Do you ever casually go about your day, popping into the kitchen for a little peanut butter toast and then the next thing you know you're turning over the toaster oven because it's been so long and you just can't take the crumbs anymore? Yeah. For a steady stream of cleaning, one that keeps your kitchen cleaning itself, so to speak, try the "good enough" approach, punctuated by one deeper clean every week or so.
For each of the major areas of your kitchen, daily maintenance combined with occasional deeper cleaning will keep your kitchen sparkling perpetually. Each night, or maybe just a few times a week, you can check off a few of the "good enough" tasks. Then once a week or so, tackle the deep clean. The one-two-punch combo will have the heart of your home looking spotless around the clock.
- Clear counters of clutter.
- Wipe up spills and drips before they dry.
- Dry up excessive water.
- At the end of the day, wipe down counters that were used with a mist of all-purpose cleaner and a rag.
- Wipe all parts of the counters thoroughly, lifting up small appliances and making sure to hit the sides and edges also.
- After your usual wipe down, spray the counters down with a disinfecting spray and allow to dry.
- Don't put anything dirty into the fridge. (Wipe down condiment bottles, etc.)
- Toss anything that has perished.
- Try to keep everything in its own zone so you know what you have and where it is. This keeps the tossing to a minimum.
- Look through the fridge thoroughly to take stock of what you need to buy and what you need to toss.
- Shelf by shelf, take everything out, wipe the inside of the fridge, and replace your items. Check this post for how to do it in 30 minutes or less.
- Wipe the outside of the fridge and polish it if it's stainless steel. Don't forget water and ice dispenser trays.
Stove and Oven
- Wipe up spills while they're still fresh.
- Give stove tops a quick wipe-down with all-purpose cleaner.
- Wipe knobs and any new oil splatters.
- Clean up any spills in the oven while they are still new.
- Use a gentle cleanser such as Bon Ami or baking soda to scrub off any set or baked-on dirt.
- Use a disinfecting spray on the stove top.
- Wipe tougher stains off of the oven door, as necessary. I use a Magic Eraser for this, with great success.
- Wipe down any messes, such as splashes on the Kitchen Aid or splatters in the microwave.
- Wash components that you used, such as the tray of the toaster oven.
- Thoroughly wipe down all parts of the exterior.
- Wipe underneath the appliances.
- Empty toasters and toaster ovens of crumbs (unplug first, of course).
- Put items away where they belong.
- Make sure everything you put away is clean.
- Make sure everything is in its proper place.
- Remove everything from the pantry floor and sweep and wipe it down.
- Take inventory and note staples that are running low.
Rags and Sponges
- Thoroughly rinse sponges and rags after each use.
- Make sure they are able to dry.
- Bring out new dish rags and counter rags each night.
- Wash used rags in hot water.
- Fold and put away so they're easily accessible.
- Wash all dishes.
- Rinse out the sink of any food particles.
- Spray with a disinfectant. (Kitchen sinks are dirtier than toilets.)
- Scrub with a powder-based cleanser.
- Clean out seams, sponge holders, and drains.
- Wipe down the outside of soap dispensers.
- Sweep or vacuum up crumbs.
- Wipe any spills immediately.
- Wet mop the floors after vacuuming, making sure to get under pet bowls.
- Put kitchen rugs and mats in the washer if you can.