Give this well-used room a thorough cleaning for a fresh start in the new year
By Nancy Mattia
What does it mean to “deep-clean” a kitchen? It means doing more than just wiping down the counters. It means you’ll get into the corners while sweeping the floor. It’s throwing out foods from the fridge that are long past their “use by” dates. If you’re ready to give your kitchen some extra attention, arm yourself with a good sponge, clean rags or microfiber cloths, water, and dish cleaner like Dawn. Below, the highlights of how to deep-clean the kitchen:
Even if they don’t look dirty, kitchen cabinets can get dirty with dust, grease and grime. To clean wood cabinets, make a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and warm water and pour into a spray bottle. Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent and shake. Working from the top of a cabinet down, give the exterior door a few squirts of the vinegar solution, then move onto the interior door, wait two minutes then wipe with a soft, clean cloth or sponge.
Empty the fridge of all food and drink, placing any perishables in an ice-filled cooler while you work, then wipe down the interior with warm water and a few squirts of liquid dish detergent from a spray bottle. Use this solution to clean the outer door too; for stainless steel, make a paste with baking soda and warm water and gently apply to the door. Wipe off with a clean damp cloth then gently buff with soft dry cloth.
The dishwasher and oven
Besides cleaning the exteriors of these major appliances, take the time to clean the interiors too. For the dishwasher: Put one cup of vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl that you’ll put in an empty dishwasher and run it through a cycle with hot water. Skip the drying cycle, open door, and let it air-dry. For the oven: Follow manufacturer’s guidelines. If you have a self-cleaning oven, be sure to remove wire racks, which could discolor if left inside during cleaning.
Once again all you need to make your tiled backsplash glisten is warm water and dish detergent and a clean cloth or sponge.
Decluttering in the kitchen has one goal: to have the things you use on a daily basis like the coffeemaker handy while removing things you rarely use (cookbooks) that clog the space. Clean with counters with the water-detergent combo.
The small appliances
Wipe down the coffee maker, air fryer, and other small appliances you use often and could use a good wipe-down.
If it’s been a while since you cleaned out the pantry, now’s the time to do it. Throw out anything that’s expired or been sitting on a shelf for longer than you can remember. Wipe each shelf with a clean dry cloth.
Finally, it’s time to do the floor. Use the warm water-dish detergent solution on tile and wood floors and dry wood with a clean cloth or dry mop.