How to Clean your Kitchen

Kitchen cleaning can be hit or miss. Some people are meticulous about keeping their kitchen in tip-top shape day to day. In truth, most people aren’t. This is why it’s a good idea to do a thorough kitchen cleanup from time to time. In the event that you’re not quite sure how, this guide will walk you through the process of how to clean your kitchen.

kitchen and dining area
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Top Down

No matter what room you’re cleaning, a thorough job always starts at the top. This ensures that dirt and dust fall downward onto areas that haven’t yet been cleaned.

So the first step in cleaning a kitchen is to use a long-handled tool of some type to dust ceiling fans and anything else up high like light fixtures and remove any cobwebs that have formed along the edge where the wall and ceiling meets.

Next, continue dusting from high to low, tackling tops of cabinets if they don’t meet the ceiling, the top of the refrigerator and other tall appliances or furniture, top edges of window treatments, wall hangings, etc.

Work around the perimeter of the room, dusting window blinds, window grates, window sills, chair rails, baseboards, baseboard heaters, and any furniture.

Clean Door Windows

Wash door windows and wipe away fingerprints on doors, door moldings, and switch plates. Dust edges on paneled doors or louvered doors.

Remove Scatter Rugs

Pick up scatter rugs or mats and shake outdoors or wash.

Kitchen Table

Wipe clean any tables, chairs, or stools. Pay attention to spindles in back, spindles connecting the legs, and any areas that collect dust. Kitchen tables and chairs often harbor hidden sticky areas, so look out for these. Use a damp cloth and/or disinfectant.

comfort control cooking data
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Appliance Fronts

Move on to the appliances. Clean fronts of all appliances, and sides if applicable. Pay special attention to keypads, knobs, and handles.

Refrigerator

If you have an inset water or ice dispenser in your refrigerator door, don’t forget to clean this area, paying particular attention to the tray at the bottom. Moisture tends to get trapped under the tray, causing bacteria and mold to grow.

If necessary, spend a few minutes quickly wiping up spills or crumbs inside the refrigerator. Scan for expired items and toss them out.

Microwave

Use a damp cloth to clean inside the microwave, if necessary. To remove tough dried-on or cooked-on deposits, place a glass bowl or cup of water inside and run the microwave long enough for the water to create steam, then turn off the microwave and allow the water to steam in the microwave for a few minutes until the mess gets soft enough to wipe away.

Toaster

De-crumb the toaster or toaster oven. The majority of toasters have a crumb tray on the bottom that either slides off or swings open. The same goes for toaster ovens. Also clean the glass on the toaster oven door.

Stove Top

Wipe clean the cook top with a damp cloth dipped in a sudsy dish-detergent and water. Remove drip pans or burner grates and wash in the sink with dish detergent and water or all-purpose cleaner.

Clean glass cook tops using specialty cleaner or baking soda and water. Cooked-on spills can be gently loosened with a plastic scraper. Don’t use abrasives on glass cook tops as this will damage the surface.

Clean top of range hood if you have one. If it’s greasy, use all-purpose cleaner or dish detergent and warm water.

Counter Tops

Wash and disinfect counter tops, shifting objects on top from side to side in order to clean underneath. Also clean backspashes.

Cupboard Doors

Clean cupboard doors, drawer fronts, drawer pulls and handles. Kitchen cabinets likely have spills from cooking or other food-related mishaps. Use a cleaning agent appropriate to the surface. A very lightly dampened cloth can be used on any surface if you aren’t sure what to use.

Kitchen Sink

Clean and disinfect kitchen sink using disinfectant cleaner, sudsy scrub (if appropriate), or all-purpose cleaner.

Trash Can

Optionally, clean your garbage container outside and/or inside.

Inside Kitchen Cupboards

From time to time, check food packages for expiration dates and rotate to bring older items front and center so they get used before going bad. Toss anything suspect.

Floor

Next, sweep or vacuum the floor. Take time to thoroughly remove dirt and debris from corners. Use a crevice tool vacuum attachment to get underneath the refrigerator, stove, and any other such areas. Alternatively, use a yard stick wrapped with a rag.

If necessary, mop or steam the floor clean.

