For many of us, the kitchen is the hub of daily life. It’s where we make that first cup of coffee, prepare the foods that nourish our families and pour that glass of wine to celebrate the end of the day. Reviving the kitchen with a good spring cleaning will contribute to not just your home’s aesthetic, but to its overall function, too. It might seem like a big job at first, but it’s easy to tackle over the weekend if you break it down into 15- to 20-minute chunks. Here’s Artizone’s guide to getting clean.
Start with a quick-and-dirty cleanup. First, clean up your kitchen like you would on any normal day. Slap on your housekeeping gloves and fill up the sink with hot, soapy water. Scrape any dirty dishes into the disposal or the trash, then put them into the water for a good soak. Put the most heavily soiled dishes in the bottom. Large items such as pots and pans can be filled with water and put on the counter to soak.
While the dishwater is working its magic, take a minute to run through the kitchen and clear trash from the floor, countertops and cupboards. Next, gather up items that don’t belong in the kitchen and place them in a basket. Don’t worry about putting them in their proper place elsewhere in the house; hand them off to a helper and keep your eyes on the prize: a clean kitchen.
Put away misplaced kitchen items, but don’t worry about reorganizing the cabinets and drawers just yet. Load and run the dishwasher and then hand-wash anything that remains. Wipe down the countertops, appliances and the sink and you’re good… for now.
The great dust-up. Ready to tackle the next set of tasks? Good. Now it’s time to sweep and mop or vacuum the kitchen and take out the trash. Use the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner to dust the ceiling and wall corners. You might need to wash or spot-clean the walls, especially if you have children or pets. Wipe down air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates and light fixtures. Pay special attention to places that tend to fall victim to goopy hands, like the microwave, fridge and hand mixer. While you’re at it, you might take a microfiber cloth and dust any artwork or photos you have hanging in the kitchen.
Tackle those appliances. This next step involves some heavy cleaners, so you’ll want to start by opening the windows for ventilation. Following the instructions on the back, spray oven cleaner into the oven. While the cleaner eats away at the oven grime, move over to the fridge and take everything out, tossing anything past its expiration date. Wipe down the shelves and drawers and return what you’re keeping to its rightful place. Then, wipe down the toaster, blender and other small appliances. For stubborn microwave spills, bring a glass filled with water to a boil in the microwave; the steam should help loosen the gunk.
Let there be light. Sorry, but if you’ve got ‘em, then you’re in no position to say “I don’t do windows.” Don’t worry, though; they’re not really that hard. First, use your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to clean out windowsills and corners. Next, wash the insides and outsides of the windows with glass cleaner. Take out the screens and rinse them off or replace them, if necessary. There—you’re done. Was that really so bad?
Get organized. Now is the time to clean out the kitchen cabinets. Take everything out and wipe down the shelves, replacing the liners if necessary. As you put everything back, match up containers and lids and toss anything that’s missing a mate. Next, clean out and wipe down the drawers and put flatware back into the appropriate dividers.
Finishing touches. After you’ve emptied the dishwasher, toss in a cup of white vinegar and run it empty. Wash out the sink, pouring baking soda and warm water or a lemon peel down the disposal to freshen the drain.