Can't keep your kitchen clean? Don’t worry, it’s a common problem. Your kitchen is usually the hardest place to maintain in the house because it's the most active. All the more reason to maintain cleanliness especially as the primary place where you store, prepare and cook edibles. Between breakfast, lunch, dinner and plentiful snacking your kitchen is never really clean, is it? But one thing you definitely won't regret is cleaning as you go along; maintaining hygiene and a more pleasant eating and living experience.
If you already keep your kitchen tidy, great! Once in a while, it’s worthwhile to undertake a deeper clean to address places you can only see when taking a closer look. Sinks lose their shine, grease builds on surfaces, microwaves and ovens are cooking age-old splatters and fridges have their own life forms.
When should you clean your kitchen and what should you address?
By far the most pragmatic and liberating time is to clean as you go along. This means when cooking in the kitchen and after meals because in practice leaving it after this in most cases always results in a snowballing build up of bacteria and clunk. We've compiled a list of simple tasks to make your daily cleaning jobs just that little bit easier.
- Clean up in between your cooking tasks, wash the dishes or fill the dishwasher and by the time you go to bed or wake up in the morning, the dishes will be clean and dry to put back into the press first thing in the morning.
- If you use a draining board to dry your dishes, you can use an absorbent mat or a cloth under the draining board to absorb the drips from the drying dishes. Otherwise, you could be left with a little puddle on your countertop once the dishes are dry. It's also important that if you do use a matt, it should be washed weekly or else it will start to get damp and smell.
- Wipe down the oven, stove, microwave and any other appliances used during cooking once you're finished with them, as fresh splatters are always easier to clean.
- If you have pots and pans that will be difficult to clean, leave them to soak overnight to soften the dirt and then wash them in the morning.
- Wipe the counter after all your cooking and washing is done.
- Sweep and spot wipe the floor after you clean the counter, in case crumbs or pieces of food fall to the floor after your cook and when you wipe the surface clean.
- Take the bins out immediately when they are reasonably full (not jam packed full) so you are not left with a lingering odour attracting unwelcome guests.
How to clean your kitchen sink and why
How often you should clean a kitchen sink depends on how much you use which for most people is every day. Food gets caught in the drain, soap scum and watermarks build. You can get away with a more thorough clean every month but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t collect food scraps and wipe stray puddles after each use. Leaving a kitchen sink moist creates the perfect environment for bacteria and germs like E-coli to live and grow, especially when there are food deposits for them to feed on.
To clean your sink, use a mix of warm water, dish soap and a bit of elbow grease. A used toothbrush comes in handy to scrub those hard to reach cracks. Amy from a Diary of a New Mom notes that you can also use vinegar and baking soda to clean your sink and drain, removing any grime and lingering bad odours.
Cleaning kitchen drains
One of the worst tasks when cleaning your kitchen can be cleaning the s-bend or sink trap drain in the kitchen sink. Often food or grease that's washed down the drain can get lodged in the sink trap and clog the drain, which can also leave a bad odour lingering around the kitchen.
Start off by using a plunger to dislodge any build-up in the drain. Pour boiling water down the drain and place a plunger over the entrance of the drain and pump the sink vigorously for roughly 20 seconds. If you have a double sink you will need to cover one of the drains while you pump the other. If the water in your sink swirls down with ease, your efforts have worked, but if the sink is still clogged you will need to repeat the steps several times until you see results.
If you're still having no luck unclogging the drain then remove the sink trap which is the pipe located under the sink. This can get unpleasantly messy so place a bucket and newspaper or towel in case of splatters under the sink trap before unscrewing the slip joints. Take the sink trap to a separate sink or a hose outside to clean all the dirt and grime that has built up and reassemble the sink trap.
Alice from Elegant Touch notes that if you have a significant amount of food waste in your drain, this can make result in constant clogged drains. To combat this, either scrape your plates before washing or consider investing in an insinkerator.
If all your efforts have failed and your drain is still clogged, it's time to call your plumber.
Cleaning kitchen grease
Grease is the word and a constant cleaning task within your kitchen. All those tiny little droplets and splatters build up and accumulate in and around your stove, oven, microwave, cabinets and counters. Grease is not the easiest to clean as a lot of the time it almost seems like you’re spreading the grease rather than cleaning it, so it’s important to use the right products to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
Cleaning the kitchen fan
The purpose of your kitchen fan is to help remove airborne grease, combustion products, fumes, smoke and steam from the air through filtration. Over time these elements accumulate and can block the filter. So, if you've never cleaned your kitchen fan or haven't cleaned it in a while, it's not going to be pretty.
Most filters easily slide or pop out from the underside of the fan, so once that is removed you can easily soak it in a sink of warm soapy water although given the amount of grease we highly recommend a bucket. Leave the filter to sit in the water for a while then scrub the filter gently to remove any excess dirt and grime. Depending on how greasy the filter is, boiling water could be a more effective option in melting the grease from the filter.
Cleaning kitchen tiles
Unless you have carpet in your kitchen which would be very strange, a dustpan and mop are your friends. Cleaning your tiles is actually a simple two step process. It just feels daunting and seemingly a lot of work when you have to bend a little and carry a bucket of water. In fact, mopping actually goes a long way in adding that sparkling and clean feeling to your kitchen and it doesn’t take that long. Step one is to simply sweep any visible particles into your dustpan and dump them in the bin. Next, grab a bucket of water with some floor cleaner and mop from end to end with a damp mop. Let the floor dry and that’s it!
Cleaning kitchen sponges
Kitchen sponges are our main cleaning tool, but one thing to note is, they can also spread dirt with the number of bacteria living on them. Soaking your sponge in vinegar is a good natural way to sanitise the sponge, it will reduce the spread of bacteria in your home and you won't be spreading toxic chemicals. Where possible let your sponge dry as much as you can. Microfiber cloths are a great investment in cleaning too, due to their sustainable material. And know when a cloth or sponge needs to be thrown away; don’t hold on just because you want to avoid a trip to the supermarket or simply buy in bulk.
We hope these tips help keep your kitchen clean and tidy!