A Comprehensive Map To Cleaning Your Kitchen

Two roads appeared before me and I took the one less cluttered.

Ahhhh…the kitchen. It’s where we make our 1st meal of each day. It’s where we pack lunches and prepare meals. It’s where we’re caught sneaking midnight snacks. The path to the kitchen is the one most traveled in all our homes. To keep traffic moving freely, follow these steps when cleaning your kitchen.

Cluttered Counters of the Third Kind:

Your countertops are not mailboxes. Nor are they a keyholders or phone chargers. If it doesn’t need to be there, find it a new home or get rid of it.

Highway to the High Spots:
This is common knowledge, and common sense, but start at the top. Use a dusting tool with an extension handle and get the places you can’t reach by hand, like the ceilings, light fixtures and the top of your refrigerator, etc.

A Cabinet in The Woods
After you get the ceiling and other hard to reach places, your higher cabinets are next. Clean out your dishes and other items and vacuum with an appropriate attachment to get as much dust and debris removed as possible. Then wipe down with whatever solution is safe and that makes you comfortable. White-vinegar cleaning solutions mixed with essential oils are greatly effective but not all surfaces can handle them. Make sure you know what you are cleaning before you apply any solutions.
Next, clean your backsplash, hanging microwave and anything else above waist level.

Your Crisper Is Not A Petri Dish:
Your refrigerator should be cleaned out regularly. Food starts to develop mold and bacteria way before we notice it. Crisper and meat drawers are especially susceptible to germs and unseen leaks can collect in corners and become virtual breeding grounds for sickness.

It’s a hassle but it has to be done. Take out all the food from your fridge. If it’s expired or even starts to have a funny odor, throw it out. You can’t really run a vacuum cleaner to suck up food debris so you have to pick up larger pieces by hand as best you can. You can, however, attach a nylon stocking tightly around the end of your hose extension and suck up food debris that way. You have to be extra sure the food is not wet and that no liquid will go into your machine. The nylon won’t stop the suction power but it will trap the food to it and prevent it from going into your hose.

Drawers and trays should be soaked in hot, soapy water and sprayed down with a white vinegar/disinfecting solution right after. Let them air dry completely or dry them thoroughly with a towel and/or hairdryer on low heat before replacing them.

Door To Door:
The fridge door gets touched by everyone in the house at some point each day. The dishwasher and stove doors are not far behind, either. White vinegar is a great way to clean all of these doors. Avoid using vinegar on stone or marble surfaces and always remember to clean your handles, knobs and buttons thoroughly.

Double Down On Dishes:
Fill up the sink(s) with soapy, hot water and add whatever fits and needs to be soaked. Your crisper drawers, that dish rack that’s developed a mildew issue, the microwave tray and rotation device all can be submerged.
After the water has cooled down to room temperature, take the soaked items and put them in your dishwasher. And, leave the sink full for a bit longer…

Small Appliances Get Big Attention Too:

There are lots of little, working parts to your coffee maker, toaster, blender and more. Drip trays, the lid to the coffee pot, detachable crumb catchers from your toaster, all can be placed into the soapy water still left in your sink. Wash them all and rinse with hot water – as hot as you can stand it – to kill off any remaining germs.

Microwave Your Microwave:

Fill a microwave safe dish with white vinegar and water. You can add lemon slices or essential oils as well. Heat it up on high for a few minutes or until boiling. Let the steam fill up the inside of the unit and stay in there until it disappears. Next, wipe the microwave down as normal. This solution helps break up grease, oil and splashes that collected along the sides, top and bottom of your unit.

Sterilizing Stove Tops
Food happens. To keep your stovetops clean and working better for longer, follow these steps:

1. With a dry cloth, brush off any food or debris.

2. Wipe down the stovetop with a moist cloth and hot water.

3. Turn on the burners and pour a moderate amount of white vinegar onto the range.

4. Turn off the heat and sprinkle baking soda all around, on top of the vinegar

5. Let the solution bubble and fizz for a few minutes

6. When the range is cool, wipe down as usual with Dawn and hot water; rinse off carefully and dry completely

Now you can scrub your counters. Push all debris in to the sink. If anything falls on the floor, leave it because you’ll be cleaning that soon using this useful article. Don’t use vinegar on stone or marble surfaces. For regular countertops I love adding lemon-infused essential oils.

Sink Or Swim:
This might be the only occasion where you want to choose “sink.” Drain the water from the sink. Coat it with vinegar and like with the stovetop, dump baking soda all over it. Let it fizzle and break up grease and grime, then rinse with boiling water. Always remember to get your faucets and handles, too!

You Are Now Free To Clean About Your Lower Cabinets:
Follow the same procedure as with the higher cabinets, making sure you remove any and all debris collected in corners.

Finally The Floor:
Use a vacuum cleaner and its appropriate attachments before doing anything else to suck up surplus dirt and debris. Then sweep with a broom if needed, or a Swiffer that attracts dirt hidden in corners. Pull out your appliances and clean behind, around and under them. Mop or dry mop as required based on your floor type. Put up police tape to prevent unwanted footprints on your newly cleaned floors. Or, you know, just tell them to stay out for a while.

Trash Time:
Take out the trash as normal. Only this time, take the trash can/bin outside too. Fill it with hot, soapy water and a cup of white vinegar and baking soda. Let it soak. Rinse with hot water and allow it to dry completely before putting in a new bag or liner. Tossing in a lemon peel helps keep it smelling fresh, too.

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