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Leave no germs behind: A kitchen cleaning checklist

When was the last time you cleaned out under your fridge, or took the time to disinfect your kitchen sink? For most of us, wiping down bench tops, washing dishes and cleaning up food spills is simply part of the daily routine – but every now and then, it’s important to rid your home’s busiest hub of bacteria and germs by making time for a full-scale kitchen cleanse.

Woman cleaning counter

A sparkling kitchen in a few easy steps

When was the last time you cleaned out under your fridge, or took the time to disinfect your kitchen sink? For most of us, wiping down benchtops, washing dishes and cleaning up food spills is simply part of the daily routine — but every now and then, it’s important to rid your home’s busiest hub of bacteria and germs by making time for a full-scale kitchen cleanse.

Here’s the thing: Spending the lion’s share of your Saturday cleaning your kitchen is unlikely to be high on your priority list. But the good news is, you don’t need to rinse, scrub and sweep for hours on end to achieve a sparkling, clean and germ-free kitchen.

What you do need is two hours up your sleeve, a bucket of warm soapy water, a stash of appropriate cleaning products and a checklist to guide your progress.

Step 1: The big-ticket cleanse

First off, you want to tackle your trio of big-ticket appliances: the fridge, the stove and the oven. Most oven cleaners need around 30 to 60 minutes to work, so start by applying oven cleaner to your oven and spraying your stove top and range hood with an appropriate de-greaser. Leave to soak while you move on to step 2.

Step 2: Zap the microwave

Pop a bowl of water in the microwave and zap on high for two minutes. This will create steam, which will help you wipe away germs and easily remove stains and spills with a soft cloth.

Step 3: Refresh the fridge

Use a disinfecting wipe or relevant cleaning product to remove fingerprints, smeared food, grime and dirt from the exterior of the fridge. You should also aim to do an internal fridge clean once every few months too: It shouldn’t take more than 15–20 minutes to review each shelf, discard leftovers and expired food, and wipe down each shelf with a soapy cloth.

tip:

When inspiration strikes — or, to put it more accurately, when you have access to someone who can move heavy objects! — pull your refrigerator out and sweep or vacuum behind and underneath it. This is especially important if you have pets who malt, which can create a serious pile of fridge fur!

Too much stuff and too little space? Check out these space-saving tips for your home >>

Step 4: Return to the oven

By this stage, your oven cleaner should have worked its magic, so return to the oven, stove and range hood and wipe away the grease and grime.

Step 5: Sanitise the kitchen sink

Now that your kitchen trifecta of large appliances is sparkling clean, it’s time to turn your attention to the kitchen sink. This is the place where you rinse off vegetables and frozen chickens each night; where you clean your hands, wash your dishes and grab a glass of water. It’s the hardest-working and most bacteria-laden zone of your kitchen, so it’s important to disinfect your sink thoroughly with a solid 60-second scrub. Use an old toothbrush to flush out any mould from the edges of the drain and shine up your taps with an all-purpose kitchen cleaner.

Time-poor? Tips to help you clean your whole home in 10 minutes per day >>

Step 6: Clean the cupboards

A 10-minute whip around the kitchen with a soapy bucket and soft cloth is all you need to do to refresh your cupboards, including a quick wipe down of handles and knobs to remove hidden germs.

Step 7: Make your floors shine

The rest of your kitchen is now fresh and clean, but the finishing touch remains: shiny, dirt-free floors! Sweep and mop as your final step, being sure to warn family members to kick off their dirty shoes before stepping inside your sparkling and clean kitchen.

More cleaning and home organisation tips

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Step-by-step guide to organising your home office
The beauty of making lists

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