Green Spring Cleaning in the Kitchen
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It is a never ending chore – preparing food, washing dishes, wiping counters, cleaning the floor. The kitchen is probably the most used room in our homes – wouldn’t you say? Our lives revolve around three meals a day and the preparation and clean up of those meals. Every. Day.
It can get so overwhelming sometimes, and also so old. Sometimes I wish that I could just cross dirty dishes off my To Do List, and never have to think about it again.
But, in the real world, our kitchens get used, and get messy, on a daily basis. And we at least try to keep up and keep our kitchens somewhat clean and functional on a daily basis, but this room of the house is probably often overlooked for deeper cleaning, just because we do clean it on a regular basis.
The kitchen can get quite dirty, because it is used so much, and needs a good cleaning, at least once a year. So, if you’re ready to spring clean your kitchen, let’s get started! We’re using non-toxic cleaners, not chemicals, to deep clean our kitchens from top to bottom– just vinegar, baking soda, basic multipurpose cleaner, dish soap, and homemade soft scrub as needed.
Deep Cleaning the Kitchen
Start at the Top
When I’m cleaning, I like to start at the top of the room, and this is the advice that you’ll get from the cleaning experts as well. (Which I am obviously not one!) You don’t want to mop the floor and the clean the tops of the cabinets and get dust and crumbs and who knows what else all over the clean floor. So, look up, and see what needs to be cleaned first.
- Replace light bulbs and dust light fixtures as needed.
- Dust, wipe down, or vacuum the tops of cabinets – I am fortunate at this house that my cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling. This was a job that I dreaded at our old house!
- Clean the top of the fridge, if it is exposed. If not, wait until we pull out and wipe down our appliances.
- Dust the ceiling and corners of the walls to get the cobwebs out of the corners.
- Wipe down the tops of doorway trim, and the tops of the doors, they can get really dusty.
Wipe Down Upper Cabinets, Windows, Walls, and Range Hood
Because we’re not cleaning out and organizing everything, we’re just going to wipe down the outsides of the cabinets. Get a bucket and fill it with warm water – you can use a vinegar and water combination for this, or dishsoap would work great too. A microfiber cloth, or maybe even one of those green scrubbies, will work well to scrub off any sticky, or caked on, gunk.
- Start at the tops of the cabinets and work your way down. Wipe off the doors and the molding, and opening up the doors and wiping the fronts of the cabinets.
- Wash and wipe down windows and trim. Use your vinegar and water spray and a microfiber cloth specifically for glass.
- Wipe down walls, starting at the top and working all the way down. You can use the same vinegar and water solution, or warm water with dishwashing soap, that you used for your cabinets to wash your walls. Rinse with a damp cloth.
- Clean the Range Hood. This one can get a little gross because it gets so greasy. The best degreaser I have found is vinegar – it cuts right through it. Spray straight vinegar on the range hood and let it sit for a few minutes, maybe while you wipe down the wall, and then come back and put some elbow grease into it.
Clean Counters, Sink and Stove Top
Clear everything off your counters, not decluttering (unless there’s something that just really doesn’t belong there!), so you can wipe them down completely.
- Use vinegar and water (unless you have granite countertops) or multipurpose cleaner to spray and really scrub down the counter.
- Wipe down small appliances or other things before putting them back on the counter.
- Sprinkle baking soda on your cook top and scrub off cooked on, or burnt, areas. Pay special attention to the back panel of the stove, now would be a good time to take off the knobs and clean around and underneath them.
- Use homemade soft scrub, or just plain baking soda, and scrub your sink. Vinegar works great on stainless steel, after you’ve scrubbed it down, to remove water spots and get your sink sparkly clean!
- Switch out your handsoap, if you’re using antibacterial soap, for soap without triclosan. Same for dishwashing liquid.
- If you have a disposal, you can make ice cubes out of vinegar or lemon juice and run them through the disposal to clean and deodorize it.
Wipe Down Lower Cabinets and Appliances
Refill your bucket with your vinegar and water, or dishwashing liquid, solution as needed.
- Wipe down your lower cabinets – these usually have the most spills and general dirt to scrub off.
- Scrub down the front of appliances – dishwasher, stove, and fridge.
- If you’re feeling up to it, you can also pull out your appliances and wipe down the tops, sides and backs as well. This is not a fun job, but it’s gotta be done at some point. When my hubs was redoing our kitchen floor a few weekends ago, I scrubbed down all our appliances and found that a scrubbing brush worked well for cleaning those really caked on, hardened spills.
- Clean the floor underneath your appliances while you have them pulled out!
- Clean the inside of the oven. Ooh, I hate this one! But, it needs to be done at least once and a while. Baking Soda is a great scouring scrub for inside the oven and if you have really nasty burned on stuff (like me!) the reaction between vinegar and baking soda can help to break that down. The only real way to clean your oven naturally without toxic chemicals, or wasting energy by using the oven’s self-clean method, is to put a little hard work into it. It’s going to take some scrubbing, but it’s worth it to avoid the toxic fumes from conventional oven cleaners.
- Use vinegar to clean and deodorize your dishwasher. Place a bowl on the bottom of the dishwasher and fill it with vinegar, run a regular cycle on the dishwasher, no need to let it dry. This helps to remove buildup and deposits from water or detergent in your dishwasher. Then just fill up your dishwasher with dirty dishes and run as usual.
We’re almost done!
Wipe Down Baseboards, Sweep and Mop the Floor.
- Use vinegar and water, or multipurpose cleaner to spray and wipe down the baseboards.
- Sweep the floor to remove dirt, crumbs, and pet hair.
- Mop the floor using vinegar and water or multipurpose cleaner. You can use your greener swiffer, or I also really like my Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop because I can remove the mop head and just throw it in the wash with my rags. A Disinfecting Steam Mop deep cleans and sanitizes without using chemicals and is great for cleaning many different types of floors.
- If you have the time, toss out old and expired food from your fridge and wipe down the shelves as you are able. Vinegar and water works great for this!
- Clean out the inside of the microwave. Put a bowl of water and vinegar in there and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, until it boils for a little while. The steam will help to loosen all of the cooked on splatters and they will be much easier to wipe off. Wipe off the outside of the microwave too.
That’s it! Step back and admire your cleaned from top to bottom kitchen! And be proud that you deep cleaned without using harsh or toxic chemicals or cleaners.
What cleaning task in the kitchen do you dread the most? Have a favorite homemade or non-toxic cleaning tip for deep cleaning in the kitchen to share?