A 9-Step Cleaning Checklist That’ll Leave Your Kitchen Sparkling

Woman Cleaning Her Kitchen

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In many homes, the kitchen is more than just where we cook: it’s where we gather (when we can) and maybe even where we workout. So keeping it clean is super important—but it’s not always easy because, as we just said, it’s where we spend most of our time.

And while we do clean the kitchen often enough, there’s some sections that don’t always get as much love as they could. Use this checklist this weekend to dive into the little niche cleaning and organizing tasks that will make this center of the home feel refreshed ahead of the start of your spring cleaning projects. After all, cleaning in smaller segments is actually more efficient—and it’s way less daunting too.

1. Give your microwave a real clean.

Sure, you’ve wiped it out when things splatter but giving this small appliance a bit of love will make a big difference in having such a whole fresh feeling kitchen. Since it’s the appliance we’re most likely to turn to on busy days, it’s extra nice when it’s clean and ready to go.

For an easy natural clean, simply run it with a bowl of water and some lemon, if you have it, inside for up to five minutes—but don’t open the door for at least 15! The steam will get to work on stuck on messes and the lemon will refresh the smell.

2. Deodorize your trash can.

Another small space that may sometimes get neglected is your trash can itself. Deep cleaning it with liquid Castile soap is simple way to keep it fresher for longer, but you can also make little adjustments to keep it fresh all the time.

Some deodorizers to try include a quick essential oil spritz, adding a sprinkle of baking soda, or putting together a homemade citrus powder which doubles down on improving the scent.

3. Deep clean your coffee maker.

An oft neglected cleaning project (simply because we don’t think about it), most of us use our coffee pots every day—it definitely could use a bit of a scrub. But once you’ve washed all the removable parts with soap and water, you can actually clean the mechanisms of your coffee pot or pod machine using a simple solution of vinegar and water.

4. Spruce up your blender.

While you would wash a blender after every use, that’s not to say it couldn’t use a bit of a deeper clean. We chatted with some experts (aka people who use their blenders a lot) and they said it’s really as simple as adding a bit of dish soap and switching it on.

5. Reorganize your fridge.

Instead of just adding new groceries to the mix, why not make an effort to give your fridge a full treatment. According the professional organizer we chatted with, the best thing to start with is making a list of all the things you have in your fridge, and then using the list to plan how you’ll organize—that way you don’t let the cold out and save energy.

6. Clean your cutting boards.

Another one of those kitchen tools we always clean after use, but maybe don’t deep clean often, spending some extra time with your cutting boards will help them last longer. Every two weeks wooden cutting boards should be disinfected with vinegar, and once a month or so you should consider essentially exfoliating the cutting board with lemon and sea salt.

7. Replace (or sanitize) your sponge.

When was the last time you swapped out your kitchen sponge? Or the last time you gave it a good wash? According to a toxicologist, we should be disinfecting it almost every day. Rhea Mehta, Ph.D., advises popping your sponge in the microwave for a minute or so to deactivate bacteria or running your sponge through the dishwasher, if you have one. Overall, though, it should be swapped out about once a month.

There’s nothing worse than a smelly sink drain, but luckily refreshing it is as simple as using a bit of the ultimate natural cleaning hero: vinegar! “If there is mold or mildew down there, the vinegar will take care of that,” says Becky Rapinchuk of Clean Mama.

If you have a garbage disposal, she suggests a mix of lemon and baking soda for a slightly abrasive and fresh smelling finish.

This is less cleaning and more just fun refresh, but if you don’t already have a plant or two in your kitchen space, consider this is your sign to head to a nursery or plant shop! Your best option is to grab an herb or two that will thrive in whatever environment your kitchen provides—is it bright and sunny, or a bit shady? Some of our favorite options for the kitchen are oregano, basil, thyme, and lemongrass.

Once you get into a habit of taking this little bit extra care of your kitchen, you may find yourself hitting these tasks in your normal clean up—and that’s sure to make things feel a bit more calm when it does come time for a deep spring clean. If you feel like your kitchen is well and truly clean, then maybe consider hitting some of these other part of your home that you can clean up naturally with white vinegar.


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