The kitchen is an essential part of any home. Arguably, some may even consider the kitchen to be the most interactive room in the whole house. Let’s explore seven ways to give this space some extra love with kitchen cleaning hacks to help save your summer.
It can be challenging to be motivated to clean the grimiest parts of the kitchen, especially as the weather heats up. Follow these quick and easy kitchen cleaning hacks using everyday products to help save you time this summer.
1. Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher
To get us started, let’s dive right into the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals should be regularly cleaned and maintained to keep them running properly. Leftover food particles can easily get trapped around the rim of the disposal. To stay on top of this, grab an old toothbrush. Soak the toothbrush in an anti-grease solution (for example, Dawn Dish Soap) and scrub the underside of the rubber guard to eliminate any extra food scraps.
Similarly, dishwashers can easily build up grime over time. Therefore, it is crucial to remove the filter and rinse it under hot water, scrubbing any extra stubborn residue with a toothbrush. Next, grab a dishwasher-safe, medium-sized bowl filled with distilled white vinegar and place it on the top rack. Run a normal cycle on the hottest temperature setting.
TIP: For an extra clean dishwasher, take a cup of baking soda, then scatter the baking soda along the bottom of the rack and run a short cycle, again on the hottest setting. Try to maintain a cleaning routine for the dishwasher at least once a month.
The next appliance to tackle is the microwave. Fill a microwave-safe bowl half full with water and in a sliced lemon, squeezing some lemon juice into the bowl as well. Microwave on high for three minutes and then let it sit in the microwave for an additional three minutes. Remove the bowl, and you’ll be able to easily remove any stuck-on grime with a paper towel or dishrag.
TIP: If you don’t have lemons, a few drops of dish soap in a bowl with water can also do the trick.
For additional spot cleaning, make a paste out of a few drops of water and baking soda. Apply to the hardened grime in the microwave and let sit for about four or five minutes. Finish by wiping clean with a wet sponge.
3. Stains on “Stainless Steel”
A magic clean eraser can easily clean those hard-to-clean areas, even the sink. Another solution is make your own paste out of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar.
Stainless steel cutlery can also obtain stains and look “foggy” after regular use. To tackle these streaks, dampen a washcloth with olive oil and gently rub. Rinse and dry immediately.
If you need to clean tarnished cutlery, soak them in a mix of equal parts white vinegar and hot water for ten minutes, then rinse and dry. Good as new!
4. Wooden Cutting Boards and Cooking Utensils
Wooden cutting boards are excellent to use but often can be a hassle to clean. Its porous surface becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. For a deeper clean after the daily dish soap rinsing, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle on a generous amount of salt. Then, scrub the board using the lemon/salt combination and rinse with water.
This salt and lemon hack is not only useful for cutting boards but wooden cooking utensils as well. Just remember to first wash away any bacteria by soaking in hot soapy water.
For an even deeper clean, mix equal parts white vinegar and hot water in a mason jar or bowl and let the wooden utensils soak in the mixture. Continue to allow them to soak for about 30-40 minutes to thoroughly remove any bacteria. After soaking, rinse again with hot water and towel dry.
TIP: Ensure cutting boards and wooden utensils are thoroughly dried before storing.
While it may be hard to get motivated to clean the oven during the hot summer months, it is a must to maintain a sparkling clean kitchen. Surprisingly, cleaning the oven may involve less effort compared to cleaning other kitchen appliances.
There are only three things needed: baking soda, white vinegar, and a good scrubber. Sprinkle the baking soda all over inside the oven, making sure to reach the sides. Next, follow up with the white vinegar to form a paste. Let sit overnight, and voila – all you have to do is scrub the remaining grime in the morning.
Check out this article for more in-depth appliance cleaning tips!
6. Burnt or Stained Dishes and Cookware
Pots and pans are essential everyday cooking staples. Over time, they are bound to end up with burnt-on messes or hard-to-remove stains. Once again, tackle these stains with baking soda and vinegar!
Fill your cookware with 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar, then bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add two tablespoons of baking soda, making the mixture start to fizz. Once it stops bubbling, empty the mixture and scrub with a sponge. Then, rinse and dry. If there are any additional pesky stains remaining, add more baking soda directly to the area.
Next up, stained dishes and drinkware. Coffee and tea can affect your mugs over time, leaving stains. Quickly eliminate stains with some dish soap and baking soda, then scrub the stains away with a slightly more abrasive sponge.
Knife marks accumulating on your white dishware? Simply remove these scuffs by following these three steps:
- Grab a bottle of Bar Keeper’s Friend and sprinkle on the area.
- Add a few drops of water to form a paste, completely covering the dish’s surface. Let sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Scrub the dish with a washcloth and wash off the paste with soap and water.
7. Refrigerator and Freezer
Daily opening and closing of the refridgerator and freezer leads to fingerprint and streaking. To target this area, spray the exterior with white vinegar, then wipe off with a microfiber towel. After wiping, dip the towel in a small amount of olive oil and wipe away, going with the grain of the appliance, to add a nice shine.
For the interior, prepare to deep clean the shelves by first removing all of the contents. Create a cleaning solution using two tablespoons of baking soda and one-quart hot water. Wipe with a cloth and dry the shelves completely.
Now that the interior is clean, tackle any lingering odor by opening a box of baking soda and placing it on the shelf next to your food items. The baking soda will help absorb any foul odors.
TIP: If possible, remove shelves and pull-out drawers completely and soak them in the baking soda and hot water solution for 15 minutes before washing and drying.
Follow these seven kitchen cleaning time-saving hacks to help you clean faster and more efficiently, allowing extra time to enjoy your summer.