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Welcome to week 2 of the spring cleaning challenge! The focus for this week is on the kitchen. Hopefully, you’ve read and completed week one of the challenge and have had a chance to help make your home as safe as possible, or at the very least become aware of things that you’ll want to keep an eye on and address.
You can spread this out across the entire week or you can set aside a day during the week to tackle this whole project. For me, there’s pros and cons to both ways! I will end this with a checklist for the kitchen deep cleaning just like I did with the safety checklist.
Cabinets/Pantry and Fridge
You’ll want to go through your fridge, freezer, and cabinets/pantry to clear out any expired food. Purging our expired foods has given us the opportunity to reflect on what we’re eating and what we’re just flat out wasting our money on. I would try to do this BEFORE your next grocery shopping trip so that you’ll have as few items to deal with as possible. Go ahead and pull everything out so that you can give the inside of these areas a nice scrub. I don’t think there’s a “right or wrong” way to clean them. I love being able to spray something and then wipe it off. You can make your own spray cleaner or buy one, or you can simply use warm soapy water and a rag. Whatever works for you, you should do! But really give a good deep clean to these areas. As you’re putting food back, if you notice that there are food items you’re not going to use, but aren’t expired, take this opportunity to donate it to a local food bank or other charity that could use those food goods. Clean and purge all the fridges and freezers in your house at this point too (like deep freezers or fridges in the garage for example.)
Repeat this process for all the cabinets and drawers in your kitchen. Take all the stuff out, clean with your desired method and then put the stuff back. I often find that I don’t want to keep some of the things that I’m putting back. For example, we had this watermelon knife that I bought when we first moved into our apartment. By the time we’d bought our home and packed that stupid knife up for the umpteenth million time, I STILL HADN’T USED IT!!! So—at my last spring cleaning I donated it. I wasn’t using it. It was taking up too much space. Don’t be afraid to do this with any of the stuff in your kitchen. I’m talking small appliances, Tupperware that’s mismatched or warped, repeats of utensils that you never use or even things that are broken and just hanging out. If you’re finding yourself saying “there’s not a place for this,” and you never use it, well just donate it, or toss it!
After you scrub the inside, you’ll need to dust and clean the outside of the cabinets and fridge as well. Lots of time food splatters on the cabinets or on fridge. Take this time to wipe them down and get rid of any food build up that you might have.
Dusting Ceiling & Light Fixtures, and Cleaning Windows, Doors & Walls
This section will be copied and pasted essentially for every room. I know, it sounds like a lot, and it is a lot. But it’s important that you do this step in deep cleaning every so often. You can adjust this however fits the room, your style, or your preference. But, for me, I think you should start at the top. Get one of those extended Swiffer dusters and go to town. I like to start with light fixtures. Afterwards, I dust off the edge of the wall where it meets the ceiling and even run it across the ceiling so that anything hanging out up on gets addressed. For the walls, there’s been a few ways I’ve seen it cleaned. You could get one of the Swiffer mops and put a rag on it that you use almost like a paintbrush, going up and down the wall. You’ll have to continue to dunk the rag in some soapy water or whatever way you’re using to clean, but it can be a seamless way to go up and down the walls. As you’re doing that, take the opportunity to clean the light switches. Nothing crazy, but for me, I like to use a Clorox or some other disinfectant wipe on those. You’ll want to do the same with the doors. Wipe the doors down the same way you’re doing the walls and use a disinfectant on the handle or even other parts of the door that tend to get touched a lot. When you reach a window, clean out the tracks when you lift the window up and then clean the glass (ideally inside and out.) We have pretty much got rid of our blinds, but if you have them clean those as well. An easy trick for this is to put a sock on your hand and go through each blade of the blinds to clean them off. Take down any window treatments to be washed as well! Finish this process by also cleaning the baseboards off the same way you’ve washed the walls.
Pull out large appliances
You would be amazed how gross it gets behind your fridge and around your stove. We recently got a new stove, so we went through this process around Christmas time, but GROSS!!!! We had all kinds of food running along the side and just crumbs built up everywhere. Especially your fridge and stove should be pulled out, because of how often there is food around them. Pull them out and wipe down the whole area, including the wall. Sweep up anything that’s on the floor and then slide them back into place!
Clean small appliances
This is a great time to check things like the little tray on your toaster, because all that crumb build up can eventually cause it to catch fire. You should also thoroughly clean things like your electric kettle, coffee maker/Keurig, and microwave. Clean them inside and out. We got a screaming mama for Christmas and it really does make a difference cleaning the inside of your microwave. You can scrub the outside of the microwave while using the tool on the inside, and then clean up is a breeze once the timer has went off!
Clean your stove, oven, and hood range
There’s so many different strategies with this area in terms of how you want to approach cleaning your stove/oven. There are different cleaners that you can buy to clean the inside of your stove, but while those do clean it, the smell can be A LOT. There’s some chemical free options that you can explore if you don’t want that chemical smell. I mentioned we have a new stove, so we went from having the coils to having a flat top. But, one of the big things for cleaning the coil stove was either replacing or SUPER SCRUBBING those metal pans that went under the coils. AND, you can lift the top of the stove and clean out all the crumbs there. It blew my mind the first time I figured that out. Whichever stove you have, just give the top and middle great scrubs!
If you’re a cook like me, everything you make goes everywhere. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. Be sure to wipe down the front of your oven, as well as the drawer underneath. Apparently, that’s supposed to be a “heating area,” but we still use it for storage *shrugs.* But back to the messy cooking, things like spaghetti sauce might bubble up and “pop.” Well now it’s all over the hood and half the time I don’t even notice. It’s important to scrub that area top and underneath to clear off any build up from cooking.
Dishwasher and Sink
Our dishwasher can collect little food pieces over time. So, it’s important to pull the racks all the way out and give the entire area inside the dishwasher a nice wipe down. We even run a complete cycle with no dishes in there afterwards to make sure it’s had a chance to clean out. Be sure to clean the front of the dishwasher too! You’ll get food on that area quickly as well.
Your sink needs to be detailed and deep cleaned as well. In addition to scrubbing all around your sink and faucet, you also need to clean your drain! You can buy some drain cleaner or you can do a more natural approach. Whichever works best for you, but make sure you do this. Also, please please please don’t pour grease down your drain. If you have been—stop!
Wipe down counters and anything on them!
This might sound obvious, but really wipe down and disinfect your countertops. Anything that’s on your countertops should be cleaned too. For example, the knife block, sugar canister, cutting board, dish trying rack, etc. Also, in this “section” you’ll want to dust out a shelf, china hutch, dining room table and chairs (plus anything on them!) We don’t have a separate dining room, but if you do, you’ll need to repeat the wall clean process.
Clean your (inside) garbage and recycling cans
Even when you’re careful, things happen, and those bad boys start smelling rank. Bags rip, or things splatter, or I guess just over time gunk just happens to accumulate on the inside of the can and on the lid. Depending on the severity off the funk in your cans, you can either simply wipe it out or you can take it outside to be hosed and dried. Sadly, we usually must do the latter.
Clean floor and mats
Finish your kitchen spring clean by cleaning the floor. If the mats in your kitchen are machine washable go ahead and throw them in the wash. If they are not, hand scrub the mats and set them aside to dry. Sweep and mop your kitchen floor.
Lastly, here is your printable checklist–
Now stand back and admire how great you’ve just made your kitchen look! Anything you would add to your kitchen spring clean session? Let me know in the comments!
Check in next week for week 3 of the spring cleaning challenge—Living Room/Family Room, Office, and/or playrooms!!