Spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to lift open the windows and do some spring cleaning in the busiest room in the house. The kitchen is often the gathering place for families and while daily tasks are often taken care of, the deep cleaning can be forgotten. Make a plan, assign some chores and get that kitchen clean and fresh from top to bottom. You’ll find tips below for cleaning each area of the kitchen that are forgotten daily but are used often.
Microwave: Measure one cup of water, then add a lemon cut in half (squeeze juice into water). Microwave for about 3 minutes, then let it sit another 5 minutes. Remove glass and wipe down entire inside with a hot soapy sponge easily.
Dishwasher: Remove and clean the filter by soaking it in hot soapy water for about 10 minutes. Wipe clean and replace. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and run on a heavy cleaning cycle. If still gunky sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda all over the bottom, let it sit overnight and run it empty in the morning. *If mold is an issue in your dishwasher pour a cup full of bleach set it on the top rack and run the dishwasher empty, using the hottest setting.
Stove Top: For flattop stoves or others the stove itself (burners removed) sprinkle the barkeepers friend on the stove. Use a wet cloth or scrubber to scrub in a circular motion. Wipe down with a damp cloth. Repeat scrubbing if necessary on trouble spots. If you have electrical coils on your stove, remove them from the stove and wipe down with a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or damp cloth with bar keepers friend. Just be sure not to get the electrical connection wet.
Oven: Many ovens have a self cleaning setting which uses extremely high heat and work well. If your not a fan of that function, try this. Remove wire oven racks and set aside. Make a paste with baking soda and water, then apply the paste using an old sponge or scrubber to scrub as you go along. Wipe clean with a warm damp cloth.
Toaster: Use a small pastry brush to remove crumbs from the inside of the toaster. Remove tray and clean.
Slow-Cooker: The insert of the crock-pot is normally cleaned after every meal, but what about the shell of the crockpot. Using baking soda or bar keepers friend scrub it down with a scrubber and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Never submerge this part of the slow-cooker as it contains an electrical connection.
Dish Racks: Mold and mildew is the top issue for dish drying racks. Clean yours by filling a sink with hot water and ¼ c of bleach for each gallon of water. Submerge the rack in the water and let it soak for about 20 minutes. Use a cloth to wipe away any mildew or debris easily. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
Canisters: Wipe down canisters that normally sit on the counter top from top to bottom with a disinfectant. Want to clean them completely, pour out all contents and wash, then let them dry completely before replacing dry ingredients.
Deep Clean the Refrigerator
Clean out: Remove all items from the fridge and throw out any old or empty items. Wipe down bottles or trays. Clean all walls and shelves of fridge with baking soda and hot water.
Clean Out Freezer: pull items out of your freezer and throw away any freezer burnt items that have been forgotten. Chip away at excess ice if necessary, then wipe down with baking soda and hot water.
Reorganizing: While replacing items in the fridge move those with close expiration dates to the front and remind family to eat them up. Leave space between foods to allow for proper cool air circulation otherwise foods can get to warm and spoil faster.
Deep Clean the Sink
Stainless Steel: Pour on a heavy coating of baking soda then scrub with an old toothbrush or green scratchy pad to clean entire sink including the drain area.
Ceramic/Porcelain/Copper: Pour on a heavy coating of bar keepers friend then scrub with an old toothbrush or green scratchy pad to clean entire sink including the drain area.
Garbage Disposal: Drop in a cut up lemon along with running water and turn the disposal on to clean out build up and remove most smells.
Organization Trays: Clean and disinfect any organizational trays for sponges and soaps. Also, consider getting new sponges/ scrubbers depending on their age.
Cabinets: Remove contents and wipe down with a dry cloth the interiors. For the exteriors mix a 50/50 combination of warm water and white vinegar dampen cloth with mixture and wipe down cabinet doors and pulls. For ornate cabinets, hinges or pulls use a toothbrush to reach in the crevasses. Wipe down again with water only then dry all surfaces completely. If you have a trouble area from a spill such as syrup or sticky hands, create a paste of vinegar and salt then scrub on lightly, then wipe with water and remove.
Drawers: Remove contents and wipe clean with a dry cloth. Wash organizers in warm soapy water and let dry completely before returning contents. This is a great time to throw out anything broken or no longer used.
Wipe down with a 50/50 water, vinegar blend to help remove that sticky waxy layer that can build up. Wipe down chairs, legs and bottoms completely. Chair and table feet attract a lot of dirt but are often forgotten.
Conclusion: Failure to clean accounts for one of the top reasons behind home kitchen fires every year. Give yourself peace of mind by cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom on a consistent basis. Wiping up messes at the time of cooking is the best way to make spring cleaning easier.