Cleaning up the kitchen is part of cooking. Not only is it easier to cook and bake in a clean kitchen, but clean surfaces and storage containers will keep your family healthier and safer. See Food Safety for more storage and cleaning tips. Take some time to learn these easy tips and preventative measures and before you know it your kitchen will be automatically cleaner and less cluttered. Make cleaning second nature with these kitchen cleaning tips and you'll save time and money.
- Have a place for everything. It's much easier to use a utensil or appliance, clean it and put it away when it has a home. I use foil as an example in my kitchen. I have a special drawer that is used just for foil, plastic wrap and parchment paper. Those items are always easy to find, and are put away after each use because they have a special home.
- Don't mix ammonia and bleach because it will create toxic fumes.
- Identify spots in your kitchen that accumulate clutter and take a few minutes every day to clear those spots and place objects in their correct homes.
- Try to end each day with a clean, empty kitchen sink. Run the dishwasher before you go to bed and unload it first thing in the morning.
- A sponge is actually a great way to spread germs. I prefer using paper towels, discarding them after cleaning each surface, to totally prevent cross-contamination.
- To quickly clean burned food on a pan, add some dish soap and 1/2" of water. Bring to a boil, then let the liquid cool in the pan. The burned food will be easy to remove.
- When food spills over and burns on the oven floor, sprinkle a handful of salt on the mess. The smoke will be reduced and the spill easier to clean after the oven cools. You can add some cinnamon to the salt to help reduce odors.
- To clean your microwave oven, mix together 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar and 2 cups of water in a 4 cup glass microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for two to three minutes. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the microwave with paper towels. Repeat as necessary.
- To clean sluggish drains, pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and cover the drain. Let this mixture foam for a few minutes, then pour 8 cups of boiling water down the drain. to flush it. Do not use this combination after using any commercial drain opener or cleaner.
- I like to put lemon or lime pieces through the garbage disposal every few days for a clean fresh smell. To freshen the garbage disposal, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of baking soda down the drain, drop in two ice cubes and turn it on. Then run the hot water for a few minutes while the disposal is working.
- If plastic from the bread wrapper melts onto your toaster, use a little nail polish remover to get it off. Let the toaster cool before you try this.
- Clean your coffee maker every few weeks by filling the water reservoir with equal parts white vinegar and water and putting it through the brew cycle. Then use clean fresh water and repeat the brew cycle to rinse the machine. Repeat with fresh water two more times.
- If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, scrape up any large spills, then spray cleaner inside the oven, close the door and let it sit overnight so the cleaner has time to work.
- For glass cooktops, there are special commercial cleaners that work well. Use them with a hard plastic scraper to remove burned-on food. Clean your glass cooktop as soon as it cools to avoid having to scrub burned food.
- To clean a blender, squirt a few drops of liquid soap into it, fill halfway with warm water, cover and blend away the mess. Rinse and repeat if necessary. You can also use this method for food processors.
- For lime and mineral deposits on your kitchen sink faucet, wrap vinegar-soaked paper towels around faucets for about an hour. This breaks down the mineral scale, and the chrome will be clean and shiny after buffing with a dry paper towel.
- If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, place racks in the bathtub with about 1/2 cup dishwasher detergent and cover them with several inches of warm water. Let the racks soak for 45 minutes, then rinse and dry.
Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions
- For your own window washing solution, mix 1/3 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol in a 1 quart spray bottle. Fill up with water.
- Dry baking soda cleans chrome perfectly.
- Cream of tartar and water mixed to a paste will clean porcelain.
- A paste of baking soda and water will clean coffee stains.
- Plain liquid Ivory soap mixed with water is one of the best all-purpose cleaners. You can keep this solution in a spray bottle, but only use a bit of soap or the mixture may become too foamy to spray.
- Use a cut lemon half sprinkled with salt to clean copper.
- Dissolve 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water for a good general cleaner.
- Clean up spills as they occur so you won't be faced with one huge cleaning session.
- Did you know that you use 20% of your utensils 80% of the time? Any tool or appliance which doesn't get used during a week of cooking should be cleaned and stored to save counter and cupboard space and cleaning time.
- It's easier to clean a grill if you do it after each use. Also oil the grill rack before each use to make cleanup easier.
- Wash as you go. Fill one half of a double sink or a separate waterproof tub with hot soapy water and drop in utensils as you use them. Food won't dry on the utensils and cleanup will be a breeze.
- Once every 7-10 days, remove all the food from your refrigerator, wipe down the inside with warm soapy water, clean all the shelves and trays, then replace the food. As you work, check expiration dates and discard food past those dates. Place an open box of baking soda in the back of the fridge.
- Once a month, remove all the food from your pantry, wipe down with a clean damp cloth, check for spoilage and expiration dates, then replace items in their designated places.