Friday, 19 April 2013

How To Deep Clean Your Kitchen

Okay folks. Today's topic is cleaning. I know, we all hate it. But part of keeping your home in working order is clean. And once in awhile, your rooms, especially your kitchen, need a good deep clean. So here's how to give your kitchen the best cleaning you've ever given it, or will ever give it again. 

First off, a warning, you don't have to do this in one day. Seriously. This is a big task, don't feel bad if you need to space it out over a couple of days. 

Step 1: Prep

Get out your cleaners. Fill a bucket with hot water and your choice of all purpose cleaners, Lysol or Mr. Clean or even vinegar. Get out the Windex, and grab some old cloths for scrubbing things. Get out the oven cleaner and some rubber gloves. Fill up a bucket with floor cleaner, or just plain old hot water, get out your mop... Everything you will need to scrub this room. Once we get going, we don't want to be running around looking for what we need. Please note: Please don't use bleach. You prep food in here people, not to mention mixing it with some other chemicals can make poisonous gasses. Better to not risk it. 

Get two laundry baskets or sorting baskets, and a sheet or table cloth. Trust me. 

Open up your windows, and hopefully your doors. There are lots of chemicals used in cleaning a kitchen, and most of them smell rank and will make you high. Not cool. So open up those windows. 

If you can't get rid of your kids for a bit, put them someplace safe... like in their high chair. 

Step 2: The Oven.

Typically oven cleaners need a couple hours to set before they work, so start with this step. Follow the instructions on your bottle of oven cleaner, or sprinkle your oven with baking soda and then spray vinegar over it, or create a paste using liquid soap, baking soda, and vinegar. Apply this to your oven, and leave sit for 6-8 hours, then wipe clean. Simple as that. 

Please note: Chemical Oven Cleaners need to be Well Ventilated. They're highly toxic. 

Step 3: Clean off the clutter. 

Go to your table. If you're like me, it's probably covered in junk. Take all those things, and sort them. Dishes, stack on the counter. One laundry basket for things that go in other rooms, and one basket for things that need to be donated. Once your table is clear, wipe it well with a damp, hot, cloth. Scrub the caked on ketchup your kid dumped on it last night, and while you're at it, check under the edges for any food or condiments they hid or dripped under the table. 

Now lay down the sheet or tablecloth on top of the table. This is now your working space! Once you're done, any clutter or anything that happens now happens on your sheet. 

Step 4: Do your dishes.

Do all your dishes. For some people this is an easy step, and for some, this is a monumental task of epic proportions. 

Step 8: Wipe down all surfaces

Wipe down the windows sills, the fronts and edges of your drawers and cupboards, your stove, your fridge... every surface you can see when everything is closed. We'll get to everything else soon.

Starting list for things to clean off:

- On top of stove/stove buttons and knobs
- Fan blades
- Cupboard drawers
- Microwave
- On top of fridge
- Fridge Handles
- Cupboard handles
- Windows Sills
- Light fixtures
- Faucet and knobs
- Backs of Chairs

Step 4: Clear off your counters. 

Take everything on your counter, and put it on your table, on your sheet. Clear them completely off. Yes, completely. That means take off that spice rack that's been there since you got married, and that toaster that your kid smeared peanut butter on. 

First off, look at the things you put on the table. Do you really need all of those things on your counter? Do you use all of them daily or every couple days? If not, leave them on your table. It's time for the things you don't use often to find another home. 

Second step is take a damp cloth, and that bucket you filled with cleaner.. and wipe down everything you can. Wipe the counters themselves, the back splash, the fancy molding you loved when you moved in, but mostly it's just a dust collector, clean all the items on the table... everything. Clean every individual spice jar. 

Then put everything that survived the "I use this daily" test, back on the counter. If you need to rearrange how things are placed to make it easier to find/harder for kids to reach, now is the time to do it. You've got it all off anyways. 

Step 7: Clear Out Your Cupboards.

Remember how we took everything off the counter and onto the sheet? Do the same thing with all your cupboards. Let's start with the ones above the sink first. Take everything out, this means even that top shelf where you keep the dishes you got for wedding gifts and haven't used... ever. Wipe inside. You'd be surprised what kind of gross gunk can build up in cupboards. 

Now look back at your table. It's tempting, oh do I ever know it's tempting, to say you want to keep every serving tray and dish. But do you really need that snowman serving tray you inherited from your husbands great aunt? Probably not. Take this time to get rid of anything you haven't used in six months. 

That goes for appliances too. You have a baby bullet you haven't used in 3 years? Donate! You have seven trillion bugs from various places around the world? Maybe keep a couple to display, then get rid of the rest. Use one of your baskets to put all the donation things in. 

Once everything is clean and organized, put everything back into the cupboards. Then do the same thing for under your sink and any other cupboards left. 

Step 8: Clear out your drawers.

Clear out all your drawers. Wipe them out inside, and sort again. Donate what you don't use, and then organize properly what you do. 

Step 9: Clear our your pantry.

Same steps as before. Pull it all out on the table, wipe inside the pantry, clean off the boxes, sort out anything expired or not usable. If you have a spice cupboard or something similar, do that at the same time as this. 

Step 10: Clear out your fridge and freezer.

Same steps as before. Clear out, wipe, sort. Take out anything freezer burned and chuck it. This has the added benefit of you knowing what's now in your pantry and fridge. 

Step 11: Clean your windows. 

Take that windex and scrub away. If it's nice out, do the outsides too. 

Step 12: Clean anything we missed.

Sometimes people have special things in their kitchen. I have a bookshelf and our shoe rack. This would be the time I cleaned those things. This is your time to clean those others things.

Don't forget to wipe down your oven!

Step 13: Clean your floors.

 This means drag everything out into your living room you can. Garbage cans, chairs, potato bins... if you can get it out, get it out. 

Take your rugs out and give them a good beating, and maybe an air out, then store them in a safe place for awhile. 

Your floors might be covered in bits of this and that, so give it a good sweep first. Then mop, don't forget the corners and around the edges. 

Then mop, don't be scared to get down and scrub what you can. 



You made it! We're done! 

You just gotta drag back in your furniture and bask in the uber cleanliness of your kitchen! 

It's a huge task, cleaning your kitchen this well. But so worth it. :) 

Good luck! Tell me how it went! 

- Adele

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