How to clean your kitchen: a step by step Guide

Two places that should never be dirty: The kitchen and the bathroom. Of course the rest of the house should be kept clean but the level of cleanliness in these two areas, especially the kitchen, has to be a notch higher.

And because there’s a lot of traffic in the kitchen and it’s used often, it can get dirty fast. You need to find a balance between keeping your kitchen clean and not being OCD which is exhausting.


Why cleaning your kitchen is important

Roaches. Did you grimace? Was it poor etiquette to write that? Well, roaches don’t care about etiquette. Irrespective of which suburb you live in, roaches can access your home if you don’t maintain a clean kitchen. You may maintain a clean home but if you leave a pile of dirty dishes out every night, there’s a high chance that you’ll attract them.

This article could wax lyrical about the benefits of keeping a clean kitchen such as eliminating bacteria, reducing time for food prep, safety from slippery floors, etc, but the fear of having a roach (let’s refer to it as the-bug-that-won’t-be-mentioned throughout the rest of this article) dash past in front of guests should be a compelling enough reason to keep your kitchen clean.

Before you clean your kitchen or have a schedule, you need an arsenal, i.e., kitchen cleaning supplies. Most of the cleaning supplies listed below pocket friendly, green and they’re probably already in your kitchen.

Kitchen cleaning supplies

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Bicarbonate
  • Spray bottle
  • Kitchen cloth
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Sponge cloth
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Brush
  • Essential oils for a pleasant scent
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubber gloves

Kitchen cleaning checklist

1. The dishes

  • Keep a small trash bin or a container near the sink that you can use to clear any bits of food left over, fruit peels or gunk in the sink. This way you don’t have to keep making multiple trips to the main bin, sometimes leaking stuff all over the floor.
  • Dishwashing liquid soap is very good for washing dishes, even oily ones. Fill a sink or basin with water and pour in a few drops of the liquid soap. Use this water to wash the dishes and then rinse them with clean water.
  • When you’re cooking, you can wash the dirty utensils whenever you’re free so that you don’t have a high stack to deal with along with dirty dishes once everyone’s eaten. What’s important is to ensure that there aren’t any dirty dishes, or crumbs lying around which will attract the-bugs-that-we-won’t-mention.
  • Cleaning the few dirty dishes in the sink throughout the day will make sure that you’re not stuck with a huge pile at the end of the day.
  • To clean the sink, use soda bicarbonate to scrub it. Make sure the sink is slightly damp before you scrub it with the bicarbonate. Once you’ve scrubbed and removed the bicarbonate, smear the sink with lemon juice. Add salt to the lemon juice if you’re trying to get rid of rust. Let it sit for a while or you can leave it overnight and then rinse the sink.
  • A good kitchen hack is to have just enough kitchen essentials to cook your meals. This means you’ll be less likely to procrastinate washing the dishes because there’s less clutter and utensils making it easier to clean.

2. The countertops, cooker and dining table

  • In a spray bottle, mix vinegar, water and a teaspoon of dishwashing soap which is the perfect homemade solution for wiping the counter with a sponge cloth.
  • For the cooker and counter, sometimes you may have to spray your homemade solution, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub to get rid of liquids that have dried up. After scrubbing, wipe with a sponge cloth.
  • Wipe the counter when it’s dirty from cutting veggies and other food items on it or when it has stains and in the evenings when you’re cleaning the dishes.
  • The cooker should be cleaned when dirty or at least once a day in the evening if you’ve cooked.
  • The dining table is an extension of the kitchen, so remove the table mats after meals and make it part of your cleaning routine whenever you’ve cleared the dishes from the table.

3. The kitchen floor

  • Always sweep the floor before you mop it. This makes it easier and quicker to mop.
  • Mop at least once a day and whenever you make the floor dirty.
  • You can mix a few drops of vinegar and three drops of dish washing liquid soap to wipe the floor. If you want your kitchen to have a pleasant scent then add a few drops of essential oils such as vanilla, orange or peppermint.
  • Move the oven and fridge to clean those areas so that grime doesn’t collect there.
  • Mops need to be cleaned well and dried after use otherwise they’ll leave an awful smell when you clean the kitchen.  Replace the mop head after every three months.
  • To clean the grout between the tiles, pour ½ a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, ½ a cup of baking soda into a spray bottle. Spray the grout and leave it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with a brush and then mop the floor clean with water.

