Expert Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen
A little elbow grease goes a long way.
The kitchen is one of the busiest areas of any home. The hub for everything from meal prep and family dinner to after school homework sessions and weekend craft projects, it's an area that can get dirty before you know it. Spring cleaning the kitchen is a must, and it's the perfect excuse to give the room a top to bottom refresh. From overlooked areas to clean to our best organizing techniques, we're sharing expert-approved tips for spring cleaning the heart of the home.
Crumbs, baked-on grease, and rust are just some of the aspects of spring cleaning the kitchen that can make it feel like an insurmountable task, and all of those different elements requiring your attention can leave you wondering where to begin. Mary Gagliardi, also known as Dr. Laundry, Clorox's in-house scientist and cleaning expert, says to start from the top and work down—starting with the door frames, moving to your oven hood, tile backsplashes, and so on. But you don't have to start there. "When it comes to spring cleaning, cupboards, cabinets, and pantries are a great starting point, followed by appliances," says Melissa Maker, host of the CleanMySpace YouTube channel and founder of Clean My Space, a housekeeping service based in Canada. "Those are likely the biggest tasks/zones so if you can get them out of the way first, everything else should fall into place pretty easily."
After you're done scrubbing your surfaces, the next step is to organize. "Organizing an entire room can seem daunting and time-consuming. If taking on organizing your whole kitchen is too much, it's ok to start small with a drawer or cabinet and work your way through the room as time permits," says Jen Rowe, professional organizer and owner of NEAT Method Toronto. According to Rowe, the NEAT Method uses a five-step process, which includes: taking everything out of the space, categorizing items and editing out duplicates as necessary or worn-out items, space planning, purchasing and implementing the necessary organizing products, and labeling everything so it's easy to find what you're looking for. Ahead, explore more expert tips for spring cleaning your kitchen to get it looking and feeling refreshed.
Start Simple, with Door Frames
"Use disinfecting wipes to clean the tops of door frames and kitchen cabinets that have gathered dust," says Gagliardi.
Don't Forget the Top of the Range Hood or Fan
"Even with a powerful exhaust fan, grease will get airborne, so an effective degreaser like Scentiva ($3.41, homedepot.com) is a must," says Gagliardi.
Clean the Outside of the Dishwasher
"Clean the sides of the door especially around the hinges, with Clorox® Scentiva Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner ($3.41, homedepot.com)," says Gagliardi.
And the Inside
Maker says to remove and clean your dishwasher filter—if it's removable. "Replace and then run through a load with a dishwasher cleaning tablet to make cleaning your dishwasher easy," she says.
Tackle the Refrigerator
"Remove everything, check expiration dates, wipe everything down including the shelves, drawers (using all-purpose cleaner and you can add some baking soda if there are any stains)," Maker says. "Rinse well…and then neatly replace each item you removed."
Loosen Stuck-On Stains in the Microwave
"Microwave a mug filled with plain water for two minutes, then wipe away loosened food from the interior with a damp paper towel," says Gagliardi.
Give the Oven a Wash
For the oven, remove the oven racks and use the self-cleaning function if available, says Maker. "Otherwise, make a paste of three parts baking soda, one-part water, one part dish soap," she says. "Wipe out the interior of the oven with a damp paper towel to remove any loose debris. Apply the paste to the interior of the oven and let sit for 30 minutes." Finish off by scrubbing with a Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Pad ($10.18 for eight , amazon.com) and rinse well with water and a clean microfiber cloth.
Clean Cabinets, Drawers, and the Pantry
"I'd recommend having a handheld vacuum on hand with a brush attachment," says Maker. "Also, a microfiber cloth, some all-purpose cleaner, and to deal with heavy duty grease buildup I use an enzyme cleaner." Maker says to go spot by spot, emptying everything out of the cupboards, wiping down the interior and exterior of the space, cleaning anything that needs to be cleaned that you removed and neatly replace everything in its spot.
"Remember that counters are a food contact surface, so whether you use…a bleach and water solution you mix yourself, or ready-to-use Clorox® Clean-Up ($18.50 for two, amazon.com) to clean and disinfect your counters, remember to finish with a clean water rinse," says Gagliardi.
Stash Often-Used Items Nearby
"If one's morning routine includes coffee, we'd want to position all the items that are being used to prepare the coffee—the mugs, coffee maker, coffee—in the same general area of the kitchen so they're not having to wander all about the space to complete the task," says Rowe.
Keep the Kids in Mind
"If children need to have access to snacks or their water bottles or other dishes, ensure they're placed at a height they can easily reach," says Rowe. "Similarly, if there are items children shouldn't be touching, like breakable pieces or sharp objects, ensure they're stored out of reach out of concern for their safety."
"Cleaning will go more quickly when dirt and dust isn't allowed to build up over time," says Gagliardi. "And you can assess what may only need attention every two months and what needs attention more frequently than once a month since people's kitchens and lifestyles are unique."
Set Yourself Up for Success Year-Round
Rowe recommends an end-of-day 10-minute tidy. Implementing the one-touch rule, "which means you're only handling something once before it's back where it belongs," she says. "Another tried and true rule is the one-in, one-out rule, which means you're only bringing a new item into your home if you're prepared to part ways with an equal number."