You’re halfway through your month-long spring cleaning spree and still going strong. Now it’s time to tackle the kitchen. Don’t despair! The kitchen has so many appliances and messy areas that it might seem overwhelming, but you can do this. It is a large task, but it’s also surprisingly meditative once you get going. And nothing beats a spotless kitchen. So gather your supplies, put on your favorite upbeat album for energy, and power through this one. You’ll be so glad you did.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Rubber gloves (optional but highly recommended)
Microfiber cloths or clean rags
Warm water and a mild soap
Glass cleaner (or make your own by combining a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle)
Broom or vacuum
Old toothbrush or another small brush for scrubbing
How to clean surfaces and storage
Take out the trash and recycling and wash the cans with warm soapy water. Leave them outside turned upside down to dry. Remove all products under your sink and take stock. Throw away any empties or products you no longer want or use. Wipe down the walls and floor and hardware of the cabinet and neatly return your products to where they were.
Empty cupboards of dishes, pots and pans, appliances and don't forget your silverware/gadget drawers. Wipe inside with soapy water. Don’t forget to clean silverware holders or other organizational tools that tend to get really grimy. If your flatware or dishes are looking less than spotless, run a load in the dishwasher before returning it all neatly to the clean cupboards.
Get a step stool and wipe down the tops of all kitchen cabinets. Use a degreasing product and wipe the front of all cabinets and drawers, paying special attention to handles and cabinet pulls. Wipe light switches and door handles well. Wipe windowsills and tracks with a microfiber cloth. Polish your windows with glass cleaner and newspaper.
Next, thoroughly scrub your sink and faucet. Clear everything off your countertops and wipe them with mild soapy water. Or, if you have specialty surfaces like marble, use the appropriate cleaner for your material. Clean any small appliances that live on the countertop like the toaster, blender or coffee machine and put them back in place.
Locate your refrigerator’s coils which are usually either behind the fridge, or behind a panel below or above the front doors (pop off the cover to expose the coils themselves). Use your nozzle vacuum attachment or a long brush to remove all the dust and build up which can prevent your fridge from running efficiently and cause it to wear out faster.
Empty all food and condiments from the fridge and throw away any expired food. Remove the fruit and veggie drawers and wash them in the sink with mild soapy water. Wipe down the shelves. Clean the outside including the top, doors, and handles. Pay special attention to the rubber seals that tend to collect crumbs. If your fridge is stainless steel, use either a specialty cleaner or a tiny amount of oil on a clean cloth to polish away fingerprints.
To clean the microwave, fill a glass bowl with about a cup of water and a splash of white vinegar and microwave it for three minutes until it’s boiling. The steam-clean will help soften caked-on food inside so you can wipe it away with less scrubbing. Remove the turntable and give it a wash in the sink with dish soap. Wipe down the inside, outside and handles with a grease busting spray.
Remove the knobs from your oven and pop them into a bath of warm soapy water to soak. Remove your stovetop grates (if you have a gas stove), and spray a degreaser on the range hood, stovetop and backsplash. Scrub away all baked-on food and grease. If the soak didn’t do the entire job, scrub the oven knobs clean with an old toothbrush and pop them back on. Check your oven to make sure it’s empty then set it to self-clean mode.
Move on to your dishwasher and check the filter (usually located under the top rack) for any food that may have gotten stuck. Rinse and return the filter, then run your empty dishwasher on hot using a specialty appliance-cleaning product like this one.
Run the tap and flip on your disposal to grind up anything that may be inside. Then, with the blades still running, add a few ice cubes and grind them up to sharpen the blades. Finish by grinding half a lemon to freshen the whole area.
Sweep the floor or use the vacuum to remove debris. Use the crevice tool to clean in small spaces like the gaps between the countertop and the oven or behind the fridge. Wipe down baseboards with a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. Mop or scrub the floor. Remember to work strategically from the far corner toward the door, so you can leave the room without tracking footprints across your spotless floor.
Deep clean any regularly-used items like your tea kettle, coffee pot or blender jug by soaking for several hours in a 1:1 water and white vinegar solution to remove residue. Wash thoroughly.
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