We are in the middle of spring, even though the weather around here has not quite caught up yet. While mother nature changes her landscape with a fresh palette of color and wonder, many people have also been using this time as an opportunity to change things up a bit on the home front. Beautiful bright and airy colors now adorn the home and the scent of spring is in the air.
But wait… not so fast. Before you start primping and prepping, let’s talk about the kitchen. The place you either love or hate. The place where the family gathers around fragrant smells, hearty meals, warm conversations and full stomachs… the heart of the home. The place where the garbage pail overflows, the dishes pile up and sticky little fingerprints adorn. Wait…don’t tell me that does not happen in your house.
Here are ten shortcuts for cleaning your kitchen in record time.
Wash Dishes on a Daily Basis
Is this worth mentioning? Yes. I think so. If you have a dish washer in your home, empty it at the end of every night or first thing in morning. During the day as dishes, pots, glasses etc are being used, pre-rinse them and load them into the dishwasher and begin you cleaning cycle once full.
Sweep the Floors
Sweep the floors everyday or every other day if you can. If you have a robotic floor cleaner like the O-duster, it will make that task twice as easy.
Wipe Countertops and other work station areas
Spray the countertops with your favorite cleaner before cleaning the dishes. That way, there will not be much “elbow grease” involved when you are ready to clean the countertops. Simply wipe your work areas with a damp rag and you are ready to go!
Change the Trash
Depending on how big your family is, or how “green” your habits are, you may go through quite a bit of trash. Even if you don’t fill a bag of trash everyday, there are times when an unappetizing scent in your kitchen is all you need to signal you that the trash needs to change.
If you are using the stove during the week, then you will need to wipe the stove off of splatter and spills at the end of the day. Doing this daily, will avoid crusty ugly spills that can be a pain to clean up later.
My top trick for keeping the inside of a microwave splatter free on a daily basis is a splatter guard. You can get them from most department stores or just order online. On a weekly basis, fill a microwaveable bowl with water. Add as much dishwashing soap as you like to the water. Heat the water until boiling. The built up steam will soften any food particles in the microwave that may have stuck over the past week. Dip a rag, or towel in the warm water and wipe clean.
I’m talking about the outside of the refrigerator. Wipe smudges and fingerprints clean. Now the inside of the fridge is another task that does not need to be cleaned as often. Perhaps we will tackle that at some other time.
It is inevitable that your kitchen floor would have accumulated foot prints and sticky spots during the week…especially if you have kids. After all, it is the highest trafficked area in the home. I hate getting my hands dirty with traditional mops and pails. Right now we use the Swiffer WetJet Spray, Mop Floor Cleaner Starter Kit (Packaging May Vary)
for quick spills. For a deeper clean, I like steam mops like Shark Steam and Mop Vac – Model MV2010. Absolutely no chemicals required with the steamer mop.
Survey Fridge for Old/Spoiling Foods
First of all, make sure that you keep the fridge at a cool 34°F to 40°F to keep foods fresh longer and slow down bacterial growth. The freezer should be maintained at 0°F. I also use Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Baking Soda (Pack of 4) as a backup to keep things smelling good. Check all packages, veggies, fruits, beverages, leftovers etc on a weekly basis to make sure that food is still good to eat. If not, toss them! The freezer can be checked on a less frequent basis, once every 6 months at least.
Clean Garbage Disposal
As long as you are not storing old food in the disposal and running cold water with every use, then I see no need to clean the disposal more than once a week. I simply put some baking soda down the drain and let it run along with some cool water from the faucet. You could also try putting some citrus peels (lemons, orange, limes) down the disposal for a boost of clean. Turn on the disposal along with some cold water for clean blades and a disposal that is lemony fresh.