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:
How to Clean the Kitchen Efficiently
- Grab all of your needed supplies together (listed below.)
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. Gather all supplies together before you begin.
- 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.
- Scrape off all the dishes into the trash or garbage disposal.
If step 2 blocked your disposal, scrape the dishes off onto a dirty plate.
- Baking Soda and Drains
- Citrus Peels and Drains
- 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 about trash.
- Move on to gathering all the items that do not belong in the kitchen. Put all these items into a basket (see supplies).
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. We're not heavy duty cleaning here. 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 tomorrow's trash.
Kitchen Cleaning Tips
- 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 dish washing so much easier.
- Run a sink of hot soapy water before food preparation begins. As mixing bowls, cutting boards, knives, etc, 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.
- Trash container
- Basket for stuff that does not belong in the kitchen
- Dish soap
- Other cleaners you normally use
- Dishrag or sponge
- Scrubber for stuck on food
- Broom, mop or vacuum