A never-ending trail of crumbs, mystery spillages splattered all over the place, and clearing out food that’s so far past its best before date it’s practically Jurassic. We know cleaning the kitchen is never fun, especially if it’s someone else’s mess you’re having to take care of, but it’s a good idea to stay on top of it – unless you’re fine with you and your flatmates making food surrounded by dirt and mess, of course.
If your kitchen cleaning habits took a bit of a nosedive towards the end of last year, then we’re here to help with a guide to cleaning your kitchen that’s going to have things looking as good as new.
Before you begin cleaning, you need to make sure you’re equipped with the right supplies for the job. An all-purpose spray will take care of your countertops, sink and hob, but make sure it’s something natural and non-toxic; you’ll be using it on surfaces where your food is prepped, after all. Such cleaning sprays are good for the environment, safe to inhale, and won’t cause any irritation, rashes or burns.
Make sure you’ve got the other necessary cleaning fluids, along with mops, brushes, scourers, bin bags and kitchen towels too. At this point, you might want to apply the cleaner to your hob and oven so you can leave them to work while cracking on with your jobs – we’ll go into more detail on this later.
To make the cleaning process easier, it’s a good idea to throw out any clutter and old food you won’t have any use for. It’s a new year, so it’s good to make a fresh start on things and have a proper de-clutter ahead of the next 12 months.
Go through your fridge and throw out any mouldy cheese, gone-off vegetables, old leftovers, and anything else that’s seen better days. In your cupboards, do the same thing, getting rid of any soups, canned goods, and condiments that have expired.
Likewise, if there are any kitchen utensils or gadgets that you haven’t used – and don’t see yourself using anytime soon – then now’s the time to throw them away or donate them to someone who does have a use for them.
It’s a good idea to fully empty your fridge and cupboards and place what you’re keeping in a separate box for the time being, while you take care of the below steps too.
Now that your cupboards are empty, vacuum any crumbs and spilled sugar if you can, or just sweep them onto the floor. Don’t worry about the extra mess, we’ll be cleaning this last.
Next, take a cloth dipped in hot, soapy water and wipe down any sticky jars, cans and shelves. Take a microfibre cloth and wipe things down once more. If the cupboard doors themselves are greasy, then wipe them down with a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water.
Once your cupboards are clean and dry once again, it’s time to get strategic about placement when re-stocking them. This will make organising and keeping things tidy much easier. Group your snacks together, keep jarred sauces with each other, and put your cans in the same spot as each other.
Once you’ve emptied the fridge of its contents, remove the shelves and plastic draws to make getting into those hard-to-reach spaces a little easier. If they’re dirty, let them soak in the sink with some hot water and baking soda while you clean the rest of the fridge.
Wipe down the walls of the fridge using a sponge, and plenty of hot, soapy water. Wipe down with paper towels to dry and then place everything back as it was.
Your kitchen’s hob is an epicentre of dried on gunk and grease, so whether it’s an electric hob or a more traditional gas one, you’ll need some sort of degreaser. Apply the degreaser to affected areas, let them soak for a few minutes, then wipe down with a wet sponge to make sure no residue remains.
You might need a non-scratch scouring pad to take care of the tougher, more troublesome stains, so make sure you have one to hand.
The oven tends to be one of the dirtiest appliances in your kitchen since its interior is out of sight and unlikely to be cleaned frequently. However, a proper look inside shows that they’re usually full of caked-on dirt and grease.
Luckily, there are special cleaners you can buy, such as those from Oven Pride, that refresh your oven’s interior and get it looking clean once more. They even have bags for racks that you can soak them in to leave them shiny and grime-free afterwards. That’s why we mentioned doing these first; you can let the special cleaning solution get to work while you take of other tasks in the kitchen.
An all-purpose spray suitable for your kitchen tops can take care of any spills and dirt that have accumulated here. Leave it on for a few minutes before wiping everything away.
After cleaning everything else in your kitchen, the floor has probably gathered the crumbs and mess you’ve swept away from your cupboards, fridge and hob. That’s why it’s a good idea to leave it until last.
After giving it a good sweep, take care of any stains with a mop and some warm, soapy water. Take it easy with the water, you don’t want to be waiting ages for it to dry, but you’ll need enough to get it looking clean again.
The more you take care of your kitchen, the less often you’ll have to do these time-consuming deep cleans. It’s a good idea, then, to keep some sort of routine or schedule to maintain good kitchen habits throughout the year. Instead of leaving it all to do in one go, try the following to stay on top of things:
Get your flatmates involved too. Put some music on, assign each other tasks, and your kitchen will be a cleaner, safer place to prepare your food and hang out in no time at all.
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