As a homeowner, have you ever asked yourself… What exactly should be cleaned in my kitchen… and when?
After cleaning homes for over 4 decades now, we’ve often been asked these same questions.
We’ve put together a handy, yet descriptive kitchen cleaning checklist to help you out.
What You Should Clean In Your Kitchen Every Day
☑ Dishes - The part no one wants to do
☑ Counters - Don't forget the food prep area
☑ Eating area - Wipe off table top
What You Should Clean In Your Kitchen Every Week
☑ Eating area - Wipe off table top and wipe down chairs
☑ Appliances - Wipe down outside surfaces (e.g. Microwave, Toaster Oven, Refrigerator, etc.)
Your appliances are a big part of your kitchen, so why not keep things looking good?
Spray appliances with cleaner then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
If you have any stainless steel appliances you should wipe in the same direction as the grain. This will avoid streaking.
NOTE: It’s not a good idea to store bread on the top of the fridge. The warmth will quickly cause mold to grow.
☑ Stove top - Keep it looking clean
If you have drip pans on your cook top, remove them and soak in soapy water. Spray cook top with cleaner. Return to drip pans to clean and dry them. Then finish the clean up on the top of the stove and replace drip pans.
If you have a smooth top cooking surface spray down with cleanser then wipe clean. If you have any baked on food left, you may want to try using a Scrub Daddy to remove the residual food.
Inside the toaster oven should be cleaned as well. Remove the crumb tray, empty it and shine it up. The toaster oven will work better with a shiny crumb tray.
☑ Counter Tops - Yes, the entire counter top this time
Using cleaner to spray down the counters, first pull items toward the front of the counters to clean behind. Be sure to get the back splash as well! Then return items and clean the front of the counter tops.
Moving from one end of the counter to the other is a more efficient way to work.
☑ Microwave - Inside this time because caked on food is gross
Spray with then wipe out with a damp microfiber cloth.
Remove the microwave plate and soak in soapy water to clean, then dry and return.
☑ Outside cabinets and drawers - Get those finger prints and spills
Your kitchen cabinets deserve a good wipe down on your weekly cleaning. Often cabinet doors and drawers are opened while prepping dinner with dirty hands.
With regular care, the surface should stay pretty clean.
TIP… Look for finger prints around handles, edges of door fronts and where little fingers or dog noses may have made a sticky mess down low.
☑ Kitchen Floor - Nothing worse than your foot sticking to the floor
What’s worse than a fitly kitchen floor? Luckily, it’s easy to keep clean. Sweep or use a hard surface vacuum on entire floor area.
Be sure to reach under cabinets and move the kitchen chairs to be through. Then mop with an appropriate floor cleaner.
What You Should Clean In Your Kitchen Every Month
☑ Fridge - Get the inside this time
What’s that science experiment growing inside your fridge? Surely it’s not what’s for dinner! Throw out any old leftovers, remove items from the shelves and clean one shelf at a time. It’s okay to use a disinfecting cleaner or even baking soda to clean inside your refrigerator.
☑ Kitchen trash can - Inside and out
Face it!….this is often the most over looked thing in you kitchen. Isn’t it hard enough to take the trash out when the bag is full? But the trash can is also one of the dirtiest things in your kitchen.
You should disinfect/sanitize your trash can both the inside and out. Don’t forget to clean the lid as well.
☑ Upholstered furniture - the BIG dust collector
Since dust and dust mites can accumulate in the upholstery, it’s best to vacuum your furniture at least once a month, especially if you have allergies.
Furthermore, many vacuums come with special attachments to make this process easy.
Be sure to vacuum under the cushions as well. You never know what you may find!
☑ Knick knacks and picture frames - More of the BIG dust collectors
Have you looked at something so much that you seem to forget it’s there? Picture frames and knick knacks often fall into this category.
We recommend using a microfiber cloth to dust them.
What You Should Clean In Your Kitchen Twice a Year
☑ Oven Cleaning - Now it's time for the inside
Spills and over flow from family dinners can build up inside your oven. While the evidence is nicely tucked away behind the oven door, burnt fumes will fill the air and can alter the taste of food currently cooking.
There are generally three types of ovens. Conventional, continuous cleaning or self-cleaning. Once you determine which type you have you can start the cleaning process.
Conventional ovens are usually cleaned with a foam oven cleaner. Spray the inside down, wait then wipe out. Don’t forget the racks!
Continuous cleaning ovens clean as they go, so to speak. Wipe out with a non-abrasive multi purpose cleaner if you have a spill. You should not use oven cleaner inside this type of oven. It has porous enamel that can be damaged with a lye-based cleaner.
Lastly, self-cleaning ovens aren’t really “self cleaning”. Adjust the setting to clean and start the process. This takes several hours to heat up and cool down. Once it’s finished the cycle you will need to use damp paper towels to wipe up the ashes left behind. Then on the final swipe use a clean soft cloth to give it a bit of shine.
☑ Drapes/curtains - Wash or gently vacuum
Ever notice a white dust buildup on the top of curtains or drapes in someone’s home? Don’t let that be you!
If your window treatments are cotton or made of other durable cloth, wash them on a gentle cycle, then dry on low heat and return.
Or, if yours are delicate or too hard to remove, use a soft bristle attachment on your vacuum. Start at the top and using a gentle downward motion to vacuum.
☑ Baseboards - Unfortunately these need to be hand washed
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. Dust can accumulate over time and create a dark layer on the top of your baseboards.
By taking a few minutes now to use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe them off, you will notice how clean your home can be. That little touch makes a huge difference.
☑ Windows - Inside and don't forget the tracks
Keeping your kitchen clean is a necessary evil. Bacteria is easily spread in kitchens so a consistent cleaning procedure will help to ensure your family’s health.
We all find ourselves tired at the end of the day….and who wants to spend their weekend cleaning? By taking a few minutes each day and just a few more each week while following this step-by-step guide will give you the formula and the confidence of a clean kitchen.
We truly hope this kitchen cleaning checklist will help you find more free time to spend doing whatever makes you happy!
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in October 2017 and have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.