Simple Kitchen Cleaning Tips and a Routine to Keep it in Place
I love a sparkling, clean kitchen. The kind with everything in its place, gleaming countertops and appliances, and a fresh aroma wafting around. Mmm.. Heavenly. Kitchens are, I feel, the heart of the home. Food is prepared here, mostly eaten here, the family congregates to share, talk, discuss, squabble and make up. Clean kitchens are happy places to be in. On that note, here is my five-step plan to create a kitchen that is functional, clean and a joy to be in. Break up the steps or adapt them to your own requirement. The basic idea is to have a kitchen that is not only clean but also a pleasure to cook and be in.
1. Keep Only the Essential, Useful or Beautiful. Begin by doing a major clean of the kitchen cabinets, drawers and shelves. Give away or trash anything that is useless, non-functional, hasn’t been used for the last year or more. As someone who takes a special joy in living with the simplest of things, I have only the basics and even they add up to quite a bit. So, this first step will take a bit of time and ruthless decision-making. You may want to break it up by taking each cabinet or even, each shelf one at a time. It all depends on how much stuff you have in the kitchen.
2. Keep Like Items Together. This one stems from my basic organizing principle of keeping likes together. One can easily apply this in the kitchen as well and keep similar items together. Plates stacked together in a drawer, glasses arranged neatly in the cupboard, coffee mugs placed or stored next to the coffee machine and so on. Store all the kitchen cleaning supplies such as sponges, wipe cloths, dishwashing solutions, disinfectant sprays together in a caddy or small under-the-sink storage area.
3. Basics of a Clean Kitchen – Bare Countertops. Simple, pared down countertops look great. They’re easy to wipe clean, work on and basically, make the whole kitchen look well, clean. Ideally, the countertops should have only the two most used gadgets on them. In my case, it is the toaster and the microwave. If you want to add a little pizzazz, add a quirky recipe book holder or a pretty cutlery stand. Other than that, keep them bare. Use the kitchen cabinets and drawers to store crockery, lesser-used gadgets and appliances and other items of use.
4. Arm Yourself with Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Tricks. Once everything is sorted through, arranged neatly and the countertops are relatively bare, it is time to put together a cleaning schedule. Before that, here are some simple cleaning tips and tricks.
- Wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Prevents stuff from getting dried up and tough to clean.
- Always keep a spray bottle filled with an all-purpose cleaner of your choice someplace handy. Mine is a basic vinegar-water-baking soda solution, that I use after cooking, for quick cleanups and to disinfect countertops. You may make your own or use a commercial one.
- Rinse dishes before you put them in the sink. Not only does this prevent food from drying up and becoming difficult to clean, it also reduces the chances of roaches finding their way to the kitchen and doesn’t let the sink look all dirty and smelly.
5. The Clean Kitchen Routine.
As I’d mentioned in my home management binder post, I have cleaning schedules, daily, weekly and monthly, which for the kitchen look something like this –
Daily Kitchen Cleaning
- Sweep and mop floors, sometimes twice a day.
- Wipe clean countertops and appliances on countertops.
- Wash and dry dishes. Put away.
- Emptying the trash can. Disinfecting the can and replacing trash can liner.
- Change kitchen dusters for drying dishes, wiping spills and cleaning countertops. I don’t use paper so am scrupulous about having three kitchen dusters and replacing them everyday or even twice in the same day. It all depends on how dirty they get.
Weekly Kitchen Cleaning
- Wipe clean cabinets, inside and out.
- Wipe clean the exhaust fan and light fixtures.
- Dust the walls and ceiling.
- Organize the crockery, cutlery and pantry areas.
- Deep clean oven, microwave and the stove or cooking range.
- Deep clean and organize the refrigerator.
- Change the kitchen curtains. Wash and iron before hanging again.
Monthly Kitchen Cleaning
- Empty out kitchen cabinets. Wash and wipe clean.
- Wash and clean occasionally used utensils. Take inventory. Give away, replace or repair items that are not needed, broken or not in working condition.
- Organize pantry or larder. Discard items that are past their use-by date, make a list of items that need to be replaced and give away anything that won’t be used. ( Note: I sometimes do this on a weekly basis as well, especially if I have guests over.)
- Wash and scrub kitchen floor, especially area under the sink.
- Use green pest control for ants and roaches.
So, there you are. Five simple steps or ideas to get the kitchen looking clean, organized and welcoming. Obviously, these aren’t the only ways to keep a kitchen neat and orderly, so do share your own favorite kitchen cleaning tips and ideas.
Photo Credit: juhansonin