Every mom cherishes keeping her family’s kitchen clean and free from harmful germs. After all, the kitchen is your home’s command central. It’s the first place the kids go when they get home from school, it’s a hub when entertaining guests, and where family traditions and recipes are passed on from generation to generation. There’s nothing quite as soothing and energizing as entering a clean, shiny, fresh-smelling kitchen.
And of course, it’s where you store and prepare all of your family’s food. Moms know it’s not easy keeping such a high traffic area germ-free so we’ve got 15 kitchen cleaning tips for keeping your kitchen sparkling without making it a full-time job.
The first step to a clean and germ-free kitchen is keeping the right supplies on hand. The basics include latex gloves, sponges, rags, and paper towels. Bar Keepers Friend is great for removing stains from pots and pans and baking soda for cleaning metal surfaces. And you can’t forget a good, disinfecting spray cleaner. Target’s up & up all-purpose cleaner with bleach ($2.99 for a 32oz bottle) is a bargain.
2. Chore-a-Day Calendar
Don’t save your least favorite kitchen chores for one awful day of scrubbing and mopping a week. Let’s face it, for most of us it’s more like a month. Make a chore-a-day calendar for tasks like disinfecting the trash can inside and out, cleaning inside cabinets, and wiping down baseboards and walls.
3. Clean as You Go
Taking one or two extra minutes to wash a few dishes and wipe down surfaces as you prepare meals is well worth it for keeping your space germ-free and avoiding caked-on messes. Here’s a one of the pro kitchen cleaning tips: pop sponges and dishcloths in the microwave for 30 seconds each day to kill bacteria. For on-the-go sanitizing and freshening keep a yummy-smelling disinfecting spray like up & up disinfectant spray in Linen Scent on hand.
4. Start with the Sink
A kitchen sink is one of the germiest places in your house. Keep drains clog-free by flushing with boiling water once a week. To sanitize the basin, fill it with very hot water and one cup of bleach and let it soak for one hour, scrub with baking soda and make it shine with window cleaner.
5. Garbage Disposal
One of the little-known kitchen cleaning tips for keeping your garbage disposal fresh is to keep a tray of vinegar and lemon ice cubes in your freezer. Drop one or two in the disposal each day and run until they’re dissolved.
Some experts advise against wiping down countertops with sponges, which can actually spread germs. Instead, whip out the spray cleaner and paper towels to disinfect surfaces. Target’s up & up line of cleaning products is a great value and you can get them online or in stores.
The vegetable and meat compartments in your refrigerator are bacteria heaven. Empty and clean your fridge once a month. Remove storage bins and wash them with warm soapy water.
Periodically empty your freezer and wipe it down with a mixture of one cup water and one teaspoon white vinegar.
It’s a million times easier to keep a sanitary kitchen when your space is organized and clutter free.
10. Pay Attention to Expiration Dates
Make a habit of checking expiration dates and throwing out old items.
We all dread dealing with the gooky, caked-on mess inside the microwave. Make it easier by heating a dish of water on high for three minutes and letting it stand with the door closed for five more minutes to loosen all that gunk.
12. Coffee Maker
Have you ever looked inside your coffee maker’s reservoir? It’s one of the biggest kitchen germ offenders. Keep it fresh by flushing once a month with a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture. Run for half a cycle, wait an hour and finish brewing. Then run a few cycles with just fresh water.
13. Wooden Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards are bacteria magnets. It’s best to have two separate ones for vegetables and meat. Keep them fresh by sprinkling with salt and rubbing with a cut lemon. Wipe down with a damp paper towel.
Sweep regularly and mop tile and linoleum with a disinfecting cleaner. For beautifully, shiny wood floors mop with a nine to one mixture of vinegar and water.