Big Spring Clean: Kitchen

Big Spring Clean: Kitchen

Cleaning is no fun. It takes time, effort and requires you to stick your fingers in all sorts of grimy places. But your kitchen is in desperate need of a good spring cleaning. A thorough cleaning once a year prevents smells, greasy build up and creates a healthy environment to prepare food. Here are some smart tips to make your kitchen shine

Cleaning cupboards and drawers
Start by getting rid of out-of-date canned goods, spices and dry goods. This will free up space in your cupboards and refrigerator. Some local food banks will take food that is expired within a year. Next up:

  • Start at the top and work down to the bottom.
  • Clean exterior and interior shelves with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water, shaken together in a spray bottle. Use harsh chemicals sparingly and only when necessary for tough stains and grime.
  • Use small racks to organize spices and canisters for dry goods.

Easy liners
You don't have to spend money on special liners for drawers and shelves. Line them with wax paper, parchment paper or even wrapping paper! Fast, cheap and easy to replace when then they get stained.

Declutter countertops
Take a hard look at the appliances taking up valuable counter space. Consider what is essential and what you use all the time. Otherwise, find a place for it in a cupboard or drawer. Get rid of any broken appliances or kitchen utensils and gadgets you no longer use by donating, giving away or recycling. Less is more. Once you’ve decluttered, clean counters as follows:

  • Use vinegar-water mixture on tile.
  • To clean tile grout, apply a cleanser and use a toothbrush to scrub in the narrow channels.
  • Avoid using vinegar-water mixture on marble countertops; it will erode marble.
  • On granite countertops, clean with warm soapy water and dry immediately with dry soft cloth to prevent streaks.
  • Isopropyl alcohol can be used to remove tough grease and stains.
  • Use baskets and bowls to hold fruits and aromatics, like onions, garlic and shallots, and loose items like pens and small writing pads for grocery lists.

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Don’t forget the microwave
The hardened food stuck on the walls and floor of the microwave can be difficult to remove. Wet a cloth and microwave it for 1 to 2 minutes. Steam from the cloth will help soften and loosen the debris. Use the cloth to wipe it off. It can be hot, so be careful when handling.

Freshen up the garbage disposal
Fill up your garbage disposal with ice and let it rip. This technique is better than grinding up lemon peels or using flowery-smelling sprays to clean out foul-smelling debris. Grinding up ice is an amazing way to clean, stop mold and zap smells.

Move the fridge
The most neglected place in the kitchen is under the refrigerator. After you've thrown out old food and cleaned the shelves and drawers with vinegar-water mixture or warm soapy water, move it away from the wall or niche. Be warned, it won’t be pretty. Vacuum up any debris and clean the floor with appropriate cleanser. Don’t forget to clean the top of the fridge, too!

Spring cleaning doesn't have to be an overwhelming chore. Tackle one area at a time: clean the cupboards one day then the refrigerator the next day. Or recruit the family to help. Divide up the tasks and put on some energetic music. Working together you'll be finished in no time. Reward everyone by baking cookies or making a delicious meal. You'll then have the pleasure of messing up your clean kitchen all over again.

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