7 Steps For Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen
Truth: I hate cleaning. But I like a tidy home so cleaning is a necessary evil. I’m able to mostly avoid huge cleaning projects because I always do the little things each day to ensure that our house stays mostly clean – I always clean up the kitchen and clear the counter after every meal and before bed. I regularly wipe down cabinets. I clean out the fridge and get rid of unwanted items each week. And vacuuming after pretty much every meal is a must in our house (you know what I mean if you live with any kids under 4!). But I must admit a few times a year it does feel good to give the house a good deep cleaning. And apart from your bathrooms, there’s probably nowhere that needs it most than the kitchen. Here’s my checklist of what to do to get things all sparkly clean!
Step 1: Clean your cabinets – inside and out.
This step is a pain, but it’s a good way to make sure you don’t have things you don’t want crowding up your cabinets. It’s also a great time to vacuum out all those crumbs and debris that somehow manage to get in there. I take everything out, sort things together and get rid of anything I no longer need. Next, vacuum out and wipe down the insides and outsides of the cabinets. (And the tops if your cabinets don’t reach all the way to the ceiling – you’d be amazed at the dust that can collect up there. Finally, reassess the order of your kitchen – would it be easier to place your cooking spoons in the drawer next to the stove? Can you put glasses and mugs together or is it better to put mugs over by the coffee maker. Think about what makes the most sense for your cooking style and daily routine and set it up from there.
Step 2: Clean your appliances.
I’m talking about the ones you use every day. Run a little vinegar and a full pot of water through your coffeemaker (but make sure to run another plain pot of water before brewing your next pot!). Run the self-cleaning feature on your oven and then wipe it clean. Clean your stovetop to get all the muck off (cooking oil is great for those stubborn spots). Dump the crumbs out of your toaster (most toasters these days have a tray to catch these that makes this an easy task). Clean your dishwasher (Yes! Just because it cleans your dishes doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be cleaned now and then!) Finally, if you have a hood, give the vents a good wash to get all the grease off.
Step 3: Clean The Refrigerator.
Take everything out of the refrigerator and get rid of anything past its due date or questionable. (We’ve all got those half filled cartons of something or other hidden deep in the back, right?) Wipe down all the shelves and drawers, or if you’re feeling ambitious, take them out and wash them in a sink filled with soapy water. (This is my preference, since it also then allows me to wipe the bottom of the fridge and get into all the little crevices.) Once done, organize the fridge by placing like items together – there’s nothing like finding that 6 month old string cheese that fell behind the drawers, amiright? (Fridge dividers or trays of different sizes are great for this.)
Step 4: Scour the sink and clean the garbage disposable.
This is one of those things we do regularly because it just makes the kitchen feel so much cleaner. Using a mild scrubbing agent, we like Bar-Keepers Friend for our stainless steel sink, scour out the sink with a damp cloth (depending on the material of your sink, be sure to check the packaging of any cleaner you use first to make sure it won’t damage it).
You can also clean your garbage disposal at the same time by adding a half a cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar to the drain. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, then dump a pot of boiling water down the drain. After that, cut 1 lemon or lime in half and run each half through the disposal, which will leave it smelling great.
Step 5: Wipe down all surfaces.
Using a small bucket of water and a bit of liquid dish detergent, wipe down all cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and large appliances – basically anything with a hard surface. Wipe again with a damp cloth and dry immediately with a towel.
Step 6: Clean and organize the pantry.
Just like with the fridge, take everything out and get rid of anything that’s past its prime or no longer needed. If you haven’t done it in a while, it may be a good time to replace some of those spices you haven’t used in a long while, since ground spices tend to lose their flavor after 2-3 years. Try incorporating clear canisters for your dried goods so you can easily see what you have, and how much. And baskets and bins are great for keeping like items together. Wipe down shelves and bins before replacing and organizing items back in the pantry.
Step 7: Vacuum/mop floor.
You’re almost done! Give the floors a good sweep to pick up any debris and try to get in those hard to reach spots – behind/under the fridge, under the stove, etc. Next, using a bucket of warm water and a small cap full of white vinegar, scrub the floor with a towel to get up any sticky spots or watermarks.
Whew! You’re done! Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your clean kitchen! And while you’re in the spring-cleaning mood – check out this green smoothie that will give your body a good reboot as well!