Ack! Spring cleaning the kitchen can be such a big job that it can tire you out just to think about it, much less do it. But, if you have a strategy, a plan, and the right tools, it doesn’t have to be so bad.
First your strategy has to be divide and conquer. That means don’t try to do all the cabinets and counters at once.. Divide the room into blocks and clean each block one at the time. In addition, each major appliance (think fridge or stove) and the pantry counts as a block. Plan on starting in one corner and working your way around. You don’t need many supplies if you use a couple of all purpose ones.
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen – Cleaning The Oven
To start, if you have a self-cleaning oven, this is the time to remove the racks and get the cleaning cycle started. If you don’t have a self cleaning oven, and it isn’t too heavily soiled, you can apply your cleaning solution now. If it is really soiled, it is best to let the cleaning solution sit overnight. Get the drip pans and vent hood filters (washable ones) soaking in the sink with a solution of hot water and House Wash. For the kitchen and bathrooms, House Wash is your go to cleaner. If you are a spray-type person, then go ahead and in use an empty spray bottle to mix up one part House Wash to 8 parts of hot water. If you are a bucket-type person, mix your cleaning solution in a bucket now. The standard 8:1 solution is good for tackling a modest amount of grease. If your kitchen is really greasy, then you want to mix the solution as one part House Wash to 4 parts hot water. Don those gloves and get to work!
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen – Clean the Cabinets
You still want to start at the top and work down. Beginning at the first “block” First clean the tops of the upper cabinets and any exposed wall above the upper cabinet in that block. Sprayers, spray your solution on and wipe. Bucket types, wipe down with a clean sponge or rag. If you have knick-knacks or other dust catchers on the tops of the upper cabinets this is the time to take them down and wash them off. After the tops of the upper cabinets are cleaned, then wash the inside and outside door of the cabinet. Next remove all contents from cabinet. This is also a good time to sort and decide what to keep and what to discard. Wipe down the interior of the cabinets and inspect shelf coverings. If they need replacing, this is a good time to do it because everything is out of the cabinet! Return contents to cabinet. Now, for that block, clean the backsplash. If you have a steam cleaner like the Vapamore Steam Cleaner, this is the time to put it to work. Steam the backsplash to clean away grease, grime, food debris, and whatever else has collected there since you last deep cleaned! If you don’t own a steam cleaner, then it is elbow grease time to clean the backsplash with your House Wash and water solution. After the backsplash in your “block” is cleaned, then clean the counter tops. Once again, if you have a steam cleaner, this is where they excel. I steam clean my countertops with the microfiber smooth floor attachment. The steam loosens soils and sanitizes at the same time. If you use the House Wash solution to clean down the counter tops (this is how I did it in the pre-steam cleaner days) then spray them down afterwards with Vital Oxide disinfectant spray to sanitize them.
Next, if there are any cabinet drawers in this block, time to empty them out and wipe down the interior with your House Wash solution. I also like to give them a mist of Vital Oxide. Clean any drawer inserts, inspect any drawer linings and the return contents to drawer. This is of course after you have sorted through to see if anything can be discarded, recycled or donated!
Now for the bottom cabinets in your block. Follow the same procedure as for the top cabinets. Wash the inside and outside of the cabinet door with your House Wash solution. Remove all contents and sort, discarding as necessary. Clean cabinet shelves and drawers, inspect linings and replace if necessary and return contents to cabinet.
If at any time in this process your block contains those dreaded plastic tubs and containers and their associated lids, take the time to make sure that all your plastic container bottoms and tops match up. This is a great time to toss the lonely hearts who have lost their mate. Sorry to sound so cold, but it is true. The same goes for drawers that contain table linens. Are you really going to use that stray napkin that has lost all its friends? Really? It’s also a good time to cull your herd of baskets. I don’t know why, but if I put a beautiful straw bread basket in one of my cabinets and close the door, by the time I go in that cabinet again the basket will have multiplied by division or either invited all its friends over. Suddenly that basket has become a cabinet full of baskets. Its time to sort and discard/donate.
Once you get to the bottom of your block, be sure to wipe down the base of the cabinet and clean the area where the base joins the floor. So many “things” fall into that crevice over time!
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen – Clean the Pantry
When you get to the pantry, start at the top and tackle one shelf at a time. This is a time to inspect cans for bulging seams and dents. Discard any questionable items. Sort through dried spices (you know they don’t last forever don’t you?) and toss old tea bags. Inspect the linings on the shelves and replace as necessary. Wipe down shelves and return contents. I also like to take my vacuum cleaner and vacuum the floor and corners of my pantry when I deep clean. Wipe down the pantry door before you close it on that block.
Follow this process and work your way around the entire room. Clean outside, remove contents from inside, clean inside, return contents and then move on. When you get to the fridge follow the same process as the pantry, tackling one shelf at a time. If you have removable shelves and bins, take them to the sink and wash them with hot soapy water. After a thorough cleaning, I like to spray down the surfaces in my fridge with the Vital Oxide spray to disinfect. Of course, make sure no food is in the way.
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen – Clean the Fridge & Floors
Once you have cleaned every block and re-assembled the stove and hood its time to tackle the last big project and that is the floor. Use the crevice attachment to clean cracks between the floor and cabinets. Move fridge and oven (if possible) so you can vacuum behind and under them. This is also a good time to vacuum off the coils on the back of your fridge. It will help it cool more efficiently. Then fire up the steam cleaner and deep clean that floor. Pay particular attention to the areas close to the stove and fridge as these are where most food spills happen. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, mix a strong solution of House Wash and hot water and add about 1/4 cup Vital Oxide to sanitize as you mop. Make sure to get every nook and cranny and rinse your mop frequently.
Once the floors are finished, grab the phone and order take-out. I mean that kitchen is so clean you wouldn’t want to cook in there would you?
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