The Deep Kitchen Clean-Up

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Welcome to Week 2 of the Home-Ec 101 Spring Cleaning event. This week we are doing a deep clean of the kitchen. To make this project easier, I created a checklist. If you like to work from a checklist. I’ve got you covered, I turned it into a printable. (I am not a designer, this is a functional printable. There may even be a typo. Award yourself one internet if you find it. Award yourself a dozen internets if you control yourself and don’t point it out to me, it’s been a long week.)

Click here to access a detailed checklist to help you deep clean your kitchen.

I do know that not everyone has the same abilities.

Some of you may not have the physical abilities to climb a step ladder due to balance issues or mobility differences. Tackle what you can, there’s no competition.

The checklist is just so you know what you’ve done and know what you may want to ask for help with later.

Additionally, some of you are geographically challenged and it isn’t going to actually be warm for some time. So, please note that while we are doing a quick cleaning of the floors while we are in here, the floors themselves are something we will revisit later.

Why?

I know some of you live in snow country, and that snow is still very possible, which means dirt and mud are still being tracked in. One late snowstorm could undo all of your hard work. We’ll try to avoid that since I’m not here to create frustration.

Finally, yes, there is a quick fridge clean out, but there is not a deep fridge clean out? :drum roll: this is another week in our spring cleaning challenge. I don’t want today’s activity to take your entire Saturday.

I know this list is quite detailed, I’ve got teenagers.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned that if I want a job done to my standards, I must list each task or don’t get done. I actually had to shorten our home’s list to get it to fit on one page. The one for our kitchen has to list each counter and each appliance individually. I think you’ve got this, right? Right.

Not everyone’s home is the same. I understand that some people live in small apartments and some people live in large houses with many rooms. So for today keep the following in mind:

If your pantry is part of your kitchen (I consider your spices part of your pantry), we’ll be dealing with that section another day. If you have an eat-in kitchen and no dining room, you can save the thorough cleaning of your table for the dining room day, because we’ll tackle that later, too.

For some of you, this will be a big job because you have let mess accumulate for a long time. For some of you, even though there’s a lot of writing, it’s going to be a breeze. Ready, set, go!

Gather your tools and people who help create messes:

To clean the kitchen we need:

  • Rubber gloves, preferably with cuffs
  • degreaser/ all-purpose cleaner I like Pine-sol for nostalgia reasons and Method Pink Grapefruit wherever a spray works better
  • a bucket (or if you have a double sink, you can use half of that for everything but the mopping)
  • rags and probably a few paper towels
  • a vacuum, hopefully with a soft brush attachment
  • a broom
  • a dustpan
  • a mop
  • window cleaner
  • closed-toe shoes*

*Not optional, you are working in a room with knives and glass and there’s still a pandemic happening. Do you want to go to the ER right now? I don’t think so.

How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen

Make Room

Clear the dirty dishes

We start with the dishes to create some space. If this dishwasher is clean, unload and load it. Wash and dry any remaining dishes, but do not put those away. You’ll just be pulling those out later, so why create more work?

Silverware and utensil drawer(s).

Remover the silverware/utensils, vacuum out the crumbs, then wipe out with either an all-purpose spray or a very dilute degreaser. Yes, you can use 50:50 vinegar and water, if this is your preference. Replace the contents.

Cupboards

Then the glassware cupboard, empty it, wipe the shelving and doors with degreaser. Use glass cleaner if you have glass panes (not on the glassware itself, please). Then, replace the glassware.

Next up, the dishware cupboards, empty, wipe, replace. (Sense a theme?) This should take care of most of the dishes you unloaded earlier. If you had a bunch of pots, too skip ahead and take care of the interior of the lower cupboard (I’m assuming here) that holds those.

The goal is to get everything clean put away before we get to the probably mess spreading next step.

Top to Bottom/Dry to Wet

First, remove any cobwebs in the upper corners.

Then if you aren’t lucky enough to have soffits that prevent you from pack-ratting and you have been using the top of your cabinets for storage, clear that stuff out. (If you didn’t last week, if you did, YAY past you!)

Dust thoroughly. Start with vacuuming. Unfortunately, you will probably also need your degreaser. Cooking creates floating grease particles, which creates a sticky film for the dust to stick to.

Unload and wipe/vacuum the top of the refrigerator while you are either standing on your counters or a stepladder/sturdy chair.

Clean your light fixture(s).

The Refrigerator

One shelf or drawer at a time, remove the items. Get rid of expired items and things you KNOW you aren’t going to use. It’s okay, you didn’t like the curry paste, let it go. Wipe down the walls and the shelf or drawer.

FYI: If you have a tricky shelf or drawer that you can’t figure out how to remove, search for a YouTube tutorial. I guarantee you someone has figured it out and posted it. I have a Samsung refrigerator with apparently the most maddening shelf of all time. These videos were all made by people who were frustrated after spilling something and getting soda (or salsa one week after we got it in our case) trapped under the glass.

The microwave is next. This one is easier if you fill a microwave safe bowl with water and add a quarter to a half cup of vinegar. Place the bowl in the microwave and set it for five minutes. Leave it for an additional five minutes before wiping it out. This is usually enough to soften whatever cooked on spatters you have. You may need to repeat this a couple of times if you have been especially careless or it has been a long time since you’ve wiped out your microwave.

Tackle the stove while the microwave does its thing. Today we’re just doing the outside. We’re saving the inside for another day. If you have a very dirty smooth top, you can address that now or save it for when we come back to this appliance. It’s up to you.

Work from Left to Right

Clear each counter space and get rid of any accumulated junk (Congratulate yourself if you gave yourself a headstart last week). Wipe down that section of the counter with your degreaser, as well as the backsplash and/or wall behind it. Then wipe down all of the items you removed and replace only the ones that belong. Yell loudly at the people who left their stuff to come and get it. Just kidding, they should be there helping, speak to them like a reasonable human being.

Clean and shine the sink and faucet. Use window cleaner cleaner if you want to give it that extra sparkle.

Thoroughly wipe down the rest of your appliances and windows/doors.

Clean the kitchen table and chairs, if you have one. (We will be revisiting tables and chairs, so this is a crumb removal not a deep clean and polish).

Vacuum with the crevice tool under every cupboard and as far in between and behind every appliance as you can manage.

Sweep.

Mop.

Congratulate yourself, you’re done.

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