Monday, March 21, 2011

Easy Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

(Can you reach a limit on "Spring" tips and posts? We wonder. Chalk it up to AK's Spring Fever!)

For most families, the kitchen is the heart of the home where everything from family meals to homework takes place on a regular basis. And with all of that activity, your kitchen is bound to need a thorough cleaning from time to time. Spring cleaning your kitchen isn't as tough as you think and will leave you with a clean kitchen you can be proud of. From cleaning kitchen appliances to getting rid of extra clutter, these kitchen cleaning tips will make spring cleaning your kitchen a breeze.

Microwave
In most modern families, the microwave takes a bigger beating that the stove. It's used multiple times a day, and that can add up to a lot of crusted-on food bits. But don't get out your chisel yet! This kitchen cleaning tip will have your microwave sparkling in no time. Fill a microwave-safe mug two-thirds full of water and add a few splashes of lemon juice or some fresh lemon slices. Microwave it on HIGH for 4 minutes. When it's done, leave the door closed and keep it in there for another 4 minutes. The moisture from the steam and the acid from the lemon will loosen the food particles. After 8 minutes total, remove the mug and wipe down the interior with a wet paper towel. Take out the glass plate and give it a good washing with soap and water. To finish up, wipe off the outside of the microwave with a surface-appropriate cleaner.

Refrigerator
When it comes to cleaning kitchen appliances, you may be tempted to just buy a new fridge instead of tackle the one you have. However, the fridge can be cleaned without too much effort and a little elbow grease, and cleaning the refrigerator is an essential part of spring cleaning your kitchen. Save this chore for a time when your food supply is low, like before you do your weekly grocery shopping. Remove everything from your fridge and take out the bins and shelves. Wash them in hot, soapy water to remove any food bits and get them clean. If you want to disinfect, or if the mess is really caked on, add a little bleach to your water as well. While they're drying, use disinfecting wipes to scrub the walls, floor, inside door, and wire shelving. If any spots are discolored, mix some baking soda, lemon juice, and water to make a paste, and scrub at these spots. They should come clean and whiten back up.
Put the dried shelves and bins back in your fridge and fill it with your food. (Be sure to throw out any old or expired food!) To finish, use your vacuum hose and clean the bottom vents and coils in the back (you may need help to move the fridge out enough to do this). This will help your refrigerator to run at its peak capacity, keeping your energy bills down and your food cold. Finally, use a surface-appropriate cleaner for the front and sides, and you're done! Keep up with this every month or so, and you'll be on your way to a continually clean kitchen.

Stove And Oven
Months of cooking and baking can certainly leave their mark on your stovetop and inside your oven. Start by cleaning your stovetop to get rid of cooked-on food particles and film that can build up over time.
Electric Stoves
Unless there are food bits stuck to the coils, you can simply remove them. For food on the coils, use a mild soap and water mixture and clean them. Make sure they are fully dry before reattaching them. Take out the metal trays under the coils and soak them in hot, soapy water. Scrub off all food stains with an abrasive sponge and clean them thoroughly. If they seem beyond repair, you can buy new trays for a small cost. Using a soapy sponge or antibacterial wipes, clean off the stovetop and get any food bits and crumbs out of underneath the coils.
Flat Top Stoves
When it comes to cleaning kitchen appliances, these are the easiest to clean and keep clean. For a quick cleaning, use a soapy sponge and wipe off any residue. For tougher stains, use a specially-formulated Flat Top Stove cleaner such as Scotch-Brite Scratchless Cooktop Cleaner.
Gas Stoves
Many gas stoves now have removable grates that can be washed in hot, soapy water or even put in the dishwasher. Check your manufacturer's instructions and wash them accordingly. Then, take a soapy sponge or antibacterial wipes and scrub the stove surface clean.
Oven
Most ovens now have a self-cleaning feature so you don't have to work so hard. However, the fumes are strong, so open up the windows and stay out of the kitchen while it's going through the cleaning cycle. When spring cleaning your kitchen, save this task for last and relax in another part of the house. For small messes that don't require an entire self-cleaning cycle, a spot cleaner like Easy Off® Fume Free Oven Cleaner works well.

Coffeemaker
Don't forget this small, yet frequently used machine when cleaning kitchen appliances. Depending on the quality of your water, mineral deposits can build up inside the water reservoir over time, affecting the taste and quality of your coffee. To clean it, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water and run it through the coffeemaker without any coffee. Depending on how much buildup your machine has, you may need to repeat this. Finally, run a pot of just water through a brewing cycle before making coffee to clean out any vinegar residue. 



Cabinets
When it comes to spring cleaning your kitchen, the cabinets are often overlooked. But cooking can leave a film or residue on cabinets, and dust and dirt can build up on the insides. One cabinet at a time, take out the contents and wipe down the shelves with antibacterial wipes. Clean out any expired food, and make sure dishes are arranged in a way that best serves your daily life. If you use shelf paper, replace any paper that's too dirty or torn. Finally, use a mild dish detergent and water to wipe down the fronts of each cabinet. Clean the handles and pulls as well. And use glass cleaner to polish up any glass-front cabinets. The results will give you a clean kitchen that shines.
*Note: Check the manufacturer's instructions beforehand for any special cleaning precautions for your particular cabinet finish.
 
Pantry
Since the pantry is behind closed doors, it's east to constantly take food out and put more in without giving much thought to its order (or the food wedged in the back). But over time, things can become so disorganized that you forget what you have, and food goes bad or you end up buying more of something you don't need. Begin by removing everything from the pantry and following the kitchen cleaning tips for cabinets, above. Lay everything out on a countertop or table, and take stock of what you actually have. Start by throwing out any expired foods. Then, organize foods into like groups, like canned goods, spice packets, and cereals. For smaller items, wire shelving like these from the Container Store can help you get organized. If you have a lot of small items like dry soup mixes and spice packets, try hanging a plastic shoe organizer on the inside of the door. The compartments are the perfect size for smaller odds and ends that tend to get lost. To help other family members put food back in the right place, try labeling the shelves with a Dymo Label Maker for organizational ease.

9 comments:

  1. I haven't found anything about cleaning the basin. However your post is great and it was very useful for me. Regards.

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  2. Move In Cleaning: Sinks, or basins, can be tricky. And there are so many different materials! We recommend checking the manufacturers instructions before using any product on your sink to avoid scratching, staining or voiding a warranty. That being said things like Soft Scrub, Baking Soda, Bar Keepers Friend, and Gel Gloss to protect are all products our clients have spoken highly of! Hope this helps!
    -AK

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  3. I am going to try the microwave tip!

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  4. Great post. Maybe you've forgot to mention the sink but other than that you covered every area that need cleaning in the kitchen, including the coffee maker which most people tend to ignore.

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  5. Thanks cleaners camden -
    We appreciate the professional opinion!!

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  6. @rigginsconst - How did the microwave come out?

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  7. True that every gadget needs a specific cleaning sometimes we are lost and do not know where to start.For simplest example the micro oven...it is very easy but the technique and ingredients are very important.

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  8. This outsourcing is a very important decision because of the priority and nature of work to be done Start by throwing out any expired foods. Then, organize foods into like groups, like canned goods, spice packets, and cereals. For smaller items, wire shelving like these from the Container Store can help you get organized. If you have a lot of small items like dry soup mixes and spice packets, try hanging a plastic shoe organizer on the inside of the door. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  9. Awesome tips, I'll be sure to try them out. Thanks

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