A Full Guide To Cleaning the Kitchen
What's the best way to clean your kitchen, and what's the easiest way to keep it that way? Read on for our handy cleaning kitchen checklists.
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If the kitchen is the heart of the home, a clean kitchen is like a healthy heart. And like that heart, it takes some effort to keep your kitchen clean.
So what’s the best and easiest way to clean and keep it that way? I teamed up with my longtime friend, Becky Rapinchuk, the natural-cleaning expert behind the Clean Mama website, to answer those questions.
How Often Should You Clean Your Kitchen?
That depends on how frequently you use it. We recommend following the Kitchen Cleanup Checklist below every time you cook. Then do the Weekly Cleaning Tasks and Deep Cleaning Tasks as needed.
Kitchen Cleaning Supplies
Start by gathering the following supplies:
- Cleaning sprays. Purchase products appropriate for stainless steel and glass surfaces. For stone countertops, follow your manufacturer’s guidelines or try Rapinchuk’s DIY countertop spray, good for stone counters and stove tops.
- A scrubbing agent like soft scrubbing cleanser, baking soda or Clean Mama’s Sink Scrub. A microfiber cleaning cloth with a scrubbing side removes hardened drips and spills without scratching surfaces.
- Dish soap and/or Castile soap.
- Vacuum cleaner and/or mini-vacuum.
- Microfiber mop with telescoping handle to dust and wash floors and walls.
- Telescoping microfiber duster with attachments for cobwebs and ceiling fans.
- Dish cloths, dish towels and/or microfiber cleaning cloths.
- Pan scraper.
- Lemon juice (fresh or bottled).
- Baking soda.
- White vinegar.
- Large brushes for dishes and the garbage disposal, and detail brushes for appliances, grout and stove tops.
Kitchen Cleanup Checklist
Use the checklist below to tidy up every time you use your kitchen. The steps will vary depending on the complexity of what you’re cooking or baking.
- Clear the eating area if it’s part of the kitchen.
- Put away cooking ingredients and store leftovers.
- Load the dishwasher. If it has a rinse cycle or it’s ready to run, scrape off excess food before loading. Or rinse with a dish brush and water.
- Hand wash dishes, pots, pans and other items if you lack a dishwasher, or if you’ve got non-stick pans that aren’t dishwasher safe.
- Clean the table and countertops. Use a cloth dampened with water or an appropriate spray to wipe surfaces, catching crumbs in your hand.
- Wipe up spills on the stove, microwave and refrigerator with the appropriate cleaners and/or cleaning cloths. If needed, remove the microwave tray and give it a quick wash with soapy water and your dish brush.
- Sweep or vacuum crumbs off the floor and wipe up any spills.
- Drain the sink and give it a final rinse.
- Clean the faucet, handles and sink with a cleaning spray and dry cloth.
- Once dishes are clean and dry, put them away so you have a clean slate next time you’re ready to cook.
Weekly Kitchen Cleaning Tasks
Each week as part of your regular cleaning routine, check the following areas and do the needed tasks. If you’ve been following the Kitchen Cleanup Checklist regularly, you might check off some items without lifting a finger. (Nice work!)
Dust light futures, the top of the refrigerator, ceiling fan blades, open shelving, window sills, blinds and any other surfaces with an appropriate microfiber duster. Also be sure to do a quick check for cobwebs. Oh, and when was the last time you cleaned your duster?
Check doors and hardware. Wipe away any spots with a microfiber cloth barely dampened with dish soap and water.
Counters and backsplash
Move appliances and other countertop items out of the way, working in sections. Spray the countertop and backsplash and wipe dry with a cloth. Clean countertop items like appliances and canisters with an appropriate spray and cloth.
Fill a microwave-safe dish with about a cup of water and a little lemon juice. Turn on the microwave for a minute or two until it fills with steam and loosens any baked-on food. Wipe it down inside and out with the appropriate spray and a microfiber cloth.
Stove and range hood
For a gas stove, put burners and grates in the dishwasher and clean the top of your stove. Use a scrubbing microfiber cloth to remove hardened bits of food for gas and electric stove tops. Clean the range hood and filter.
Do a quick inventory. Remove any food past its prime and wipe up any spills with a damp cloth. Finish by giving the outside a quick wipe with your refrigerator spray.
Wipe down the front, the sides of the door and the handle.
Clean the floor
Start by vacuuming the floor and baseboards to remove crumbs, pet hair and dust. When done, run your microfiber mop head under tap water and wring out the excess. Attach the mop head to the handle and clean the floor. Use a pan scraper to remove food or dirt that doesn’t come up easily.
Clean the sink
Scrub your sink with your cleanser and a cleaning cloth. Clean the faucet, handles and sink with a multipurpose or disinfecting spray and a dry cloth.
Kitchen Deep Cleaning Tasks
These can be done as needed.
- Dust all surfaces.
- Wash walls, baseboards and doors with warm water, Castile soap and a microfiber cloth.
- Wash light fixtures and/or ceiling fan blades with dish soap, water and a microfiber cloth.
- Wash window treatments following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Declutter kitchen cabinets and drawers and organize the pantry.
- Wash cabinets and drawers with Castile soap, warm water and a microfiber cloth.
- Clean your sink sprayer by soaking it in white vinegar.
- Deep clean the garbage disposal with 1/4-cup baking soda, 1/4-cup lemon juice and a garbage disposal brush.
- Organize and clean your refrigerator and freezer. Be sure to clean the coils and underneath with your vacuum cleaner or microfiber duster.
- Deep clean the dishwasher by running a quick cycle with a cup of vinegar.
- Deep clean inside, outside and underneath the oven and stove.
- Seal granite countertops and grout as needed, following manufacturer’s instructions.