You probably find yourself mopping up spills and wiping down kitchen countertops as you go, but does it feel like your kitchen could always be cleaner? That’s because kitchens are one of the busiest rooms in the house (often the centre of family life), and regular cooking leads to built-up grease and grime which calls for a thorough clean every once in a while.
A full deep clean of the kitchen may sound like a daunting task, so here’s a checklist outlining eight simple stages to work through. Before we get into the nitty gritty, there are a few golden rules that should be mentioned…
Set yourself a timer. Maybe you have all day (lucky you!), or maybe you want to get as much done as you can in a couple of hours. Either way, get your phone out, set a timer and get to work. It will keep you on track and make sure you don’t spend too long on the job.
Work systematically to be more efficient. Working from top to bottom and from one side of the room to the other means that you don’t have to clean things more than once. You’re also less likely to go off track and forget what you have and haven’t already cleaned!
Don’t get distracted. If you find something in the kitchen that needs taking to a different room, avoid the temptation to venture out – put it just outside the kitchen door. It’s likely that you’ll find more things along the way, so save them until the end and just make one trip instead of several.
Now onto the main event:
Get your cleaning products ready
Save yourself time in the long run by taking a few minutes to gather all the essentials:
- Microfibre cloths (you may need a few if it’s been a while since your last deep clean!)
- All-purpose spray
- Specialist cleaning sprays e.g. oven cleaner
- You could make your own cleaning products
- Washing-up liquid
- Old toothbrush
- Sweeping brush
- Handheld vacuum (if you have one)
- Steam cleaner (if you have one)
With this step, you’re simply making sure there’s no clutter or mess that will get in the way of your clean. Get the washing up done and put the dishes away, clear any clutter from the kitchen worktops and give the surfaces a quick wipe over. Now you’re ready to go!
Easily forgotten, but lights can harbour dust and grime so give them a quick once over with a feather duster or cloth. Surfaces in kitchens that appear dusty can sometimes be quite sticky due to cooking oils in the air, so you may need to wipe them over with a damp microfibre cloth to get the dust off. (You’ll want to make sure that the lights are off and not hot to the touch for this step). If you have any shelving up high make sure it all gets a good dusting as well.
Now we move onto cabinets, arguably one of the largest steps in a kitchen deep clean – but it’s important to give them a good clean out regularly. Get up high and check the top of your cupboards, they’ll need a dust and a wipe down and they may have even collected clutter that’s been hidden up there (out of sight, out of mind!).
Kitchen appliances you forgot you owned? Crockery you’ve never used? Put them aside to be recycled or donated – the chances are if you haven’t used them in the past year then you won’t miss them.
Next, focusing on one cupboard at a time, remove every item from the cupboard, checking use-by dates as you go. Once you have an empty cupboard, brush out any crumbs or use a handheld vacuum and then wipe down the inside of the cupboard with your all-purpose cleaner.
Reorganise and put everything back in, using plastic containers or baskets to make best use of the space.
Consider decanting dried goods like pasta, flour and cereals into jars with labels on the front, which will make it easier to find what you need when you need it. Make sure you only put food back in the cupboard which is in date, and put oldest food towards the front to minimise future waste.
Don’t forget to clean out kitchen drawers that are notorious for getting full of clutter – old receipts, charging cables for electronics you don’t own anymore, keys that you don’t know which door they fit. Throw out what you don’t need and reorganise the items that you do want to keep.
Once you’ve cleaned the inside of each cupboard, wipe down the cupboard doors with your
microfibre cloth to get rid of any oily residue left behind from cooking.
Another area which can easily be neglected in kitchens is the windows – Dust the blinds, take down curtains if you have them and set them aside to be washed. Wipe down the windows and frames with a window cleaning spray or with white vinegar solution, then open windows and clean inside the frames as well. Use a dry, clean cloth to buff the windows and remove any streaks.
Appliances and white goods
Can you remember the last time you cleaned your washing machine? Did you even know you had to? All of your appliances, dishwasher and washing machine included, can get food and cleaning products building up inside them, so need cleaning regularly.
Washing machine – wipe down the front, clean out the drawer and get behind the seal in the door with an old toothbrush. If there are any nasty smells in the washing machine, pop a cup of baking soda and some white vinegar in the drum and set on a standard cycle.
Dishwasher – wipe down the front of the dishwasher and around the edges of the door.
Make sure it’s topped up with rinse aid and dishwasher salt.
Oven – if you have a self-cleaning oven set it to run a cycle. If not, spray with your chosen
cleaning product and let it sit while you wipe down the hob (and maybe the other appliances
if it needs a while to soak the grime off!)
Microwave – pop a cup of hot water in the microwave and heat for 60 seconds, the steam will soften any stains and make them easy to wipe off.
Fridge – remove all the food and shelves, clean the shelves in soapy water and wipe down
the inside. Once the fridge is clean replace all the food (this is another good time to check use-by dates and freshness of vegetables).
Freezer – check through the drawers for out-of-date food and chip off any ice build ups with
a plastic spatula.
Give the washing up bowl and drying rack a good clean with soapy water, dry with a tea towel and then clean the sink itself. Get a good amount of lather on your cloth and get into all the grooves, use an old toothbrush to get around the plughole and the base of the tap. You’ll be surprised how much build up you get on your sink without noticing! Make sure you wipe down all the kitchen countertops now as the work you’ve done high up may have knocked dust and dirt down onto the counters.
You’re nearly done, just the final step to go! Either vacuum or sweep the kitchen floor, making sure you get right to the corners. Use a hose attachment for corners if vacuuming. Now mop with a sanitising floor cleaner and spot clean any stains or food spills. If you have a steam cleaner, finish the job with a deep steam to ensure sparkling floors.
…And that’s it!
It may seem like an impossible task when you start but we can promise you it will be worth it in the end. Breaking the process down into these eight steps makes it seem much more manageable.
Don’t forget, the more often you do it the quicker it will be! Aim to deep clean your kitchen a few times a year and remember to keep on top of everyday cleaning, check for out-of-date food regularly and make wiping down cabinets and appliances a regular job.
Jess Bray is a Marketing Assistant at thecleaningcollective.co.uk, with 10 years’ experience in digital marketing. She loves applying her knowledge of design and marketing to the world of cleaning, helping her to share tips, tricks and hacks with keen members of ‘The Cleaning Collective’.