A good friend of mine runs a house cleaning service and one day she suggested I go with her to a high-end home to close the home cleaning contract. My friend knows that I am a clean “freak”, especially in the kitchen and bathroom areas, which is where most of the household germs are commonly found and transferred.
Contrary to what most people think, the germs that cause sickness might be residing in your home. Just imagine the daily stuff you bring home on a daily basis? The environmental dust on your clothes, the dirt from your shoes, the germs lurking on your hands, etc., these are just some of the environmental elements brought home by each occupant of the house.
Since the kitchen is one of the most visited areas of any home, the following tips for cleaning your kitchen should be appropriate. Even if you buy organic food ingredients, the cleanliness of your kitchen would determine the healthiness of the food you cook.
I will assume you do your utmost to keep your kitchen clean on a regular basis, but these tips will be directed at the ways you can reach and eliminate the dirt that might be hidden out of sight. First, unplug your refrigerator to give the ice in the freezer enough time to become water.
If you have many occupants in your home I suggest you do the kitchen cleaning duty on a day everyone is home. By seeking the assistance of all that contributed to the mess, chances are the cleanliness of the kitchen would be maintained for a very long time.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – Initial Steps
Before embarking on heavy duty kitchen cleaning, you should dust off the countertop and major appliances. Next, fill your kitchen sink with lukewarm water and add a good cleaning solution. The kitchen cleaner should be one that can be used on all types of surfaces.
Despite your desire to clean your kitchen fast, it is crucial you approach the task in a methodical way. The kitchen sink should be the last item you clean. Second to the last, would be the stove and microwave oven.
It is better to start with a cleaner for kitchen cabinets. The goal is to eliminate the germs found in the cabinets and kitchen surfaces, including the floor.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – The Cabinets
The initial step is to remove all the contents of the cabinet before commencing the cleaning routine. Wipe down each item your remove using a washcloth and a disinfectant water solution. The food items that are stale or outdated should be thrown out into the garbage can.
Once all the food products are removed, do not be alarmed at the junk stuff you find inside your kitchen cabinet. You should inspect the dirt for roach or mice droppings. If you have a rodent infestation, you probably will see them scurrying away as you remove the foodstuff.
Kitchen cabinets with roach infestation can be handled two ways; you can get professional help from a reliable exterminator, or you can use roach spray to eliminate the bugs. Whichever way you choose, be aware that it is your lack of cleanliness that attracted the bugs in the first place.
Create two buckets of water. One with ample addition of disinfectant solution and the other with just water. The solution in the first bucket should be what you apply initially. Hopefully, you have two sets of cleaning cloth or sponges to do the kitchen cabinet cleaning right.
Since most kitchen cabinets are full of dirt, you should use a small vacuum cleaner to remove the obvious dirt particles before applying the disinfectant solution. Spray the solution towards the sides of the cabinet, which means you might need a stepping stool or ladder to reach deep inside.
If your cabinet is made out of fine wood, you might have to apply a wood cleaner after using the cleaning solutions to help preserve its pristine condition.
Do not forget to reach to the top of the kitchen cabinets if it is designed that way. The top section of any cabinet found in the kitchen accumulates more dust and oil residue than most people realize. Do not be surprised if you find the top to be filled with grease and black gunk.
If your kitchen cabinet setup does not have this kind of design, consider yourself lucky. After the cleaning of the cabinets, the next step is to arrange the food stuff back into it.
Use this as an opportune time to restructure the way you store your food ingredients inside the cabinets. Food items that might cause droppings should be put inside a zip-lock bag. Not only will it cut down on the dirt, it will also eliminate the food source for the roaches.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – The Refrigerator
The refrigerator is probably the most touched kitchen appliance for obvious reasons, it is where the food and water can be found. Just imagine this scenario, you used your hands to open the door at the fast food joint, you touched the bathroom door at the same restaurant, you touched the seat at the office, you touched your dirty money, etc.
All those activities involved the transfer of germs, and you bring millions of them home on a daily basis. Before commencing the cleaning of your refrigerator, you need to change the disinfectant solution, including the clean water used to clean the cabinets.
I would suggest you thoroughly clean the washcloth or get new ones. I would also suggest you unplug the large kitchen appliance to eliminate the chances of even getting shocked by electricity. Remove all the items inside the refrigerator, while throwing away spoiled or expired food ingredients.
Also, remove the shelves inside the refrigerator and keep them inside a soapy warm water created inside your kitchen sink. Start by first cleaning out your freezer. This is usually the place where you keep animal flesh and other perishable food items, so do not be surprised at the smell or what you might find once the ice is cleared out.
Apply the same two-step cleaning process like we did with the kitchen cabinets. From my experience, the right disinfectant to use for cleaning the inside of your refrigerator is concentrated pine-sol added to water. The smell of pine-sol is always exciting and conveys cleanliness more than any other disinfectant that I have tried in the past.
After cleaning the inside of the refrigerator, now move to the outside, including the sides. If your fridge can be moved, I suggest you pull it out and also take a look at the back of it. Once you pull out your fridge what you find underneath might surprise you.
It is not uncommon to find small pieces of fish, meat, cheese, cookies, bread, or other food ingredients. Vacuum up all the dirt for now, but your attention should be directed towards the back of the appliance. Based on your kitchen design and your cleanliness, the back of your fridge might be clogged up with dust and dirt.
