We have created the definitive guide to cleaning kitchens. We share expert advice on cleaning frequency, supplies, methodologies and techniques. In this article you will learn:
- Why do you need to clean your kitchen?
- How often should you clean your kitchen?
- What cleaning materials are needed?
- What is the optimal methodology for cleaning kitchens
- How to clean your kitchen appliances
- Cleaning a microwave
- Cleaning a toaster
- Cleaning a coffee machine
- Cleaning a stovetop
- Cleaning a refrigerator
- Cleaning a dishwasher
- Cleaning an oven
- How to clean your kitchen sink and bin
- How to clean your kitchen floor
- How to clean laminate floors
1. Why do you need to clean your kitchen?
We believe that the kitchen is the most important room in the home. The kitchen is the heart of any home. It's where we cook and eat, gather with friends and family, and spend quality time together.
Since the kitchen is where you prepare meals and keep food, hygiene is critical. Food and moist and warm conditions in kitchens act as an ideal incubator for harmful germs. Spoilage or cross-contamination can also result in dangerous foodborne illnesses.
Here are some of the risks of an unclean kitchen:
Dangerous germs in unclean kitchens
When you're cooking food in your kitchen, germs and bacteria can build up quickly. If your kitchen isn't clean, you could be putting yourself at risk for serious illness.
It may be obvious but kitchen worktops are particularly susceptible to bacterial growth. According to a survey, kitchen worktops are ridden with more than 10 million harmful bacteria. These include E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter.
E.coli and salmonella that cause serious illnesses, can survive for hours on hard surfaces while campylobacter can survive for weeks. In fact, kitchen worktops were found to be five times dirtier than toilet seats.
Bacteria hotspots in kitchens
The areas most likely to harbour bacteria were found to be knife racks and chopping boards.
Another notorious store for bacteria is sponges. They're moist, they trap food and they live in a dark environment. The average sponge comes into contact with residue, hands, dishes, worktops, sink, handles, and just about every type of surface in the kitchen. Kitchen sponges contained high counts of mesophilic aerobic bacteria, coliform, enterobacteriaceae and yeasts and moulds.
Kitchen cleaning to protect against pathogens
The best way to protect against viruses such as Covid is to maintain good hygiene and take extra measures to sanitise your kitchen. Clean the high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water):
- Door handles
- Bedside tables
- Television remotes
For more information on how to keep your house clean from Covid visit: https://www.tidychoice.com/blog/2020/how-to-keep-your-house-clean-from-coronavirus
2. How often should you clean your kitchen?
How often you should clean your kitchen depends on several factors. If you are a pet-lover, if you have children or a messy family, or if cooking is your hobby, then of course cleaning should be done more often.
There are some kitchen cleaning tasks that you need to do daily, weekly or monthly. There are also seasonal tasks to help you stay on top of your kitchen cleaning.
Here we share our top checklist of tasks to help you organise your kitchen cleaning.
Daily kitchen cleaning tasks
- Wash dirty dishes as needed
- Load the dishwasher
- Wipe down countertops
- Sweep the floor
- Wash the sink
Weekly kitchen cleaning tasks
- Take out the rubbish
- Run the dishwasher
- Throw out old items in your fridge and freezer
- Wipe the outside of your appliances
- Clean out the inside of your microwave
- Mop the floor
Monthly kitchen cleaning tasks
- Clean outside of appliances
- Clean inside the microwave
- Clean the washing machine
- Clean the dishwasher
- Descale the kettle
- Mop floors
- Replace dish towels with clean ones
Quarterly kitchen cleaning tasks
- Clean inside the refrigerator
- Clean inside the oven
- Defrost the freezer
3. What cleaning materials are needed?
In this section, we have compiled the ultimate cleaning checklist to make sure you have everything to make your kitchen sparkle. We also describe how you should use these products to clean your kitchen.
If you are environmentally conscious, we list alternative natural cleaning ingredients that you can use to clean your kitchen. We show you how to make your own cleaning products with these natural ingredients.
- All-purpose cleaner
- Disinfectant spray
- Glass & mirror cleaner
- Washing up liquid
- Limescale remover
- Oven cleaner
- Floor cleaner
Natural cleaning ingredients
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Vacuum cleaner
- Brush and pan
Use of cleaning products
All-purpose cleaner is essential for every household. It offers great results on a range of household surfaces such as hard surfaces, glass, and steel and also allows you to clean up spills, dirt, grime and other messes without leaving any residue behind. It can be used to clean kitchen countertops, cabinets, stove and fridge as well as appliances.
