Kitchen-Cleaning

Kitchen-Cleaning ~ Kitchen Tricks

Most of us would rather be doing virtually anything else.

We have a friend that's a professional home cleaner and we've discussed this issue with her on numerous occasions.

So, here's our guide to cleaning your kitchen the easier way.

Cleaning the kitchen might be one of our most unwanted of chores, but let's face it, it gives many of us a lot of satisfaction when we've done a good job and have a nice shiny, clean smelling cooking area.

Whatever your cleaning style, we've got some tips and tricks to make the mess a little more manageable.

We've even created a cleaning routine so the process is easier and goes by faster.

You don't need to think about what to tackle next, as the saying goes...just do it!

Turn up your favorite music and work from top to bottom.

The Routine:

Weekly Kitchen-Cleaning:

Appliance faces: Don't scratch those attractive surfaces with rough scouring pads or harsh cleaners that contain bleach.

Use a mild cleaner or better yet, make a paste of baking soda and water to clean, then apply to a kitchen-appliance or even your car to keep them gleaming.

Dissolve grease on the stove-top with a sponge soaked in white vinegar.

For stubborn issues, let the sponge rest on the offending mess for a few minutes.

Your Microwave:

Soak the turntable in sudsy water while you wipe up interior splatters with a paper towel and an all-purpose surface cleaner.

Want to get fancy?

Try a steam clean, (our preference).

It's easy: Fill a microwave-safe glass with 2 c. of water and either 1 tsp. of vanilla or a few slices of lemon.

Run on high for 5 minutes, remove cup (carefully, it's "HOT") and wipe the sweet-smelling interior clean with a paper towel.

Kitchen-Cleaning & Your Counter-tops:

Spray on an all-purpose cleaner (or run disposable wipes over the surface) and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

The product works best when it sits, so don't wipe immediately (use that wait time to tackle the sink or stove-top).

Your Sink:

Keep the drain fresh and clear by pouring down several quarts of boiling water to flush out grease.

Do double-duty by adding 1 c. of baking soda followed by 1 c. of white vinegar down the drain; then sprinkle more baking soda in the basin to scrub clean.

Kitchen-Cleaning & Your Floors:

Food spills, dust, and dirty footprints make the floor filthy (help keep down the "stick" factor by not wearing your street shoes while you cook).

Ceramic tile or stone floors can be washed with a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and 1 gal. of water (soap can dull the surface).

Now, for grimy grout: Start simple by working at it with a small piece of sandpaper or a pink pencil eraser.

For tougher jobs make a super spray of 1 Tbs. bleach and 2 c. warm water, then scrub with an old toothbrush.

** Note: ** Be careful when working with chlorine bleach.

When it mixes with ammonia (found in many cleaners), it can produce a noxious gas that will burn the lungs.

Monthly Kitchen-Cleaning (one or two tasks each week)

Your Oven:

The self-clean cycle is a masterful invention, but did you know it can release fumes that are toxic to birds and dogs.

If spills do accumulate and you don't have a self-clean oven, sprinkle salt on the residue while the oven is still warm.

When it cools, scrape it up with a spatula and wipe clean with a cloth.

Got stuck-on crud?

Use a nylon scrubby sponge dipped in soapy hot water for a heavy-duty clean (just be sure nothing drips into the vent openings).

You won't need to do this much if you place a silicone liner or even tinfoil on the bottom of your oven: When something boils over or splatters, you can just wipe off the liner with a dishcloth or discard (re-cycle) the tin-foil.

Your Stove:

Line the drip pans on the stove-top with foil and replace (re-cycle) monthly or when very dirty.

It might not look neat (you're not creating tinfoil swans or anything), but it's easier than cleaning exposed nooks and crannies later.

Kitchen-Cleaning & Your Fridge:

How old is that sour cream or guacamole?

Check everything in the refrigerator and toss anything that's past its expiration date, or that's just sad and bad looking (wilted lettuce, shriveled limes, etc.).

Wash the interior with a solution of baking soda and warm water, about 1/2 c. of baking soda for every gallon of water.

It's also smart to clean the drain pan and vacuum underneath the refrigerator.

Kitchen-Cleaning & Your Garbage Can:

It's inevitable that some coffee grinds or a few drops of soy sauce will land inside the pail.

Hose down the can outside or in the bathtub, using hot soapy water (I add bleach and let sit for awhile), then spray with a disinfectant and let it dry before relining.

Kitchen-Cleaning & Your Cabinets:

Purge old, stale, or unusable foods (the rock-hard brown sugar you used once, eons ago).

Before re-stacking packages, vacuum up food particles and dust, then wipe with a damp cloth.

Make the outside surfaces sparkle by wiping them with 1/2 c. white vinegar or a solution of 1/4 c. liquid oil soap and 1 gal. of warm water (don't soak the cloth; just dampen it enough to remove dirt and grease).

Kitchen-Cleaning & Your Dishwasher:

Run a complete cycle with an empty machine (just detergent, of course) for a clean, deodorized space.

Kitchen-Cleaning Tricks of the Trade:

Sponges carry tons of bacteria.

I've heard the average sponge contains about seven billion germs.

Zap a wet sponge in the microwave on high for 1 minute every day.

This will kill the germs that have been festering, so you won't spread them onto your counter-tops and dishes.

Instead of using a sponge, use a clean rag.

Designate one rag for each room, and rinse it with hot water every 2 minutes as you clean.

Start cleaning areas with the least germ potential (like where you eat) and work your way toward the areas with the highest concentration of grime (like food-prep spots).

Keep garbage bags in the bottom of the can so replacing them is easy.

Your spouse or kids can't whine about being assigned this stinky chore when you've made it even this simple.

Sometimes your delicious home-cooked meal can leave behind a lingering unwanted smell.

Eradicate the offending odors by setting out a bowl of vinegar on the counter to absorb them.

Or drop your favorite herb or spice into a pot of boiling water to fill the kitchen with a pleasant scent (we love cinnamon, lemon or dried rosemary).

There you have our tried and true kitchen-cleaning hints and tips.

We hope you're able to adopt a few or all of these to make your kitchen-cleaning tasks a little less unpleasant.

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