A powerful vacuum cleaner should be used to remove the dirt and dust in the back. Please try not to spray the cleaning solution on the condenser or coils.
The condenser and cooling coils will be even dirtier if you have house pets living with you. Most problems with refrigerators can be traced to the dirt found in the back of the appliance. It is also true that a clean refrigerator will use less energy, which means a reduction in your electric bills over time.
If the fridge is in a tight space and requires great effort to pull out, you might as well go ahead and thoroughly clean that section of the floor that it is standing on. Now, put the fridge back in place and plug the power back on before installing the clean shelves back into their rightful places.
Go through each shelve from the refrigerator and give it a thorough cleaning. Some might be made out of glass, so handle with utmost care. If you’ve cleaned the fridge the right way you would notice it makes less noise and the different compartments would start keeping the right temperatures.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – The Dishwasher
Another heavily used kitchen appliance is the dishwasher. Unless you’re constantly disinfecting your dishwasher on a regular basis, you’re actually creating more germs with every use. When you consider that most households use the dishwasher the wrong way, by not scrapping off enough of the food particles and utilizing the wrong type of detergent.
Personally, I dislike using dishwashers, as it will not really save you time, but encourages filth and dirty living on a larger scale. My motto is to always wash the dishes and pots after each use, and it worked brilliantly in my household.
The hard water from your tap will cause calcium stains inside your dishwasher. Over time, mold will also develop inside. The most effective way to restore your dishwasher to optimum health is to run it with a disinfectant solution or dishwasher cleaner.
Check the outlet where the tiny food particles and water are supposed to be eliminated through and make sure they’re not clogged up. You might have to use a bright flashlight to adequately examine all the nooks and crannies of your kitchen dishwasher.
It might also help to find the owner’s manual and go through the suggested cleaning steps to keep the unit running effectively.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – Stoves
Depending on your cooking habits, the stove in the kitchen is just as heavily utilized as the fridge. While it is better to thoroughly clean the stove after each use, most people ignore this basic rule and now you have a huge mess to scrub off.
The most annoying aspect of cleaning any kitchen stove is the removal of old grease and gunk that have accumulated over a long period of time. A friend that shall remain nameless, have one of those old-fashion stoves with years of cooking grease piled on it.
She jokingly claimed it provides the right flavor for her foods, and she wonders why most of her guest prefer not to touch her cooking. The only right way to remove the years of grease is the use of the right cleaning solution and elbow grease.
Thanks to my mother, I learned the value of clean as you go concept, and it has made my life much easier. I instilled the same traits into my kids. Contrary to what some might think, cleanliness is a learned habit, just like saving money for a rainy day.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – Microwave Oven
Every household in America contains at least one microwave oven, and it accumulates much dirt just like the dishwasher and refrigerator. It is not my job to let you know that cooking with a microwave oven is dangerous to your long-term health, but here is a great article if you care to know more.
You need to first unplug the small appliance and then take out any of the parts that can be removed. You should start your scrubbing from inside the top of the microwave oven. The amount of gunk will be based on how often you thoroughly clean the small kitchen appliance.
The removable parts should be individually washed in the kitchen sink. Make sure that you do not introduce water into the tiny holes found inside the appliance. After cleaning, let it rest for an hour or two before plugging it back into the electrical outlet.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – Other Small Kitchen Appliances
Next on your kitchen cleaning to do list are the small appliances like a coffee maker and grinder, electric can opener, toaster, blender, rice cooker, Food processor, food mixer, electric grill, slow cooker, deep fryer, and milk frother for beverages.
The same cleaning methods mentioned above should be applied to each kitchen utility tool. After going through this arduous task of cleaning the grime and dirt from your kitchen appliances, you should consider implementing the clean after each use rule.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – The Floor
If you have done your cleaning duty right, by now your kitchen floor should be wet and maybe filled with dirt. Hopefully, you have a mop bucket system to use to thoroughly clean your kitchen floor. Create a solution of hot water and pine-sol and you’re going to mop the kitchen floor twice.
The first time is just to get all the dirt and grime off the floor. Pour the water out and make a new one with less soap and more pine. After going through the kitchen floor the second time, give it a few minutes to completely dry before cleaning the kitchen sink.
The ideal place to empty the dirty water is inside the toilet, not your kitchen sink, but do not empty the last one just yet for you’ll be needing it after cleaning the sink.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen – The Sink
Finally, it is time to thoroughly clean the germs from the kitchen sink. I hope you practice clean living, for I know of a few parents that spit and wash dirty clothes inside the kitchen sink. My kids told me surprising stories from visiting friend’s houses, and some of the tales might shock you.
I would suggest you use different types of detergents or cleaning solutions until all the dirt are gone. Depending on how dirty your kitchen sink is, it might require you spend many minutes scrubbing away at the accumulated grime.
By now you might be experiencing pains in body parts that shall remain nameless. Take a final look around your kitchen for you’ve done an excellent job at removing most of the germs that might affect your health negatively.
In fact, I would suggest you take a selfie and get a large picture printed to post on one of your kitchen cabinet doors, as a remembrance of the awesome cleaning job you did. The kitchen dirt you just eliminated will come roaring back unless you develop a system of cleaning up after the mess is created.