You can make an all-purpose cleaner using natural ingredients, with vinegar, baking soda, soap and hot water. In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoons of baking soda, ¼ spoon of liquid dish soap and 2 teaspoons of vinegar. Swirl together.
Disinfectant sprays are a great way to keep your kitchen free from viruses. A disinfectant spray is a great tool for disinfecting cutlery and counters as well as killing any germs on the surface of your appliances, cutting boards and other surfaces.
If you want to take the environmentally friendly route for cleaning your kitchen, simply mix half a cup of distilled water, two cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils white vinegar. Gently shake the spray bottle. Simple as that!
Glass & mirror cleaner
Cleaning glass and mirrors is easy proving you have the right products to hand. A good glass and mirror cleaner will remove dirt and marks without leaving smudges or stickiness.
To make an environmentally friendly glass cleaner, mix 2 cups distilled water with 1/2 cup vinegar in a spray bottle and gently shake together. For extra scent, use lemon or essential oil.
Washing up liquid
Washing up liquid is a kitchen staple that can be used for so much more than just washing up. It will clean every part of your kitchen from top to bottom, making it a true multi-purpose product. In fact, the main reason why washing up liquid can be so effective at dissolving grease and destroying germs is that it is essentially made up of chemicals that destroy bacteria cells.
An easy and affordable way to make an environmentally friendly washing up liquid is by mixing 3 tbs of washing soda into a bowl with half a cup of boiling water. Next, stir the solution until washing soda dissolves completely. Add a half a cup of liquid soap and then place the solution into a clean spray bottle and allow it to cool down.
Limescale remover is an essential part of your kitchen cleaning kit. This is the perfect solution for many of the problems that your kitchen will inevitably be faced with. It's easy to use, it's fast and effective, and it will save you the effort of scrubbing away those hard-to-remove sink stains.
Alternatively, you can use a combination of white vinegar and baking soda. Mix ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the affected area and then wipe with a clean cloth.
Cleaning the floor may not be a big task in itself, but it is one that is often overlooked. The floor cleaner will help you to clean up any spills that occur in your home, as well as tough stains, dirt and grime from your floor.
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly floor cleaner, vinegar and baking soda make a great combination. Mix 1 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water and 1/4 cup baking soda and mop the floor.
Natural cleaning ingredients
The best cleaning agents are those you already have in your home: vinegar and water. Vinegar is a nontoxic, multipurpose cleaner that can be used to tackle just about anything. Add it to a spray bottle with water to clean windows and mirrors and remove mould or mildew stains.
Baking soda is one of the best tools in your cleaning arsenal. It's cheap, non-toxic and impressively versatile. It can be used to unclog drains, make silverware sparkle, scrub pots and pans and keep your laundry looking like new.
Lemon juice is one of the most versatile, affordable and effective natural cleaners around. You can use it on everything from your countertop to faucets to the microwave, and it's especially good at cleaning up grease spills and getting rid of soap scum.
Microfiber cloths are the perfect alternative to paper towels because they are washable, reusable and super absorbent. Microfiber cloths have absorbent synthetic fibres that attract dust particles and other household debris easily and efficiently.
They work great for a variety of tough cleaning jobs including dusting, scrubbing, wiping down greasy kitchen appliances and countertops.
Another important thing every household cleaning kit should have is a sponge. Look for one with a scrubby side for the tougher messes, but remember that all sponges are bacteria traps, so make sure to clean them in the dishwasher or microwave regularly and replace them often.
4. Cleaning methodology
In this section, we share the ultimate step by step process on how to clean your kitchen. But first, we share a guide on basic principles and cleaning order.
Work top to bottom
Working top to bottom allows you to remove dust and debris from the highest surfaces first, allowing it to settle on the lower surfaces that have yet to be cleaned. We have outlined the main steps on how to clean your kitchen for sparkling results.
