Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the one that needs attention every day. But don't get stuck cleaning the kitchen several times a day after each meal. In just 15 minutes you can go from dirty to sparkling clean. Here's how.
Gather all supplies together before you begin:
- Trash container
- Basket for stuff that does not belong in the kitchen
- Dish soap
- Other cleansers you normally use
- Dishrag or sponge
- Scrubber for stuck on food
- Broom, mop or vacuum
- Housekeeping gloves
How to Clean the Kitchen Efficiently
- Assemble your supplies. Don't underestimate the value of this step. Trying to find cleansers, dishcloths, sponges, etc. not only eats up time but increases the risk of distractions so you forget what you were working on in the first place.
- Run a sink of hot, soapy water. If you have a double sink with a garbage disposal on one side, use the disposal-free side. Keeping the disposal side free will allow you to scrape leftovers down the drain quickly while you work. The water should be as hot as you can tolerate as it will cool as you use it.
- Scrape off all the dishes into the trash or garbage disposal. If you don't have a double sink and your disposal is blocked, scrape the dishes off onto a dirty plate.
- Place dishes that need to soak into the water. Choose the dishes that are going to give you or your dishwasher the most trouble to get clean. Put the heavily soiled dishes on the bottom. Fill large dishes like pans and bowls can with hot soapy water and set them on the counter to soak.
- While the dishes are soaking, go through the kitchen clearing out trash from your floor, countertop, and cupboards. Don't worry about things that are out of place, or don't belong in the kitchen. Focus only on trash.
- Move on to gathering all the items that do not belong in the kitchen. Put all these items into a basket. If you have a helper, send him off to put away these items. Do not stop working on the kitchen to put these misplaced items back in their place.
- Put away all of the items that belong in the kitchen but are not in their proper places. Don't allow yourself to get distracted by rearranging cabinets, drawers, etc. Simply place the items back where they belong.
- Load the dishwasher or wash by hand. If you do not have a dishwasher or don't like to use it, this process of cleaning dishes may take more time. If possible, grab a couple of other people and form a wash, rinse, dry and put away assembly line. This is also a great way to catch up with family members. Empty the dirty water and scrape the plate of food off into the disposal if it was previously blocked. Add the plate to the dishwasher.
- Wash down your countertop, appliances, and sink. Rinse out sponges and rags. This is not heavy duty cleaning. Wash down the visible surfaces. Don't open the microwave and scrub it out or clean the crumbs out of the toaster. Quickly wipe it down.
- Sweep and mop, or vacuum.
- Take out the trash. If the trash is full, or tomorrow is trash day, take the trash outside and reline the trash container so that it is ready for collection.
Kitchen Cleaning Tips
You can make the job easier by using these tactics:
- The larger your household, the longer this process will take. But, you have an advantage—more people making messes means more people to help clean them up. Make cleaning up the kitchen after dinner a family affair. Divide the steps between your family members and you really can have the kitchen done in a short time.
- Train your family members to clear and rinse their own plates after each meal. This simple act doesn't take much time, but it makes the job of dishwashing so much easier.
- Run a sink of hot soapy water before food preparation begins. As items such as mixing bowls, cutting boards, and knives become dirty, quickly wash them out to prevent food from drying and sticking.
- Create a "family clean up playlist" and let each person contribute a favorite song. Kids will be more likely to help out if they feel they have some input into the job. Letting them choose the music can go a long way.
- This quick cleanup is designed for daily maintenance, but it can also be used for a fast fix when unexpected company is on the way. However, this routine will not substitute for the inevitable need to clean more deeply on a regular basis.