Periodically taking some time to thoroughly clean your kitchen is a wise investment of time. Since your kitchen is the place where food is stored and prepared, it’s important to keep it clean. So make a point of scheduling this important task however often is necessary based on your usage, and stick to the plan to be sure your kitchen is always up to code.

Want more organizing and house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my author page. My books include De-Clutter and Organize Your Home in 7 Simple Steps, Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, and How to Become a Cleaning Pro: the Ultimate Guide to Starting and Operating Your Own House Cleaning Service.

Atypical House Cleaning Jobs

There are lots of tasks that fall outside the scope of a typical house cleaning routine. For this reason, it’s important to watch out for any areas that are starting to look dirty or smell funky. Sometimes when we see things every day we don’t notice the gradual changes that are right in front of us. Once in a while it’s important to tackle atypical house cleaning jobs.

photo of a kitchen sink
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Below the Kitchen Sink

One notoriously grungy and commonly overlooked area lies right below the epicenter of your kitchen: the sink. This space often holds things that are not food-related. Cleaning supplies are frequently stored here. Some people keep their garbage container in this space. Some use it as storage space for brushes, buckets, or other cleaning equipment.

It’s also a spot that sometimes ends up with moisture problems due to leaks. If for no other reason than this, keep an eye on the cupboard that lies below your kitchen sink. From time to time, make it a point to take everything out, wipe up any spills or other messes, discard anything that isn’t useful, and rearrange what’s left.

Kitchen Cupboards

Another kitchen hazard area is the pantry. Food cupboards harbor spills that can easily attract insects or rodents. They also often contain outdated products that ought to be tossed out so they’re not inadvertently served to friends or family. Making a practice of periodically removing all items from your pantry, cleaning and sorting as you go, reduces the likelihood of attracting unwanted visitors or poisoning the ones you asked in for lunch.

stainless steel refrigerator beside white kitchen cabinet
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The Refrigerator

Along similar lines, the refrigerator typically needs attention from time to time. Regularly get rid of anything that isn’t fresh. Any foul odor deserves your immediate attention. Every so often, wipe down the inside. Walls, shelves, the racks inside the door, as well as drawers, all need to be cleaned. Food spills, crumbs, and drips typically occur over time and won’t go away on their own.

Light Fixtures and Lampshades

Other areas of the house also need a little extra sprucing up on occasion. Light fixtures and lampshades often accumulate dust or cobwebs that we don’t notice. Dust lampshades gently with a clean paintbrush, a hair dryer, a microfiber dusting wand, or a clean, damp cloth. Alternatively, vacuum lampshades with your dusting tool attachment (use low suction). Light fixtures may be easily dusted with a dusting wand.

Glass shades that are cloudy from dust or dirt can be hand-washed with a little dish detergent in warm water. Glass prisms or shades that aren’t easily removed can be cleaned with a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water applied with a soft cloth and then buffed dry with a second, dry cloth.

Sofa Cushions

Couch and chair cushions often harbor objects, crumbs, dirt, and pet hair. Periodically vacuuming this space easily remedies this situation. It sometimes pays off, too, if there are loose coins among the paraphernalia.

Fingerprints on Walls

Fingerprints and smudges on walls, switch plates, door frames, and handrails often go unnoticed. Whatever doesn’t come clean with a damp cloth or sponge will easily be removed with an eraser-type sponge. Don’t scrub too hard or you’ll remove your paint along with the dirt.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are the number one dust draws in your home, and are quite commonly overlooked on cleaning day. Dusting ceiling fan blades on a regular basis is an excellent way to remove dust from your environment. Use these dust traps to your advantage.

These are just a few of the many jobs that should be done from time to time in order to keep your home at its best. More ideas can be found in my post Cobweb Patrol: What Are You Missing When You Clean Your Home?

Hone your eye for detail by paying attention to things like dusty blinds and fingerprints on windows. Whatever house cleaning routine you generally adhere to, there’s always more stuff that needs attention. A little extra time spent here and there ensures that your home stays in great shape everywhere.

Want more organizing and house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my author page. My books include De-Clutter and Organize Your Home in 7 Simple Steps, Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, and How to Become a Cleaning Pro: the Ultimate Guide to Starting and Operating Your Own House Cleaning Service.