- Remove everything from the countertops and place it in another room until you need it again
- Next, wash dishes and load the dishwasher
- Work on each appliance in order of how frequently they need cleaning: microwave, toaster, coffee machine, stovetop, refrigerator, dishwasher and oven
- Clean sink and bin
- Then sweep or vacuum underfoot. If you have hardwood floors or tile, sweep or vacuum all of the flooring in your kitchen. If you have carpeted floors or rugs, first use dry cleaning methods like sweeping and vacuuming before moving on to wet cleaning methods such as steam cleaning
5. How to clean kitchen appliances
5.1 Cleaning a microwave
The best and the most common way to remove baked on grime leftovers from the microwave is by using lemon. Get your microwave sparkly clean by following the steps for this natural cleaning hack below:
- Combine water with lemon juice in a microwave bowl
- Place it in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. The steam created will help loosen the dirt, making it easier to wipe away
- Leave the door closed for five minutes so it can finish loosening any remaining grime
- Remove bowl and wipe down the inside of the microwave using a sponge or paper towel
Pro tip: Baking soda is a little-known trick to clean up the toughest stains in your microwave. To remove stubborn stains, apply baking soda on the stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Scrub the stain with a cloth dampened into lemon water. Rinse and dry with a clean cloth.
5.2 Cleaning a toaster
A toaster is one of those appliances that can get dirty and grimy in no time at all. Whether it is the crumbs and gunk or the smell of a burnt-on toast, cleaning your toaster is important for keeping your appliance in ship-shape. Leave your toaster spick and span with this handy trick with toothpaste.
- Unplug the toaster, pull out its crumb holder and wash it
- After that, apply a thin layer of toothpaste over the top and scrub away the stains
- Wipe down with a soft cloth dampened in water
- Let it dry or wipe it with a dry cloth before you plug it back in
Pro tip: Our secret to keeping your toaster crumb-free is by flipping it upside down and giving it a few extra shakes to get the crumbs out.
5.3 Cleaning a coffee machine
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help kill bacteria, dirt and grease, and that includes any that might have build-up in your microwave. Here is a top trick on how to keep the appliance at its best.
- For removing the deposits clogging the machine, make a solution of one part of white vinegar and two parts of water
- Pour the solution in the water chamber and insert a coffee filter
- Run this solution in the machine and then run water in it for two to three times to clear off the vinegar taste from it
Pro tip: To keep your coffee machine looking brand new, descale regularly. Simply, add 4 cups of vinegar to the reservoir. Let it sit for 30 minutes and run it through a brewing cycle. After that, run a few cycles with water until the vinegar odour is gone.
5. 4 Cleaning a stovetop
When it comes to cleaning a stovetop, all you need is hot water and washing liquid.
- Start by filling the sink with hot water and add some washing liquid to it
- Soak burners and knobs into it
- After leaving them sit for a couple of hours, scrub and wipe them off
- Vacuum crumbs that have fallen in the crevices between stovetop and counter
Pro tip: For a deep scrub, spritz the stovetop with vinegar and generously sprinkle with baking soda. Place a wet cloth over the stovetop and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After removing the cloth, wipe the stovetop with a microfiber cloth.
5.5 Cleaning a refrigerator
The refrigerator is an indispensable part of your kitchen. Keeping it clean and sanitised is important, not just for health reasons but also for making sure it works correctly and therefore lasts longer. Here we share three steps on how to keep your refrigerator sparkling clean.
- Use a solution of 50-50 water and white vinegar to clean and sparkle the inside and outside of the fridge
- Wipe the shelves and the crispers at least on a weekly basis to help maintain them
- Use damp cloth to clean the finger marks on the exterior of the refrigerator
Pro tip: Not many people clean behind their fridge but it is essential. To clean it, pull out the refrigerator and give it a mop. After mopping, vacuum the refrigerator coils behind the fridge.
Read our guide on how to spruce up your refrigerator.
5.6 Cleaning a dishwasher
Almost everyone believes that the dishwasher constantly cleans itself - but sadly, it does not. Leftover food, grease, dirt and undissolved detergent build up on the dishwasher's filter and interior walls and lead to spots and film on your glassware, dinnerware, and flatware. For this reason, we share our top tips on how to clean your dishwasher and keep it in ship shape.
- Start by removing any remaining bits of foods that may have fallen into the bottom rack
- Wipe away door and gasket grime with a damp microfiber cloth
- Next, remove and rinse the dishwasher filter
- Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar in a glass measuring cup and place it on the bottom of the empty dishwasher.
