Cleaning and organizing your kitchen can be a big chore, but a necessary one. It's the room where you spend a lot of time; preparing meals, grabbing a snack, or guzzling a drink to stay hydrated. The kitchen is often the hub of the family; where the kids do homework, you sift through Pinterest for new recipe ideas, or you all meet for family chats. A clean kitchen just makes life more peaceful.
The night before you deep clean your kitchen, you need to prepare your oven. It takes several hours to overnight to get your oven clean. If your oven doesn't have a self-cleaning option, use baking soda and vinegar to get it clean. Remove your oven racks. Make a paste with the baking soda; half a cup of baking soda and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Coat the entire inside of the oven with the paste. Let it sit overnight.
The next day, you can start your kitchen deep clean. Keeping with our theme, start high and work your way down.
Vacuum the tops of your cabinets and the top of the refrigerator. Use a damp cloth to get any tough spots. Then wipe down the fronts and sides of the upper cabinets.
Wipe out cabinets, shelf by shelf, starting with the top shelf in each cabinet and working down to the bottom shelf. This is also a good time to check out what you're keeping in your cabinets. Are there any chipped plates or glasses that need to be repairs or tossed? Is there something you never use and completely forgot you had? Maybe that's a good thing to donate. Make room in your cabinets for the things you really use and love.
Organize & Prepare
Once you're done with the cabinets, you can jump off the step ladder and focus on the counters, lower cabinets, and appliances. First, get organized. Don't clean around things you don't need. Get rid of things you no longer use and find spots for the other items cluttering up your counter tops. Be sure to follow our tips on organizing your kitchen to get all your appliances, accessories, and tools in the perfect spot.
Put dishes into the dishwasher and wash those big items that you wash by hand. Be sure to wash the microwave tray too. Pull out the racks in the oven and scrub with a scrub brush and dishwasher liquid. Leave the microwave tray and oven racks to dry. Put all the other dishes away.
Spritz your counters and stove top with your favorite all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for a while.
Next, focus on the fridge. Toss anything that's expired or looks sketchy. Then remove all the food and place it in a cooler. Starting with the top shelf. Wipe down the shelf with warm soapy water and a clean cloth or sponge. If the shelves or drawers are removable, pull them out and scrub them in your sink. Set them aside to dry. Work your way down, one shelf at a time until you get to the bottom. Don't forget to scrub the walls and base of the fridge as well. Put your shelves and drawers back in place. Wipe down all the jars and food items as you put them back on the shelves. Don't forget the shelves in the door. Follow the same routine with those shelves.
For the freezer, again toss anything that is expired or has freezer burn. Pull out the rest of the food and place it in the fridge or a cooler. If the shelves or drawers are removable, pull them out and scrub them in your sink. Set them aside to dry. If you have extra ice stuck to the walls, dip a cloth in rubbing alcohol and cover the ice. Then chip the ice away with a plastic spatula. Wipe down the walls and shelves with soapy water and a clean cloth. Put your shelves back in place. Then put the food back on the shelves.
Next on the list, show your microwave a little love. Fill a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup with equal parts vinegar and water. Place a toothpick or wooden spoon in the bowl to prevent over-boiling. You may want to add a drop or two of lemon oil or chopped up lemon, lime or orange for a citrus smell. Heat for 2-5 minutes (depending on how much mess is in the microwave). The mixture will be very hot so let it sit for a few minutes and use an oven mitt to remove from the microwave. Use a your vinegar & water mixture and a sponge to clean out the inside of the microwave. The mess will wipe out very easily. Don't forget the back side of the door. Put your clean microwave tray back inside. Spritz the outside of the microwave with your all-purpose cleaner or vinegar/water mixtures and wipe down with a cloth.
You can use several different methods to clean your stove top, depending on what kind of stove you have. For glass stove tops, you can use one part vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle to remove grime. Just spritz onto the stove top and wipe clean with a sponge. Or you could use baking soda and lemon. Sprinkle baking soda on your stove top and use half a lemon to rub it clean. Use a sponge or damp cloth to remove any remaining remnants of baking soda or lemon pulp. For a more traditional stove, combine equal parts dish soap and baking soda in a bowl and mix together to form a frosting-like paste. Apply to drip pans generously. Scrub the pans to loosen the grime. Place the pans in a Ziplock bag for about an hour. Then remove from bags and scrub them clean.
Now finish cleaning out the oven. Using a damp sponge, wipe out all the baking soda. Spritz the oven with vinegar to remove tough spots and get the oven sparkling clean. Replace your oven racks.
Give the outside of your dishwasher, fridge, and stove the once over. If they are stainless steel, use stainless steel cleaner to get them clean. Otherwise you can use your all-purpose cleaner to wipe them down.
Using soapy water and a damp cloth or a sponge, wipe down any small appliances you have on your counter tops; toaster, can opener, coffeemaker, etc. Set them aside while you clean the counters.
Now finish your countertops. Grab a damp cloth and scrub your counters. For tough spots, use a plastic spatula and scrub hard to help remove the mess.
Use that same cloth to wipe down your lower cabinets. If you haven't already, go through your lower cabinets to get rid of anything you no longer need. Toss broken items (e.g. pots with broken handles or missing lids) or donate items in good shape that you no longer use. Then follow the same steps you used for your upper cabinets. Remove items from each shelf, wipe down the shelf with your cloth, and replace the items in their spots.
Pull out your fridge and stove to sweep and spot clean the floor under them. It's probably been a while since that part of the floor has seen a mop so you may need to use a bit of elbow grease to get that clean.
For the rest of the floor, start by sweeping the floor. Or use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove any debris on the floor.
Prewash any sticky or particularly dirty spots with a wet rag and soapy water.
Depending on your floor type, either dry mop or wet mop your floor. Fill your sink or a bucket with hot soapy water and use an appropriate mop to clean the kitchen floor.
Take out the trash. Rinse out the garbage can. Spritz with a little air freshener, if needed. Put in a new trash bag.
Finish up with your sink. Use warm, soapy water to wipe down the sink with your sponge or cloth. Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies, where the sink meets the counter top, around the faucet, and the drains. Wipe down the faucet and handles. Use a little vinegar on the spout if it's blocked. Dry with a clean cloth.
Daily: Train family to rinse their plates and put them in the dishwasher after every meal. Before you go to bed each night, wipe down the counter tops and stove top, sweep the floor, and wash out the sink.
Weekly: Wipe down the outsides of the cabinets and the appliances. Clean out the microwave. Mop the floor.
Monthly: Vacuum the tops of the cabinets.
Quarterly: Clean out fridge. Wipe down the shelves in your upper and lower cabinets.
Annually: Sweep and scrub the floor under the fridge and stove.
Check back here next week and we'll tackle the dining room. Read the entire Deep Cleaning Guide here.
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