The Perfect Kitchen Cleaning Checklist for a Tidy Space

Person spraying and wiping down kitchen countertops

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $0-40

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is the place to cook food, serve meals, and come together with loved ones on special occasions. Since it is arguably the most important room in any home, it is essential to keep this space clean, organized, and welcoming at all times. Sometimes that can become overwhelming, especially if you have little ones at home or cook multiple meals a day.

Before You Begin

The good news? Keeping your kitchen clean doesn't have to be a headache. If you chunk each part of the room up into smaller tasks, you can easily move through the kitchen, getting every sticky nook and hard-to-reach cranny until it sparkles.

Read on below to find our easy-to-follow checklist for making sure every inch of the kitchen is cleaned.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 sponge
  • 3 microfiber cloths


  • 1 bottle of all purpose cleaner
  • 1 container of oven cleaner or baking soda


Materials for cleaning your kitchen

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

How to Clean Your Kitchen Step by Step

  1. Start With Dusting

    When cleaning any room, it's a good idea to move from top to bottom, starting with high dusting. This will allow you to catch any extra dust or dirt that might fall from your ceiling fans and light fixtures as you work your way down.

    1. First, wet and ring out a microfiber towel and spray the towel twice with your favorite all-purpose cleaner. Microfiber is great for catching small dust particles and pet hair, if you've got a furry friend in the house.
    2. Dust light fixtures, vents, ceiling fans, windowsills, towel racks, shelves, blinds, cabinets, woodwork, appliances, and everything else you have in the kitchen that needs a good wipe down.
    3. As you dust, rinse your towel and reapply the all-purpose cleaner as needed.
    Beginning by dusting the top of kitchen cabinets and other surfaces

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Tackle the Oven

    Cleaning your oven can seem intimidating, but it's simpler than you might think.

    1. Start by filling up your sink with hot, soapy water. Dish soap works great here.
    2. Remove the oven racks and soak them.
    3. As the racks are soaking, spray down the inside of the oven with your favorite oven cleaner. If you're looking for a nontoxic method, create a paste with one part water to four parts baking soda.
    4. Spread the paste all over the oven, avoiding the heating elements, if possible.
    5. Return to the sink and give the oven racks a good scrub down with a scrubber sponge or some steel wool, then place them on towels on the countertop to dry.
    6. Leave the oven cleaner or paste intact while you complete the rest of the kitchen (the longer it sits, the more effective it is).
    Spraying cleaner on the inside of an oven door

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  3. Clean the Stove

    How you clean your stove depends on if it runs off electricity or gas. For an electric stove, check out this article on keeping a ceramic or glass cooktop in great shape. For a gas stove, start by removing the grates and hood vents and soak them in hot, soapy water in the sink.

    While those soak, clean the cabinets above the stove, the hood, the backsplash, and the stove top with dish soap, hot water, and a sponge. Return to the sink to scrub down the soaked grates and vents. Dry the grates, vents, and stove area with a microfiber cloth, then replace.

    Wiping down the stove top with a sponge

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  4. Deep-Clean the Refrigerator

    To really get the fridge clean, you'll want to do the interior first.

    1. Remove every item from the first shelf/drawer, then, remove the shelf/drawer from the fridge and wash it in the sink.
    2. When you're done, dry, replace, then organize all the food and put it back.

    Once you've done the entire interior, you'll move to the exterior.

    1. Grab your ladder and wipe off the top with a wet microfiber towel to grab any dust.
    2. Then, clean the front according to the surface you have in your home.
    3. For stainless steel, wet a sponge and add a touch of stainless steel cleaner.
    4. Wipe in vertical motions following the grain, then rinse completely with a wet microfiber towel.
    5. For any other surface, a wet sponge and a few drops of soap will do the trick to get it nice and clean.
    6. Wipe down, then rinse and dry with a fresh towel. Don't forget to get all sides of the handle.
    Closeup of hand wiping down a refrigerator door

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  5. Scrub the Countertops, Cabinets, and Backsplash

    Grab your sponge, hot water, soap, and scrub these surfaces before rinsing and drying with fresh microfiber towels. You might be asking, "But can't I just wipe them down?" Sure, you can. But remember that when we wash our hands, we use soap, hot water, and we sing our ABCs. You probably eat off your countertops, so make sure they are clean.

    Spraying and wiping down kitchen countertops

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  6. Clean Floors and Remove Crumbs

    To get your floors super clean, a great vacuum is key. Make sure you have the round brush, crevice tool, and floor brush attachments to reach every inch. Use the round brush on baseboards, the crevice tool on edges, and the floor brush on the main floor. Once you're done, mop the floor with water and a few sprays of all-purpose cleaner. Let floor dry.

    Vacuuming the kitchen floor

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  7. Revisit the Oven

    Remember the oven cleaner or paste you let sit? Go wipe that down, replace the racks, and you're done!

    Wiping down the oven door interior

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean Longer

  • Maintenance is key. Don't let a huge mess pile up before you take action. Clean as you go and your kitchen will stay tidy for longer.
  • Make sure everything has a place. Putting things away in storage not only reduces clutter, it also means you have fewer items to dust when it's time to clean.
  • Be sure to pick up any rugs you have in the kitchen and give them a good shake outside.