There’s no denying that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we prepare hearty meals, making it easily one of the most used rooms in the house. Then again, it also happens to be one of the dirtiest areas of the home. Studies show that there are many contaminated parts of the kitchen, including sponges, towels, sinks, and refrigerators.
Given this information, your approach to keeping the kitchen clean needs to be strategic. In our post on ‘House Cleaning Tips’, we previously noted how it’s best to work in blocks, and while it still rings true, it’s also recommended to work in accordance with a schedule.
To help you out, here is a breakdown of tasks you can rely on to keep your kitchen spotless every day and every week.
Clear the clutter
It’s a fact universally acknowledged that no matter what you do, the clutter in the kitchen just keeps piling up. Make it a point to clear the counters of clutter and put back anything that is not in its proper place.
Wash dirty dishes
If at all possible, you should wash dirty dishes as they happen so you won’t be bombarded with a huge pile at the end of the day. If you’re using a dishwasher, it’s best to use a quality detergent, as that can save you some time and allow you to skip pre-washing.
Disinfecting the sink
Your sink is the place where you prepare most of your food, so it’s only right that you prioritize cleaning it. The best way to keep your sink clean is to naturally disinfect it every day. To naturally get rid of stains, grime, and bad smells, HomeServe recommends pouring boiling water, white vinegar, or baking soda down the drain. If you want to go the chemical route, you may also opt for bio-enzyme or ready-made drain cleaners. These will be more effective if there is a blockage causing the water to drain slowly.
Empty trash and recycle bins
Of course, you need to empty the trash and recycle bins at the end of every day. To make things easier, keep extra trash bags next to the bin so replacing the bag is quick and easy. You will also know when you are low and won’t have to overfill the last bag.
Clean the coffee maker
According to an NSF International report in the New York Times, the coffee machine is the fifth item in kitchens and bathrooms in terms of the number of germs, less than the pet bowl but more than the bathroom faucet handle. You don’t want your beloved java maker to be plagued with bacteria, so even if it’s tedious, make sure that you hand wash all detachable components with hot water, dishwashing liquid, and a clean sponge every week.
Clean the microwave
As one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, it’s not surprising that the microwave is packed with all sorts of gunk every week. Consider cleaning it with white vinegar and water to get rid of the grime easily.
A study published in Scientific Reports notes that while cleaning sponges don’t help get rid of bacteria, it does wonders killing germs in between replacements. Clean the sponge weekly by mixing bleach with water, soaking the sponge for five minutes, and then rinsing it. Don’t forget to replace your sponges every month too.
Sort out leftovers
The FDA Food Code notes that all perishable foods that are opened or prepared should be thrown out after 7 days. You’ll be surprised at just how much uneaten food is stuck in your fridge if you allow it to go unchecked for too long. Every week, ensure that old leftovers are thrown out, as well as any food that is past its “best by” date. The best way to do this is to label your food on the date it goes into the fridge. Much more accurate than the smell test.
Mop the floors
Since your kitchen is a high-traffic area, it should be wet mopped at least once a week. To make the process a tad bit easier, start at the far corner of the room and work backward towards the exit so you aren’t forced to walk on newly mopped surfaces.
Wash dish towels
Studies show that multipurpose towels used for wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils, and cleaning surfaces contained more pathogens than single-use towels. It would then benefit you and the rest of your household to wash them weekly, so as not to spread bacteria further.