Sure, you keep your kitchen clean year-round. But once or twice a year it's a good idea to give things a deeper cleaning. Here are the big areas to hit for a kitchen that's spring clean.
Food preparation and storage areas
- Refrigerator/freezer purge: Go through all of the food items in your refrigerator and freezer, checking expiration dates and discarding items that you won't use or have expired. Check frozen items for freezer burn, and discard unmarked packages if you don't know what they hold.
- Clean the refrigerator: While you have food items out for sorting, wipe down refrigerator shelves, wash out produce bins, wipe down interior walls, vacuum cooling coils to remove dust and dirt, and then wipe down the outside of the refrigerator.
- Clean small appliances: Remove the crumb tray from the toaster and empty it, then wipe down and clean all surfaces on the toaster, coffee maker, espresso maker, blender, stand mixer or any other small appliances you may have that are used frequently. Run a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water through your coffee maker to flush out sediment.
- Microwave: Wipe down the inside of your microwave with a damp rag to remove crumbs, removing the turntable if yours has one. Wash the turntable and set it aside. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with four tablespoons of baking soda and one cup of water, and heat the mixture on high for two minutes. Leave the door closed for five minutes, then remove the bowl — you'll be able to easily wipe down the inside. Replace the turntable when finished, and wipe down the outside of the microwave.
- Oven and stovetop: Set your self-cleaning oven to clean the night before so that it will be cooled down when you're ready to clean. Wipe down the inside of your oven, or use oven cleaner if your oven is not self-cleaning. Remove knobs and clean thoroughly behind knobs and underneath burners. Clean knobs and replace them, using grease-cutting cleaner or a baking soda solution.
- Window treatments: Drapes or curtains that can be cleaned should be removed and washed, vacuumed or taken to the dry cleaners. Blinds can be wiped down with a soft cloth. Clean the interior of your windows before rehanging window treatments.
- Ceiling fan or light fixtures: Take down glass globes and hand wash or run them through the light wash cycle in your dishwasher. Dust the ceiling fan blades (both sides) and the top of the fixture. Replace glass globes and dust off lightbulbs, replacing any that are burned out.
- Walls and decor items: Wipe down walls with a soft cloth and a light soap-and-water solution. Dust any hanging items on the walls and wipe them down with the soap-and-water solution if they are greasy.
- Countertops and backsplash: Move all items off of countertops to get a thorough cleaning underneath. Check corners and wipe underneath cabinets, too.
- Kitchen cabinets: Remove plates and glasses, then wipe down the shelves and insides of the cabinets. If your shelf paper is torn, replace it. Wipe down the outside of the cabinets, especially those nearest the stove, which may be greasy. Check knobs to make certain they are on tight.
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