4. The dustbin

  • If the dustbin is not cleaned at least once a week, it tends to smell. Don’t just throw out the trash and think you’re done. Put on your gloves, get a sponge, a  bit of water and use liquid dishwashing soap to wash the dustbin. Once you’ve scrubbed and rinsed it, turn it upside down and leave it dry. If your dustbin is plastic, don’t leave it in the sun for too long or it might crack.

5. The oven

  • Here, again, it’s baking soda and vinegar to the rescue. If you don’t use the oven then cleaning it once a month should suffice but if you do use it then clean it thoroughly at least once a week or whenever you spill meat juices and food in it.
  • Remove the racks and wash them in the sink.
  • Spray your vinegar and baking soda mix and rub the oven clean with a sponge. Don’t spray the heating elements. Wipe with a cloth after.
  • Put the racks back in the oven once they dry.
  • Cleaning the range hood is a necessity. It prevents the fan from overheating, it extends the fan’s life and prevents the extractor from getting blocked which can cause the fan to overheat.
  • Grease filters can be replaced at least once a year. Buy one
  • Remove the cover of the extractor and if possible, soak it. If you can’t soak it then spray it with the vinegar and bicarbonate solution and let it sit for a few hours. Put a wide cloth underneath because cleaning it will be messy. You can use a toothbrush to be more thorough or scrub with a sponge and then wipe clean.

6. The microwave

  • Use a cover when heating food in the microwave so that it doesn’t spatter all over. Clean the microwave at least once a week. If you open the microwave and look closely, you’ll probably see spatter on the ceiling and on the sides. Treat your microwave like your teeth and clean it often.
  • Fill a cup with water and a few drops of vinegar. Microwave it for 5 minutes. Leave it in there for another 5 minutes. Remove the microwave plate and wipe the inside of the microwave with a cloth or paper towel. Wash the plate and let it dry on a dish rack.
  • If you’re in a hurry, use a soapy sponge to gently clean the inside of the microwave. Use a sponge cloth to wipe after and don’t forget to wipe the outside as well.

7. The pantry

a well clean and organized kitchen pantry with lots of dividers storage

  • The pantry needs to be cleaned once a month. Packaging for items like flour, rice, sugar should either be tied in the corners with a peg or clip or you can store them in containers so that they don’t attract weevils, ants, and the bugs-that-won’t-be-mentioned.
  • Again, just like the rest of the kitchen, try to be a minimalist with the pantry. Don’t clutter the pantry with things that you really don’t need and organizing them in containers will make it easier to clean.

8. Kitchen cabinets

  • Cleaning kitchen cabinets can take place once every month like the pantry. Wipe the cabinets with soapy water or vinegar mixed with water and follow with a dry kitchen cloth.
  • If you’re being thorough, remove the utensils in the cabinet and place them on the counter. Wipe the insides of the cabinets clean with soapy water and a dry kitchen cloth. Let them dry completely before putting the utensils back.

9. The fridge

  • The fridge is relatively easy to clean. Remove all of the foodstuff in the fridge and place it on the counter.
  • Wash the trays in the sink and wipe them dry. Put the foodstuff back in the trays.
  • Use soapy water and a sponge to wipe the inside of the fridge and then wipe with a cloth. You can leave the fridge open for a bit with an open box of baking soda in it to air out and get rid of odors.
  • Put the trays back in the fridge.
  • Be keen with the rubber stripping along the fridge doors when cleaning.
  • To clean the refrigerator, switch off the fridge and let the ice melt. Clean the top of the refrigerator the same way you did the top and switch the fridge back on when you’re done.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to keep the kitchen clean. Cleaning the kitchen may not be your cup of tea. Following the kitchen cleaning hacks listed in this article will make it easier for you to keep the kitchen clean even if it’s not your cup of tea.

When you need a little bit more inspiration, watching Youtubers who specialize in making cleaning home videos might get you into the mood to clean.

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