- Run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle
Pro tip: Make sure you do not use a bleach-based cleaner if the interior of your dishwasher is stainless steel or contains any stainless steel parts.
Check out our step-by-step guide on how to maintain your dishwasher the right way and keep it fresh all year round.
5.7 Cleaning an oven
As most of the ovens are self-cleaning, it is simpler to remove the dirt as it is reduced to ash at high temperature. However, there is still a need to clean the dirt around door joints and edges. Here we outline the main steps on how to clean your oven.
- Wipe up the joints and edges with a solution of white vinegar and water or soapy water
- Scrub sponge with baking soda over baked on grime to vanish it off
Pro tip: Wipe any spills quickly after using the oven regularly to avoid having to scrub it now and then
Check out our blog on how to keep your oven in tip top condition.
6. How to clean your kitchen sink and bin
Deep clean your sink
A clean sink makes doing dishes much easier, and it also helps in keeping your kitchen environment a healthy one.
- For an easy way to clean your sink, sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the basin
- Use a sponge or rag to scrub in a circular motion until all of the rust is gone
- Rinse well with hot water and dry immediately
Pro tip: To keep the limescale at bay, all you need is lemon. Lemons are naturally acidic and can help break down the calcium carbonate found in limescale. Simply, cut a lemon in half and scrub the limescale-heavy areas. Let it sit for 2 hours, rinse and dry.
Empty and wipe down your bin
Kitchen bins are a magnet for bacteria and insects so it's important to keep on top of its cleanliness.
- First, take your bin outside and turn it upside down
- Give the lid a good shake to get the loose debris out
- Then, use soapy water and a stiff brush to scrub away any dirt that is stuck to the inside or outside of the bin
- Rinse off and air-dry
7. How to clean your kitchen floor
With so many different types of floors, it’s important to know which products and methods are best suited. Using the wrong products could lead to long term damage to the flooring. We have put together a guide on how to clean all types of kitchen floors, from vinyl and tiled floors to laminate and wood floors.
How to clean laminate floors
To clean a laminate floor, you'll need to vacuum it thoroughly and then use a soft cloth with warm water and some dish soap to scrub the surface of the flooring.
If the stains are really deep, use a solution of warm water mixed with white vinegar to dampen the area, then rub it gently with a soft cloth to clean it. Once you're finished, use another cloth dipped in fresh warm water to rinse the vinegar off.
Pro tip: Do not use soap-based products and polishes, as they can leave the floor looking dull.
How to clean hardwood floors
Damp-mop or dust-mop regularly. This is the number one way to keep your hardwood floor looking great. However, for a deep clean, a mixture of dish soap and water will make the perfect cleaning solution for hardwood floors.
- Sweep or vacuum up any dirt or debris
- Mop the floor using soapy water, but don't let the liquid pool on the floor. It should be damp, not soaking wet
- Dry immediately with a clean cloth
Pro tip: Avoid dragging heavy objects across the floor as they can easily damage the wood resulting in costly repairs.
Want more tips and hacks? Read our blog on how to clean wood floors at no time.
How to clean tiled floors
Tiled floors are a great household investment. Not only do they look great with their sleek, modern lines and colours, but they’re also easy to clean and cost effective.
- The first step to cleaning tiled floors is to sweep the tiles thoroughly
- After sweeping, mop the floors with a damp cloth. Use clean water and mild soap if necessary
- Let the floors dry completely before walking on them again
Pro tip: Do not use sponge and string mops for tiled floors. These are very absorbent and difficult to wring out properly.
How to clean vinyl floors
Vinyl floors are highly durable and affordable which makes them a perfect choice for every household. This flooring is also extremely easy to clean, as all you need is warm water and vinegar.
The best way to clean vinyl floors is with warm water and a mop. If there are tough stains, use a cleaning solution made of warm water and white vinegar.
- Start by mixing 1 gallon of hot water with a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar and dampening your floor with it
- Next, add 1 drop of dish soap to the water
- Dip a mop into the bucket, wring it out thoroughly and mop across your floor
- Rinse the floor with plain hot water and dry it with a towel
Pro tip: Avoid steam cleaning as the heat, steam and moisture can penetrate into the tiles and damage the floor
These are some of the easiest ways of keeping your kitchen clean and maintained at all times. If you are not able to tackle all those tasks on your own, TidyChoice cleaners are here to help.