Clean Kitchen

A messy kitchen often leads to a messy life. As with cleaning the rest of your house (check out “Clean your house like a professional”) kitchen cleaning is completed much more quickly with a plan. When we are faced with kitchen cupboards that look like this:

 
Sometimes I feel blinded:
 
 
Living thisn way need not be our destiny, with a bit of thought, planning, and practice our clean kitchens will bring us peace.
 
Rule # 1 when looking to clean (AND MAINTAIN) a space is to declutter. Keep counter tops clear of ‘stuff’. Especially things that are not useful. The kitchen counter is not the place to showcase your favorite knickknack.
 
Rule # 2 is to follow the ‘plan’ (listed below). By taking care of things in groups you can minimize the amount of time you spend going to and from the trash, the sink, the fridge, etc. Time adds up quickly and there is no need to turn a 15 minute project into a 30 minute headache.
Before you begin, establish a ‘place’ for everything.  
 
  • Food Scraps: I have chickens so I keep all of my table scraps in a compost pot or bowl (one that is already dirty).  Your food may go in the trash or in a garbage disposal.

  • Trash: Of course trash goes in a trash can, eventually! But, consider having a temporary trash container very close by. Each night when I begin cooking dinner I get out a clean produce bag and place it on the counter. This makes it a breeze to throw my trash away WHILE I am cooking, leaving me less mess to clean up at the end. I also like having a bag to tie up my ‘smelly’ trash like onion peels, this keeps my real trash can from stinking so bad.

  • Dishes: Hand washing and loading the dishes in the dishwasher is part of the clean kitchen plan but prior to this step the dishes should have a home. The obvious choice here is the sink. Make a habit to place dishes in their home every chance you get.

Following is my "Clean Kitchen" plan. Keep in mind I only follow this plan once a day (after dinner). I don't have the time, energy, or desire to spit shine my kitchen after each meal so it only gets done 'right' once. That being said, I can't stand to fix dinner in a mess nor do I enjoy living my day with a dirty kitchen so throughout the day I do a shortened version of the Clean Kitchen plan which includes 5 minutes of: putting food away, cleaning up trash, placing dishes in the sink, and quickly wiping up anything that may be extra sticky (syrup and oatmeal!).

The Clean Kitchen Plan
  1. Start with a messy kitchen (this is the easiest part!)

(Messy Kitchen)

2. Put away all food. Gather all items that need to be refrigerated, then all items that go in the pantry (can you do it making only one trip?). All things edible are gone.

(Messy Kitchen Minus Food)

 
3. Throw out all trash. Here is where I like to continue filling up my little produce bag, tie it in a knot and send it to the big trash with one of the kids (husbands work well too).
 
(Messy Kitchen Minus Trash)
 
4. Wash dishes. Load the dishwasher to capacity then wash remaining dishes by hand in a sink of hot soapy water.
 
(Messy Kitchen Minus Dishes)
 
5. Remove EVERYTHING that does not permanently belong on the counter tops. Milk jugs, go outside, chicken food goes to the coop, appliances belong in the cupboard, etc.
 
 
        
 
6. Using hot, soapy water wash off all kitchen surfaces, including range top. End with wiping out the sink. Drain the water.
(Clean Kitchen Minus Mess)
 
7. Finish by touching up the floor and turning on a candle or use some other form of air freshener. No point in having a clean kitchen if it stinks.
 
TaaDaa! A place for everything and everything in its place.
 
 
Finally, to answer the questions I know you are asking yourself.
 
Why clean up like items with like items? Picking things up by category will force you to quickly scan the mess to locate items that belong near each other. Using your arms at full capacity when making a trip to the pantry will greatly speed things up.
 
Why clean food – trash – dishes – wiping? Maybe your life is like mine and interruptions happen regularly. When I set out to clean the kitchen I fully realize that I may or may NOT have the time to finish the job. Because of this I suggest taking care of the most important things first. The food should be taken care of first so as to avoid spoiling; the trash second to avoid stinking, etc. If something pulls me away from my clean kitchen project at least I will have the food put away.
 
 What clean kitchen tips do you practice?
How do you get your kids to help out?
What is your biggest kitchen pet peeve?

 

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Comments

I'm so thankful to have help from the kids! Here's what we do. Our 7-year-old unloads the dishwasher & puts away dishes that dried on the counter overnight after breakfast. Everyone puts their dishes into the dishwasher as they use them. I wipe the counters & table after breakfast & lunch and put lunch food away. (No dish washing at lunch.). After dinner, our 13-year-old boy puts the food away, wipes the table & counters, replenishes napkins, pushes chairs in, and takes out the trash. Our 15-year-old loads the remaining dishes into the dishwasher, sets it to run, and hand-washes the pans, coffee pot, and anything that didn't fit into the dishwasher. The next day, the cycle starts again!

