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Kitchen cleaning shortcuts

You don’t have to clean for hours on end to achieve a sparkling, germ-free kitchen.

woman in clean kitchen

The kitchen sink

The kitchen sink contains a high concentration of bacteria, according to microbiologists at NSF International, and faucets can harbor dangerous bacteria and mold. Stay ahead of the germs with a simple cleaning routine: 

  • Daily: Wipe faucets with a disposable wipe.
  • Weekly: Wash and disinfect the sink with a multipurpose kitchen cleaner.
  • Monthly: Sanitize drains and disposals with a commercial kitchen cleaning agent or with a cleaner mixed at home. You can find several homemade cleaning options at How To Clean Stuff.

Expert Tip

After washing out your stainless steel sink, wipe it with a wood cleaner for an impressive shine. ~ Bruce Lubin, author of Who Knew?.


Kitchen countertops are loaded with bacteria that can be traced to unwashed produce, raw meat, poultry and even pet toys.

Clean daily. After food prep activities have been completed, wash the countertops with hot soapy water and rinse with clean water. For small messes between washings, wipe down counters with disinfecting wipes.

Expert Tip

Use both hands to wipe your counters and cut your cleaning time in half! ~ Brette Sember, author of The Organized Kitchen.


Modern dishwashers can handle most messes, so take full advantage of this time-saving appliance. When filling the dishwasher, place like items together to save loads of time when unloading.

Before starting the dishwasher, run hot water in the sink for three minutes. “Starting the hot water beforehand helps to boost cleaning,” says Javier Zavala of J&B Professional Cleaning Service LLC.


The key to keeping your refrigerator clean is to stay on top of messes.Discard leftovers and expired foods before they turn into a science experiment!

On the inside, use warm soapy water to clean up spills as soon as they happen. On the outside, use a disinfecting wipe as needed to remove fingerprints, food and dirt.

Quick Tip

Keep an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to keep flavors from transfer from one food to another. Change the box monthly for a clean, fresh smell.


Your food will taste and smell better if you keep the microwave clean. Heat a bowl of water and vinegar for five minutes in the microwave. “The steam will remove stuck-on stains,” says Zavala. Wipe clean with a damp sponge lightly sprinkled with baking soda.

Kitchen floor

Wash the entire floor once a week, using cleaners and cleaning methods recommended by the floor manufacturer. In between weekly scrubs, wipe up spills and splatters with paper towels or cleaning wipes. Remove scuff marks with a sprinkle of baking soda on a clean, damp sponge. Rinse.

Voila! Mere minutes to a clean, spiffy kitchen!

More helpful kitchen tips

No-mess cooking
Kitchen cleaning checklist
How to prevent food borne illnesses

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