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The key to cleaning your kitchen is thoroughness. Once you get going, you may realise how many parts of the room you’ve never cleaned at all! Start by completely emptying your pantry cupboards while checking for out-of-date food items. Don’t forget spices – that chicken stock powder from 1996 is bad news.
While they’re empty, wipe shelves down (warm water with baking soda works great) and then replace everything – after chucking out what you’ll never use.
Use the same procedure to clean out your fridge. You can then deodorise it with a little vanilla essence. Defrosting and cleaning the freezer is nobody’s idea of a fun task, but it’s important. And if you find something in there but can’t remember when it went in, maybe it’s wise to throw it out.
Having a clean oven begins with prevention: use oven bags for your roasts, cover your baking dishes and invest in a disposable, dishwasher-safe, reusable oven liner. If you’re using a commercial oven cleaner, make sure the area is well-ventilated – hardcore oven-cleaning products can be pretty toxic.
Have you checked the food trap at the bottom of your dishwasher lately? Many people forget about cleaning their automatic dishwashers, but they can certainly get dirty. Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of bleach to the normal dish cycle as a safe way to sanitise the dishes and inner surfaces. If you’re one of those people who has never wiped down the inside of the dishwasher, now’s your chance.
Your kitchen sink and surrounding bench tops are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, but they often don’t get more than a cursory wipe down. Raw meat, food scraps, spillages and grubby old sponges all add to the health risk, so this is an area where you need to go all out with diligent hygiene. Instead of using dozens of paper towels or germ-collecting sponges, switch to microfibre towels that you can machine wash, hang up to dry and reuse.
Use a few drops of mineral oil to polish up your stainless steel sink after cleaning for that new-kitchen sheen. There are some great products available for disinfecting your sink disposal as well.
Modern stoves are easy to clean these days, but don’t forget to degrease the wall behind the stove and every surface within a metre of your stovetop. Splatters travel further than you think and airborne grease is cumulative – it quickly leaves a slimy film if you don’t keep it under control.
The general rule for kitchen cleaning is to dust/wipe first, vacuum second and mop last, always starting up high and working your way down. Don’t forget to clean and sanitise your cutting boards, de-scale the kettle and remove those 6-month-old crumbs from the toaster.
This blog was part of a spring cleaning article from Budget Direct.