The kitchen is truly the heart of the home, as a recent survey shows that Americans on average spend around 400 hours in it each year. 77% of the survey respondents say that they used to cook with their family at least once a week, thus creating their fondest memories. This shows just how integral the kitchen is as a part of the home.
Given how important the kitchen is, it is only right that it should be kept as neat and clean as possible. This means keeping electric appliances organized and making sure that cooking ingredients and tools are stored in sanitary containers. However, there are times when your kitchen would need a much deeper clean. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Preparing for Deep Cleaning
Unlike your regular cleaning tasks, a deep clean requires much more time and effort. As such, to make this chore easier, it is important to properly prepare for it. Before starting your deep cleaning, survey your kitchen first and identify spots that would require much work. Make sure to look inside your cabinets and other hidden areas in your kitchen to check for mold infestation. This is particularly important if your kitchen does not have good ventilation or if you’ve had to deal with water damage recently.
Once you’ve done your preliminary check, prepare your cleaning materials. You would need sponges, cleaning cloths, an all-purpose cleaner, dish soap or a mild cleaner, a broom or a mop, and a vacuum with attachment. If your preliminary inspection determines that you would also need to clean the top of your fridge and kitchen cabinets, you’ll need to have a step ladder to safely clean these areas. You might also need to prepare trash bags and a separate box for items that can still be recycled. Finally, as this task can be tedious, it won’t hurt to also prepare some things that can make cleaning more fun, such as a high-energy playlist, a podcast, or an audiobook.
There are a couple of things that you need to remember before you start thoroughly cleaning your kitchen. First, you need to do a pre-cleaning, which involves washing, drying, and putting away dirty dishes, as well as getting rid of any clutter that does not belong in the kitchen. Then, wipe your countertops clean. Once these are done, the second thing that you need to take note of is that you don’t have to turn your entire kitchen upside down just to thoroughly clean it. Instead, it is more feasible to cut your work into segments by focusing on one part of your kitchen at a time.
Organizing experts say that it is ideal to start with your pantry as this is one of the spaces in your kitchen that gets messy fast. Pull out everything from your pantry as this will make it easier for you to reorganize everything you have. Toss away any food item that is expired and set aside anything else that you want to put up for donation. Wipe down your pantry shelves, and then organize everything by grouping similar items together to make them easier to find.
Sanitizing Your Sink
Since this area is primarily used for preparing food and cooking, it is only natural that this space gets dirty frequently. Your kitchen sink can easily accumulate bacteria, especially if you’ve been handling raw meat. In a study of 100 houses, coliforms like E. Coli and Salmonella were found in kitchen sinks, sponges, and dishcloths of 44% of the houses tested. As such, to effectively clean this area, wash it first with soapy water. You can also give your faucet, spray nozzle, and sink strainer some attention as well. You can use an old toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas. Then, rinse everything and wipe them down.
If you have a stainless steel sink that has scratches on it, you can make it look good as new by sprinkling baking soda on your wet sink, then gently scrubbing it with the soft part of your sponge. Wait for these bubbles to fizz away before rinsing it with water. This process will not only sanitize your sink but will buff away any unwanted scratch marks that make your sink look old.
Food in Your Fridge
Once you’re done with your pantry, the next thing that you need to focus on is your fridge. Just like your pantry, your fridge can also get messy quite quickly, especially with all the wet ingredients placed in it. Before you start cleaning your fridge, make sure that it is turned off and unplugged. You might also want to put a towel on your floor in case anything spills. Then, just you did with your pantry, it is ideal to pull everything out and then toss any old or expired food. Once all food items are removed, you can then pull out the shelves and drawers and wipe them carefully to remove any gunk on them. It is ideal to use a water and baking soda solution here to remove bad odors as well.
You can use the same solution to wash the inside of your fridge, making sure to thoroughly wipe all its nooks and crannies, including the door seals and gaskets. Once you’re done with this, wipe the inside of your fridge with a dry cloth. This applies to the bins of your fridge as well, and they should be wiped dry before they are placed back. From here, it’s just a matter of placing your food items back into your fridge, making sure they are organized neatly.
Odds and Ends
Once you’re done cleaning your sink, pantry, and fridge, you can now focus on other odds and ends in your kitchen. Wipe down visible surfaces in your kitchen, including your stove and the knobs of your cabinets. Focus on your countertops again, including backsplashes. Wipe down any decorative pieces in your kitchen, too. Finally, sweep and mop your floors.
It is important to remember that this list is by no means exhaustive. For example, you should also clean your oven and dishwasher, but these might have specific instructions for cleaning, depending on the model that you have at home. Be sure to check those instructions to ensure that you do not damage them in the process of cleaning.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and much of the food we eat is also prepared in it. This makes it important to keep your kitchen as clean as possible. By thoroughly cleaning your kitchen at least four times a year and regularly wiping down all surfaces after using them, you can ensure that your kitchen remains a safe space for your food and your family.