Scour our 15 ways to ditch the dirt and get rid of the gunk, leaving your kitchen spick and span in time for spring
Let’s face it: There are some chores that just slip to the wayside. Besides Martha Stewart, who has time to clean out the microwave and sweep underneath the refrigerator on a regular basis? But spring gives us all a chance to catch up. As the weather warms up, try starting off your spring cleaning regimen with the heart of the home — your kitchen.
Tip: As you’re cleaning, make a list of things that you need to replenish in your kitchen, from cleaning supplies to basic cooking items. Hand soap, dish soap, paper towels, olive oil — write it all down and make sure to leave room for it when you’re reorganizing.
1. Clean out your pots and pans. Scrub cast iron with a soft sponge and coarse salt, then rinse away the salt.
Stainless steel can in fact be stained by heat and hot water. Remove stains with a soft cloth and white vinegar, then dry with a clean cloth. Never soak stainless steel pots and pans because the surfaces will become pitted.
3. Don’t forget cupboards and drawers. Empty out your cupboards and drawers, sweep out crumbs and dust and clean any stains with a wet cloth. If you’re up for it, put new contact paper at the bottom.
When you’re cleaning out your drawers and cupboards, keep an eye out for broken dishes and other kitchen accessories. Donate or throw them away and add new versions of the items to your list.
Clean the exterior of your cabinets and drawers. You’ll be surprised at how different your kitchen looks when all of the fingerprints have been wiped off.
5. Clean your refrigerator and freezer. Do a thorough cleaning here. If your shelves are removable, take them out and wash them in the sink or dishwasher. Scrub out the inside of your fridge with a wet, soapy cloth. Throw out any expired goods. Wipe everything clean with a damp cloth.
6. Declutter the front of your refrigerator if needed and organize your kitchen calendar and desk area.
7. Clean your microwave. To get tough gunk off, fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and microwave it on high for a few minutes. Keep the doors closed for a couple more minutes to let the steam work on spills, then wipe everything down with a soapy rag. Rinse and wipe dry.
8. Have your knives professionally sharpened. Not only will sharp knives make prep work easier, but they’ll make it safer as well.
9. Wash windows inside and out.
10. Deep clean floors. Sweep under the oven and refrigerator.
11. Dust and wipe down walls, baseboards and the top of the refrigerator.
12. Wash the insides of your garbage cans. Try using a strong bleach-and-water solution. Rinse them out and let them dry outside.
13. Clean drains and garbage disposals. Run a lemon or a cup of white vinegar through your garbage disposal to get rid of any unfortunate smells.
14. Clean your oven and give your stove a good scrubbing. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, make a paste with baking soda and water and slather it on the parts of your oven that need cleaning. Let it dry overnight and scrape the gunk off in the morning.
15. Run your dishwasher while it’s empty. Add a little white vinegar to it beforehand to get rid of any odors. If you have a food trap in the bottom of your dishwasher, clean it out.
Tell us: What are your favorite ways to get your kitchen clean? Share your spring cleaning tips below.