8 Things People with Clean Kitchens Always Do

published Apr 11, 2023
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Credit: Minette Hand

While many people can agree that a clean kitchen is way nicer to be in than a messy one, keeping this heavily used space neat is easier said than done. The secret? Choose (and stay on top of) a few cleaning routines. Little habits can pack a major punch when it comes to keeping your food prep and dining space tidy — plus, spending a little time here and there is way less laborious than investing hours on end when things hit the fan. 

Not sure what habits pay off the most? Below, eight tips from people who pride themselves on keeping their kitchens clean all the time. 

“Close” your kitchen each night. 

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know how important it is to close the kitchen at the end of each night. Ashley Scheuring, a blogger at Confessions of a Grocery Addict, brings this practice into her home. Every night, she wipes down surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner, sweeps the floors, loads the dishwasher, and sanitizes the sink. “If you do it nightly, it only takes about five or 10 minutes and keeps you from needing to deep clean as often,” she says. 

Clean your cleaning supplies. 

It’s easy to assume your cleaning products are clean themselves, as you use them to tidy up. But over time, your sponge and rags can accumulate stinky germs. That’s exactly why Scheuring takes time to clean her cleaning supplies each week — for example, wiping out grime from her sink side caddy, washing dishcloths, and replacing kitchen towels with freshly laundered ones. 

Address messes immediately. 

Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning, shared one practice that keeps her own kitchen clean all the time. Rather than waiting to address spills or splatters, she always cleans them as soon as they happen to avoid bigger, harder-to-clean, and potentially damaging messes. 

Keep appliances off the counters. 

While it makes sense to keep your commonly used appliances on your counter — for example, your coffee maker and toaster — too many can make your kitchen appear cluttered, and add more surfaces to clean. Professional organizer Lisa Cantu says she keeps her countertops as clutter-free as possible to make the area easier (and faster!) to wipe down. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Don’t let dishes pile up. 

There’s one trick travel blogger Alyssa Nelson swears by to keep dishes from piling up: Never let dirty items hit the sink if the dishwasher still has free space. “Instead of setting things down twice, first in the sink and then in the dishwasher, they go straight in, reducing those awful long periods of loading them,” she says. 

Keep your cleaning supplies stocked. 

Cleaning isn’t just about motivation — you also need to have the right tools on hand to do the job. To ensure he stays on top of cleaning his kitchen regularly, Brad Smith, founder of Omni Home Ideas, always keeps essential cleaning supplies on hand. Follow suit by keeping tabs on products and adding anything that’s running low to your grocery list. 

Clean out the fridge before grocery shopping. 

You might not see it as often as your counters, but your fridge can quickly become a sore spot in your kitchen if you don’t regularly clean it. Alex Shytsman, a recipe developer and food blogger at The New Baguette, quickly scans her fridge shelves to get rid of anything old, wilted, or expired and wipes down spills before bringing new groceries home. “That way, your new groceries will have a tidy, clean home, and because you can simultaneously take inventory of what you already have, you can avoid buying multiples,” she says. 

Wipe down appliances on a schedule. 

Depending on how much you use them, your appliances can quickly look dingy — and cleaning them every now and again can do wonders for how your kitchen feels. Shytsman makes sure to spray her stovetop with kitchen cleaner and give it a good scrub every weekend, but you can choose whatever appliances need the most TLC. 

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