Nothing looks and smells as nice as a sparkling clean kitchen. The kitchen is the hub of your home, and it’s where delicious meals are prepared. Cooking, food storage and meal prep leaves grease and food substances that need to be removed by cleaning and sanitization.
Start with the Fridge: It’s important to clean your refrigerator at least once a week. Go through your leftovers and discard any outdated or food that smells “off”. Be sure to store meats in airtight wrappers, and check for any blood leakage that can travel down to the bottom bins and create a sticky mess. Remove all food from the refrigerator to do a thorough inventory. Use household bleach diluted with hot water to wash down the inside of the refrigerator and promptly return the goods to the shelves. Then use a fresh solution to wash down the front, sides and handle of the appliance, to avoid transference of bacteria. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. If you have allergies or cannot properly ventilate the room, vinegar and water can be a substitute. Use a lemon with the vinegar to really make appliances shine.
Stove: It’s critical to clean your oven as needed. Use an oven cleaner designed for the purpose and never, ever turn on the oven while you have your head in or near the appliance. Follow package directions and remove the leftover debris from the inside once the heating cycle is done. There are some products that allow you to cold clean your oven; however, if your oven has built up cooking grease this may not work as well as traditional oven cleaning products. Be sure to remember to clean the range hood, as built up grease not only smells bad, but also presents a fire hazard.
Counters and Tables: Counters need to be cleaned constantly when in use. Raw chicken and other food items carry salmonella and it’s critical that any item that comes in contact must be sanitized. Here again bleach is your best friend as it will kill those germs. Keeping a spray bottle handy with a solution of bleach and water or using “clean up wipes” that contain bleach ensures that your family will stay healthy. The same goes for your kitchen table, where invisible germs may be a threat to health. Wash placemats and tablecloths often to ensure that you are not unknowingly placing a dirty cover on a clean table.
Cabinets: It’s imperative to clean out your cabinets at least once a month. Take all of your dry and canned goods out and inspect deep inside your cabinets for insect or mold infestations in the dark areas of your cupboards. If you must treat for insects or mold, be sure to inspect the food that came from the cabinets, as ants and other critters can get into the smallest of spaces. Do not return the good food back to your cabinets until they have been treated and wiped down with household cleaner that is safe for wood.
Floor: Your kitchen floor experiences traffic that brings all kinds of harmful organisms into your home. Using a bleach and water solution is the best way to keep germs at bay; however, this may not be safe for many floors like hardwood, so be sure to use a cleaner that is strong enough but safe for your floors and family. Again, old fashioned vinegar and water can be used if you wish to avoid the fumes and harsh chemical exposure.
It doesn’t cost much to keep your kitchen clean; however, failure to clean your kitchen can result in unpleasant smells and safety hazards. Keep it clean so your happy home can be safe and sweet smelling.