As summer comes to a close and families start prepping their houses for cooler weather, no room requires more of a deep clean and complete refresh than your kitchen. Here are 15 ways to ensure your cleaning efforts result in a sparkling, organized kitchen.
Wondering how to clean an oven? If you want to give it a deep cleanse, here’s an effective, non-toxic way to do it: mix a box of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste. Fill any openings in the oven with foil and spread this paste all over the inside of the oven and let sit overnight. The next day, use a plastic spatula to scrape off the paste and then rinse. Then stand back and try not to be blinded by the gleam coming from the inside of your oven.
Oven Hoods and Filters
Wipe down your oven hood with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe, wipe, wipe with a microfibre cloth until it’s clean and grease-free. Then, remove the filters, place them in the bathtub filled with a few inches of scalding hot water and sprinkle them with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Let them soak for a few minutes before removing so you can scrub them lightly with a soft-bristled brush and rinse. Make sure filters are completely dry before you put them back in the hood.
To clean greasy stovetop burners, remove them and place inside a resealable Ziploc-style plastic bag, pour in 1/4 cup of ammonia and seal. Let the sealed burners sit overnight. The next day, remove the burners from the bags and dunk in a sink full of soapy water. Give them a wipe and then rinse and they’ll be clean and grease-free with no scrubbing required.
Sink and Garbage Disposal
Using a paste made from baking soda and water, generously wipe all over to clean a stainless steel sink. Let sit for a few minutes and scrub with a damp sponge and rinse, which will make the sink shine. If you have a garbage disposal, throw in a couple of ice cubes and a quartered lemon, which will clean the blades and squelch any odours.
After vacuuming or sweeping the floors, now’s the time to give floors a wet mop, ensuring you get in those hard-to-reach corners. Take your time and focus on getting at areas that you’re likely to gloss over during your regular cleaning regime.
Wipe down small appliances with soapy water, but spend a little extra time on the toaster. Don’t forget to clean out the crumb trap (make sure to do it over the sink or garbage container so you don’t dump the bits all over the place). Rinse the crumb trap with warm, soapy water and use a pastry brush to clean the inside of the toaster, dislodging any crumbs that might be trapped inside. If your toaster is stainless steel, wipe it down with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar for a gleaming shine.
You’ll want to vacuum the sills, sashes and frames and give them a good wipe down before tackling the windows, as any window cleaner that drips down will create a mess. When cleaning windows, some people swear by using newspaper to clean, but microfibre cloths will likely provide better results, leaving glass shiny and free of streaks.
You should be giving your refrigerator a deep clean twice a year, but beware of using chemical-based cleaning products on the inside of the fridge, as they can leave behind scents that can be absorbed by food. After removing all the food and emptying the shelves, fill a bathtub with about six to eight inches of warm water and add a box of baking soda. Let the shelves and drawers sit for 15 minutes and then rinse and dry. Wipe down the inside of the fridge with a mixture of baking soda and water, then rinse. To get at small crevices in the door seals, use a cotton swab dipped in soapy water and dry with a towel.
Ceilings and Walls
Use this time as an opportunity to really clean the walls and ceilings of your kitchen — and don’t forget such things as air vents, doorknobs, doors and switch plates. Get in there and scrub, ensuring you remove any grease, grime and spilled food you may not have realized was still clinging to surfaces. If you have a ceiling fan, now’s the time to wipe down the blades with soapy water as well.
Countertops and Backsplashes
The countertops and backsplashes tend to take a beating in most kitchens, so seize the opportunity to clean, buff and polish yours. What you use to clean with will be dictated by the material. Marble, for example, responds well to warm, soapy water, but don’t use anything abrasive or anything that contains lemon juice or acid. Scrub away to your heart’s content until the countertops and backsplash shine.
It’s easy to get so caught up in your cleaning duties that you forget about light fixtures, which are probably dustier and greasier than you may have realized. If the fixtures have glass domes or pendants that can be removed, soak them in a sink full of warm, soapy water and gently wipe with a sponge. Resist the temptation to throw them in the dishwasher, which could cause the glass to break. Looking for some decor inspiration?
To give your dishwasher a deep clean, remove the racks and use a toothpick to clean out any grunge that may have built up within the holes in the spinning arms. Scrub the grate where the water drains. If there’s a removable filter, take that out and soak in warm, soapy water. Run the machine, empty, on a hot water cycle, which will remove any stains and lingering odours.
To give your wooden cutting boards a deep clean, cut a lemon in half, sprinkle on a generous heap of kosher salt and scrub with the lemon. This will remove any grease and grime without damaging the wood. Rinse with water and when dry, apply a little oil (canola is recommended) with a paper towel and rub it in.
Give the interior of your microwave a deep clean by using the power of the microwave itself. Fill a bowl with water, cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the water and add the lemons. Microwave on high for three minutes and let sit for five more minutes. Then wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge, with any caked-on gunk sliding right off. Find more quick and easy hacks to clean your microwave in minutes.
Clean out your kitchen drawers and cabinets and use the opportunity to do any culling that may be necessary (say, that bag of rice that’s been in the back of the cabinet for longer than you can remember). Scrub down the shelves and walls, as well as the cabinet doors, inside and out, with warm soapy water and clean fingerprints off any glass doors.