By Elaine (not verified)

What do you use to clean your fixtures? i have soap scum (i guess) on bath room drain cover. Also, what do you use to clean your granite? Thanks

By Hattie (not verified)

I've never really believed in the idea that there is a 'miracle' product for everything, in my experience many products are very comparable. If your bathroom drain cover is dirty I would recommend removing it with a screw driver and srubbing it with VERY hot soapy water, dry it off well, wash the floor around the drain and replace the cover. To prevent soap scum build up in the future clean your shower regularly with a mild disinfectant and a dry rag, OR if you aren't able to clean once a week you may have to use something a bit stronger like "scrubbing bubbles" or some other soap scum remover (remember this will require you to rinse with a clean wet rag and again with a dry rag to remove the moisture).

I clean the granite in my kitchen with dish soap and hot water. I have purchased a special "granite" cleaner from Home Depot before to use from time to time but it was expensive and I didn't notice much difference in the end result. I will also use Lysol Kitchen cleaner if I have spilled raw chicken juices or other disease carrying liquids on my counters.

By jayme

I follow your same system but finish the counter tops by wiping and drying with microfiber cloths. This results in a spotless finish even on the type of black counters which tend to show smudges. I generally use soap and water but the cloths really add a special touch in the kitchen.

By Jackson (not verified)

I have found that a mix of equal parts dawn dish detergent and vinegar, diluted with some water in a spray bottle works wonders for removing soap scum. Simply spray it down, let it sit for a bit, and then wipe it. I find the fumes a bit much to handle (thanks to the dawn), but I just hold a cloth over my nose while I'm spraying. It works wonderfully and it's cheap and relatively environmentally friendly.

By Melanie (not verified)

Can you tell me where you got the 2-tier rectangular wire rack? I really like it and could use that in my kitchen!

By Pam Walk (not verified)

I believe I bought it at a Celebrating Home Party

By jayme

What do you use to clean your stainless steel appliances? Also, what do you use to clean the stove top, especially if something has cooked onto it, or been left there a while?
Thanks for these tips!

By Michelle (not verified)

I do a lot of canning so my stove top gets very dirty. It is always easier to clean up any mess as soon as possible after it happens, but I often find myself leaving the mess until tomorrow.

To clean the stove I first remove the grates and soak them in soapy water. I then use very hot soapy water and a sponge to scrubb the gunk off. To finish up I polish the top with stainless steel cleaner and replace the grates. I have never used oven cleaner or any other product that was extremely strong. Even with really bad messes I have always been successful with a bit of added elbow grease.

By jayme

Cleaning the kitchen is a daily chore and can not be neglected. So it is better to make a plan so that you can go accordingly everyday. Very nice tips are presented here and the kitchen cleaning plan will help the housewives a lot.
Thousand Oaks Plumbing

By frederickwright88 (not verified)

Fabulous guidelines, thank you and for the house cleaning like a professional, you have made my cleaning regime so much better!

whoah this weblog is wonderful i like reading your articles.

Keep up the good work! You realize, lots of people
are hunting around for this info, you can help them greatly.

I use greased lightning. It comes in a yellow bottle I've only found it in the hardware store like Home Depot. It's by far the best cleaner out there. It will take of days of grime and stuff baked on my stove or rock hard crud on my table from the day before. You should definitely try it. I love your method by the way doing things grouped together saves time.

By Louise (not verified)

So good to know, thanks for the tip!

By jayme

I have a problem with that greasy build up on cupboard tops and the items I decorated the with,{ old crocks , butter churn glass, blued canning jars ect....}, how do I get that greasy film and dirt off, they look like they are growing hair within a week after cleaning them. any suggestions ?

By laura (not verified)

One of the most difficult aspects of cleaning is trying to clean grease from kitchen cabinets. Our Atlanta Maids have learned over the years that a concentrated green solution from weaker and worker towards stronger is the way to go. The reason being is that oven cleaner will damage kitchen cabinets.

At our house everyone takes his or her plate, glass and utensils off the table and then an extra 2-4 items depending on how many items are left. This even works with the grandkids. They are willing to take things over to the sink to an adult and they learn to pitch in. The job gets done much quicker and one person isn't stuck with the job of clean-up.

By Polly (not verified)

To clean granite use fabric softner. Two cups water with teaspoon of softner works great.

By gloris (not verified)

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