Cleaning any room in your home is no task that anyone wants to do, but the kitchen is by far the most difficult. There is more bacteria and more tough areas to clean than any other room in your home. Kitchens are known as the heart of the house, which usually means that there is more traffic in your kitchen than in other rooms as well. Knowing how to clean areas in your kitchen that you usually avoid can help you toward a cleaner and safer home. Most areas that are missed in cleaning are fridges, ovens, microwaves, coffee makers/machines and the inside of cabinets. They require the most work, as there is dust that is collected at the back of cabinets and food stuck to the inside of ovens. You probably skip over these areas because they take longer to clean, meaning if you feel you don’t have time or are just doing a quick clean, they will often be forgotten about and end up not being done at all.
Refrigerator – you almost always have food in your fridge, unless you’ve cleaned it out before moving or taking a vacation. Fridges are one of the dirtiest appliances in your kitchen as they store food, so forgotten items will go bad which means that there is more bacteria in your fridge than anywhere else in your kitchen. Cleaning the inside of a fridge is quite simple, it just requires time. It is important to take all the items out of your fridge before cleaning. Remove any drawers or shelves as well, to make the cleaning easier, and to make sure you get every corner. Using a cloth and regular surface cleaner will work just fine. If you need something stronger, try using baking soda and vinegar for tough-to-clean areas.
Oven – Ovens and stoves are generally the second appliance that does not get cleaned as often as it should. Again this is because a lot of work is involved and can be difficult to clean. Most ovens now have a self cleaning option, and while this is a good start, it won’t remove everything. To make the job easier, run a cycle of the self cleaner first. Remove all oven racks and clean separately. Baking soda and vinegar are your best friends for cleaning an oven. Try using steel wool instead of a cloth as it is more abrasive and will make removing crusted food a lot easier. This works for both the oven racks and the interior. A regular glass cleaner can work for the oven door.
Microwaves – Microwaves are used almost every day, and exploding food happens. Microwaves should be cleaned more often than ovens and fridges, simply because you will probably notice that it becomes dirtier faster. A simple way to make cleaning a microwave easier is to cut a lemon in half and put it in a bowl of water. Turn the microwave on for 5 minu tes and let the lemon do its work. Once finished, the dried food should wipe off easily. Don’t forget to wipe down the glass tray and wheels that hold the tray as well.
Coffee Makers – Depending on the type of coffee machine you have, this may or may not be an easy job. For Keurig type machines, the easiest way is to buy a cleaner meant for these types of machines and run a cycle through it. If this is not possible, fill the machine with water and vinegar and let it brew. Then let it sit for 30 minutes, and finish by rinsing out with water. Make sure to then also remove the individual parts (filter, coffee pot, etc) and clean them individually. Try to at least clean the individual parts once a day after using to prevent bacteria build up.
Kettles – Everyone knows that if you use your kettle on a regular basis and don’t wash it frequently, you will most likely find that a white residue is left behind, called limescale. Cleaning this is quite simple and should be done about once a week to prevent buildup. Add vinegar and water to the kettle and boil. Then let it sit in the kettle for one to two hours and drain. Clean the kettle with soap and water and this will remove the limescale. This method works for both electric and non-electric kettles.
Cabinet Interiors – Just like your fridge, this often gets missed as you have to remove everything from your cabinets before cleaning, which is a lot of work. Cleaning inside cabinets is easy, and pretty much just requires dusting and a wipe down. A good practice to make the job a bit easier is to place rubber liners on the inside of the cabinets and drawers, when you go to clean, simply dump out any debris that has fallen on the liner, wipe and you’re good to go. This also prevents dust and debris from getting into tough-to-reach corners, and will make the job easier in the long run.
Other items in your kitchen that should be cleaned/replaced regularly are dish sponges, sink drains, garbage cans and oven fans. If these areas are cleaned regularly, then you are now on your way to a cleaner and safer kitchen!