.
Ideally the microwave should be cleaned every week, depending on the frequency of use. Don’t worry, we have a slick trick for you! Mix half a cup of water with half a cup of white vinegar in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high until the microwave window steams up. Open the microwave and wipe out with a sponge. Easy peasy. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil for added freshness.
Great news! Your oven doesn’t need much regular attention unless it begins to produce smoke or odors from food remnants. Just spot clean as needed with a damp rag. If you have a self-cleaning oven resist the urge to run it too much. This cycle can be damaging to your oven if used too often.
It’s a good idea to tackle the floors last. Use a broom and sweep right up to the baseboards and as far under the cabinets as you can get. If you’re feeling adventurous, pull out your appliances and tackle those floors too. After everything is swept get the mop and bucket out (remember, your sink is sparkly clean). If you have any pesky stains soak a rag in a mixture of 4 cups water and 1 cup bleach and let it sit on the stain for about 10 minutes. Empty the mop bucket outside or in a utility sink.
A sparkling clean kitchen will bring a sigh of relief to the whole house and maybe inspire you take on the bathrooms… or not! Happy cleaning!