How to clean your kitchen thoroughly
Knowing how to properly clean a kitchen is very important. After all, it’s one of the most commonly used rooms in the house, which means that it gets dirty every day. In general, it’s best to do a light cleaning every day, and a more thorough one once a week.
Where to start
This depends on the person’s preference, although it’s best to start with cupboards and other cabinets, followed by electrical appliances and assorted surfaces, like cooktops and counters. Last, you should sweep and wash the floor. Make sure to always use gloves to protect your hands.
Cupboards and cabinets: These tend to gather crumbs and scraps of food, especially powders like sugar, salt, coffee, etc. Once a month, you should clean your cupboards and cabinets thoroughly to prevent insects from infesting your kitchen. Empty them completely, remove the shelves (if possible), and scrub all surfaces with a damp washcloth. Rinse them and let them dry. Make sure that everything is completely dry before replacing any items. While you do this, check all canned items for their expiration date. Discard any expired foods and clean those that are still fresh with a damp washcloth to prevent them from accumulating grease. Also, make sure that the base of each container is fully dry before replacing it in the cupboard, to avoid damaging it with water.
Kitchen appliances: To properly clean any kitchen, it’s necessary to clean all appliances, although particularly those that are used the most, like the refrigerator, stove, microwave, and even the oven.
- Refrigerator: First and foremost, remove all foods from the refrigerator. Once this is done, begin by cleaning the crisper drawer. Empty it and wash it thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Continue with the meat drawer, washing it in the same way as the crisper drawer. If there are any other drawers in the fridge, remove them and wash them, as well. Finally, clean the freezer. In order to do this, turn off the refrigerator and let any ice remnants thaw out. Wash everything with warm water and soap.
Some extra tips: You can make an amazing cleaning solution out of water and baking soda; just mix a tablespoon of baking soda per cup of water. White vinegar is also a great alternative. Also, to keep bad odors at bay, you can put a wedge of lemon in a plate and place that in the fridge.
- Stove: The process of cleaning a stove can differ depending on the material its cooktop is made of. Usually, there are two kinds of cooktops; gas and glass-ceramic. For gas cooktops, remove the burners and their caps, and then clean the area thoroughly with a kitchen degreaser or warm water and soap. Make sure that the burners are cold before you do this. After cleaning everything, replace the burners. For glass-ceramic cooktops, you must use special cleaning products, which you can find at any supermarket or convenience store. Before applying any product, however, you must remove any debris from the ceramic surface with a special scraper. Make sure that the cooktop is completely cold before cleaning it. Also, if you spill milk, sugar or similar substances onto the cooktop, remove them immediately with a scraper. Never let them settle.
Some extra tips: In some cases, you can clean glass-ceramic cooktops with ammonia or detergent. Let them rest on the ceramic surface for an hour, then rinse and dry with a washcloth.
- Microwave: Start by soaking a washcloth in warm water and soap, then scrub both the inside and the outside of the microwave with it. If there are any hard-to-remove stains, use a solution of water and baking soda instead.
Some extra tips: You can soften grease spots by putting lemon juice in a container and heating it until it releases vapor.
- Oven: Make sure that the oven is completely cold before cleaning it, and remove all foods and debris from inside the appliance. Soften any scraps of food with a damp dishcloth and remove them. Use paper towels to remove the accumulated grease. Finally, scrub the entire interior and the door with a cloth soaked in warm water and dish soap. Rinse until it shines and then dry.
Some extra tips: For a more ‘eco-friendly’ approach, use baking soda instead of a commercial cleaning solution. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda per cup of water, and use a spray bottle to spread the solution out through the oven’s interior. Let it rest for 12 hours. To remove the solution, use a sponge soaked in white vinegar. Then, rinse the oven’s interior with a damp washcloth and turn on the oven at a temperature of 302 ºF (150 ºC) for 15 minutes to dry it.
- Other appliances: In the case of blenders, food processors and the like, remove all detachable parts. Clean them as if you would any kitchen utensil; wash them with warm water and soap in the sink, rinse them, and let them dry in a rack. Then, clean both the interior and exterior surfaces of the appliance, making sure not to touch the motor at any time. In general, it’s best to clean these appliances soon after use, to avoid food scraps and debris from sticking to their surfaces.
Surfaces: Kitchen surfaces consist mostly of counters and tables. It’s very important to clean them every day, because it’s these surfaces that accumulate the most bacteria. While you can use an antibacterial cleaning product to clean them, warm water and soap will be more than enough. Remove all crumbs, food scraps and debris with a damp sponge, and then spray the entire surface with a multipurpose cleaner. However, there are a few specific things that you have to keep in mind when cleaning a counter.
- Marble counters are very delicate and they have a porous surface, so you have to wash, rinse and dry them quickly, so that water does not penetrate them.
- Wood counters, which can be made of maple, teak or mahogany, must be cleaned once a year with teak or rapeseed oil, rubbing it along the grain of the wood.
- Plastic laminate counters can be cleaned with water and a teaspoon of baking soda, then rinsed and dried.
Floor: Leaving the best for last, it’s time to clean your kitchen floor. Depending on the material that it’s made of, you will require different cleaning products. Once you have purchased the most adequate cleaning product for your floor, you can begin. First, sweep the kitchen to remove all dust and scraps that might have fallen onto the floor after cleaning everything else. Then, fill half a bucket with warm water and add the recommended amount of cleaner listed in the package. Scrub the floors with a cloth soaked in the cleaning solution, making long, oval-like movements. Repeat this step until you have cleaned the entire floor surface. If the cleaning solution must be rinsed, empty the bucket, fill it with cold water and scrub the floor once more.
You have finished! Hopefully these tips will help you keep your kitchen spotless!