The kitchen is usually one of the most used homes in the house. It has a lot of foot traffic from all of the members in the home, and generally requires a lot of time and effort to keep it clean.
Obviously, the floor gets tons of foot traffic, but the counters, sink, fridge, and stove are also constantly being used throughout the day. Don’t waste your time trying to remember what else to clean in the kitchen or how!
1. Cleaning Your Wooden Cutting Board
Whether you’re slicing or dicing veggies or meats, your cutting board is always getting action.
It’s important that you properly clean your cutting board directly after cutting meat and after every meal.
To clean the cutting board properly, wash it as soon as you’re done using it with hot water and soap, then dry the excess water immediately and then stand it up to air dry it. Standing the cutting board up allows for the air to circulate on all sides.
To get rid of stains on the cutting board that can be left behind by things like meat blood or tomatoes, sprinkle baking soda on the cutting board. Then, use lemon and work it into the cutting board. You can also use a new sponge or wet washcloth. When you’re done, rinse the board and towel dry. Note You can also use salt instead of baking soda if you rub it into the bard with the lemon.
2. Mopping Floors the Right Way
Kitchen floors get more than just foot traffic. They also get grease buildup from the daily cooking that takes place in your kitchen. We use to use the Swiffer wet jet on our wood kitchen floors. Recently, we got new floors put down in the kitchen, stone tile. The texture made it impossible to use the Swiffer so we bought an old fashioned mop and bucket. After a little googling I found another blog that you can check out here that mentioned this grease-cutting floor cleaner and it worked brilliantly!
- 1/4th cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
- ¼ cup washing soda
- 2 gallons very warm tap water
Note: This recipe for floor cleaning is not recommended for wax floors.
3. Clean Your Dishwasher
If your dishwasher is anything like mine was, it’s a pain! I would load the dishwasher two times a week, and every time it got done I had to re-wash at least 10% again by hand. Aside from the dishwasher not washing my dishes properly, the water also sits at the bottom and the smell that emanates from the dishwasher is horrific. I could only deal with this for so long before I was determined to find a way to fix it. After a bit of trial and error and a few different methods of cleaning, I found a few things that worked. First, make sure you check the drain and remove any items blocking it. It’s amazing how easily food particles or plastic can get stuck in the drain. Be sure to be careful when inspecting and wear gloves.
Step One: After emptying the dishwasher, fill a microwave-safe dish bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack. Run your dishwasher on the hottest water settings.
Step Two: Remove the bowl when the cycle is done and sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher, then run your cycle again on the hottest water option you have.
You can get more tips and tricks to clean your dishwasher here.
Let’s be honest, the microwave is one of the most forgotten about appliances when it comes to cleaning. I assume it’s because we don’t see the mess unless we open it, whereas the appliances on the counter we can see the grime every moment that we’re in the kitchen. Unfortunately, the microwave is one of the nastiest appliances in the kitchen. Much of the food that we reheat in the oven can “explode” if they’re not covered. For instance hotdogs, pasta sauce, and pasta with alfredo sauce are the common culprits in my home that splatter in the microwave.
You can use white vinegar or essential oils to clean the inside of your microwave quickly.
White Vinegar: Pour 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Place it in the microwave and depending upon the strength of your microwave, run it for 5 to 10 minutes. When it’s done, carefully remove the bowl with an oven mitt. Take a wet rag or sponge and clean the inside of the microwave. This will have loosened any grime or food build-up.
Essential Oils: Get your sponge super wet then place it inside of the microwave. Next, add a few ounces of water and 3-6 drops of lemon essential oil into a spray bottle. Spray the inside of the microwave generously, including the sides, top, and bottom of the microwave. Turn the microwave on for approximately 2 minutes then leave the sponge in the microwave when it’s done for at least 5 minutes. Be sure to check the sponge carefully to make sure it’s cool enough to touch, then use it to wipe the inside of the microwave. You will be surprised how easily the gunk and buildup will slide off.
You can now enjoy a lovely scented smelling microwave!
5. Garbage Disposal
Having a garbage disposal can come in handy when dealing with uneaten food on your plate every day. However, over time the disposal can start to smell. Cleaning your garbage disposal is quick and pain-free.
Dish Soap: Grease-fighting dish soap can clean the grime and gunk that can get stuck inside of the disposal. Squeeze a few drops into the disposal, run cold water and turn the disposal on for 15-20 seconds.
Citrus: Pour fresh lemon juice in your garbage disposal while it’s running to freshen the smell. You can also use orange or lemon peels.
Garbage Disposal Tips
- Run cold water through your disposal during use
- Run cold water down the disposal after you use it for at least a minute to flush any particle remaining.
- Don’t put bones, eggshells, shrimp shells, celery, potatoes, lettuce, onion skins, or anything else with a stringy or fibrous texture. These items can get stuck in the disposal blades.
- Don’t put rice or pasta down the drain, as they absorb water and can cause a clog. Throw those items directly into the trash.
- Don’t add harsh chemicals like bleach and drain cleaners down the drain. That can corrode the plumbing and cause you issues further down the road.
- Don’t put large amounts of coffee grounds down the disposal. Your disposal can handle small amounts of coffee grounds, but large amounts can lead to a clog.
If your refrigerator is anything like mine, it’s a cluttered mess of meat, drinks, condiments, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re anything like me, cleaning your fridge is one of the chores you continually put off because once the fridge is closed it’s out of sight, out of mind.
In the last few weeks, I have been trying to tackle more of the “out of sight out of mind” tasks that I normally put off, and the fridge has been one of them. Truth be told though, I’ve been pleasantly pleased since I cleaned and organized my fridge! No more awkward lingering smell in the fridge and I can find everything I am looking for in just a few seconds.
If you’re in the situation I found myself in a few weeks ago, here is some helpful information on cleaning your refrigerator and remove any lingering smells that may remain even after you’ve removed whatever food went bad.
Step One: Get Cleaning!
First, remove all of the items from your fridge and set them on the counter. Store food in a cooler if you can while you clean.
Take out all removable shelve and drawers and put them in a bathtub full of hot water and liquid dish soap. If you don’t have a lot of shelves and your kitchen sink is big enough, you can also use the kitchen sink.
While the removable shelves are soaking, wash out the inside of the fridge. Spray the inside of the fridge with hydrogen peroxide generously (or whatever cleaning spray you like), then use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down.
Second, scrub the shelves gently in the tub or sink and make sure all of the grime is off. Rinse them with hot clean water, then lay them out on a dishtowel or bath towel to dry off. My shelves dried in 20 minutes.
Sidenote: You can also use white vinegar to clean the inside of your fridge if you enjoy the smell more.
Third, dry the inside of the fridge with a bath towel or dry rag. Put all of the fridge pieces back together then put the food back into the fridge.
Step Two: Remove the Smell
Time to make sure that smell is gone! Leave an open box of baking soda on the shelf of your fridge for at least 24 hours. The baking soda will absorb the smell. Be sure to throw the baking soda away once the smell is gone.
Other Tips to Remove The Smell
- On a paper plate spread out freshly ground coffee beans. Leave this plate in the fridge for 24 hours as well.
- For a citrus scent, slice up a lemon, lime, or orange and place it in a bowl and leave it in the fridge for a few hours.
- Soak a few cotton balls with vanilla extract and leave them in the fridge for a few hours for a vanilla scent.
Moving forward, add these often forgotten about items into your kitchen cleaning ritual. Although not all of them need to be cleaned every day, you want to clean them at least once a month.
Check back in for more cleaning and organizing tips, tricks, and hacks for your home and family!