How to Clean a Kitchen: A Guide to Make Everything Spotless
| Published September 20, 2023
The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you prepare your meals, and some kitchens double as a dining area.
Cleaning the kitchen is more than just for aesthetic purposes.
Everything in your kitchen somehow plays a role in food preparation, so kitchen cleaning is also very important for hygiene purposes.
In this guide, we’ll present to you specific steps on how to clean a kitchen — from the countertops and surfaces to the floors.
After deep cleaning your kitchen, you’ll find it won’t be so hard to keep on top of it.
Why You Need a Clean Kitchen?
There are several reasons you need to keep your kitchen clean.
- Prevent foodborne illnesses – Preparing food in a dirty kitchen can mean bacteria interact with your food even after you’ve cooked it. Problems like spoilage and cross-contamination can also cause health issues like food poisoning.
- Extend the life of appliances – A dirty home appliance will need to work harder than normal to perform its job. That means it can overheat faster and work less efficiently. Keep your appliances efficient by keeping them clean as well.
- Limit the use of harsh chemicals – If you don’t clean as often as you should, you might resort to harsh chemicals to easily kill germs. Unfortunately, strong antibacterial agents can also be harmful to people. So, clean the kitchen often so you won’t resort to strong chemicals.
- Keeps you safe – Someone might slip on yesterday’s sauce, or your hand might slip while using a greasy knife. Keeping your kitchen clean also means you’re removing possible hazards that can cause accidents.
- Entertain guests confidently – Some people tend to gravitate towards the kitchen to see what’s happening. So, keep your kitchen as clean and orderly as possible, even when cooking dinner for guests.
Before you roll up your sleeves and get into the thick of things, consider your game plan first.
Preparing how to clean your kitchen will ensure that things go as smoothly as possible when you’re already doing it.
Gathering Necessary Cleaning Supplies
Keep your kitchen cleaning essentials near at hand or just outside the kitchen so you won’t have to look around the house to grab them.
Some of these supplies include:
- Rubber gloves
- Microfiber cloth, sponge, scrubber
- Scouring pad
- All-purpose cleaner
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- Dish soap
- Floor cleaner
You can adjust this list according to your needs.
You might have planned to just wipe down the outside of the dishwasher and suddenly feel like deep cleaning it.
Make a kitchen cleaning checklist and determine your priorities for one cleaning session. Print or write it down on paper if you have to.
If you feel the urge to focus too much on cleaning anything — like your oven interior — schedule that for next time.
How to Clean a Kitchen
Now, it’s time to get down and dirty. Below is a step-by-step of how to clean different parts of your kitchen.
Cleaning Countertops and Surfaces
If things aren’t in the kitchen sink, chances are we leave them on the countertops to supposedly organize for another day — well, that day is today!
You’ll also need to learn practical ways to clean countertops since they can hold sticky spills and bits of dried food.
First, clear the clutter off your countertops using the laundry basket method. Basically, remove everything that doesn’t belong on the counters.
However, you should just clear them away rather than organize them. You can put them in their proper places after you’ve cleaned the whole kitchen or when all the counters are clear.
To clean kitchen counters and surfaces, wipe them down with a sponge or damp microfiber cloth and soapy water. Then, wipe them dry with paper towels or a clean rag.
You can also use anti-bacterial sprays, disposable wipes, and degreasing products.
However, if you have granite or stone surfaces, you should use a cleaning solution specifically made for those materials.
Taking Care of Sink and Taps
First, you’ll want to get rid of the dirty dishes. Either toss them in the dishwasher or do them yourself.
Once your sink is clear, you can also clean the sink with a 1:2 ratio of baking soda and white vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda around the sink, then pour the vinegar. Just let it sit and fizzle for a few minutes.
However, using too much vinegar too often can ruin stainless steel and other metals.
As such, you can skip the vinegar part and instead gently scrub the sink with warm, soapy water to avoid mold growth and hard water deposits. Rinse along the edge of the basin and fixtures too.
Alternatively, you can use lemon juice.
Cleaning around the taps can be hard — so you can use a toothbrush dipped in warm, soapy water. Then, wipe with a dry cloth.
After the sink and taps, you can clean your kitchen sink drain effectively by first pouring in half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar. Put the plug in the drain for an hour. Then, pull the plug and pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
Ways to Clean the Stovetop and Oven
Start with your stove.
If you have a gas stove top, remove the grills. You can hand wash them with warm water and soap. Or, you can soak them if they’re really grimy. Wipe the surface of the stove with an all-purpose cleaner.
Electric stoves can be cleaned with soapy water — but be careful to avoid connection points.
For glass stovetops, wipe it with a microfiber cloth and water or vinegar. Then, follow it up with a microfiber glass-cleaning cloth.
When you’re done with your stove, you can wipe down your oven with an all-purpose cleaner, vinegar, or diluted dish soap.
Next, you’ll be glad to know you won’t have to scrub your oven interior to make it squeaky clean!
Mix a half cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio until you have a spreadable paste. Coat your oven with that paste and leave it overnight. The next day, just wipe it with a damp cloth.
Spray white vinegar on any remaining paste or stubborn marks and wipe it again.
You should also be cleaning your kitchen’s exhaust fan so you always have fresh air in the room.
However, when you clean your stainless steel appliances (like the vent hood), it’s still best to use a cleaning product that’s meant to be used on stainless steel.
Strategies for Cleaning Kitchen Appliances
Don’t forget to clean small appliances too. These can take quite some time, but we’ll give you the basics on how to clean a few of them.
- Toaster oven – Sift or vacuum out any burnt bits from the bottom. Wipe the inside with a damp cloth (but don’t touch the heating elements)
- Coffee maker – Mix one part baking soda with four parts water and pour the solution into the water reservoir of this small appliance. Turn on the brew cycle, but let it cycle only halfway, then turn it off. Let the solution sit there for three to four hours. Turn the coffeemaker on again and complete the brewing cycle. Run the brew cycle again at least twice with clean water to remove any residue.
- Juicer – Mix a bit of mild dish soap into a sink full of warm water. Disassemble your juicer and soak the parts for ten minutes. Then, wash and dry thoroughly.
- Air fryer – Disassemble your air fryer and soak the pieces. Wash the parts thoroughly. Remove the stuck food bits with a non-abrasive sponge. Clean the base of the appliance with a damp microfiber cloth.
Process for Cleaning Floors
The process of cleaning kitchen floors is quite straightforward.
Sweep the larger crumbs and debris off your kitchen floor. Sweep under cabinets and behind the refrigerator too.
Then, vacuum up the fine dust and dirt. Run the vacuum hose along all the nooks and crannies of the floor.
Mop the floor with the right cleaner for your floor type — but soapy water can generally already do the trick.
Cleaning Cabinets and Drawers
Cleaning cabinets and drawers are a big job — but they’re not the messiest!
The proper methods to clean cabinets and drawers all start with emptying everything out. As you do so, set aside old and expired items so you can get rid of them later.
You can use a hand vacuum to clean the inside of debris. Then, clean the interior with a cloth dipped in soapy water.
Wipe everything dry, then put the items back in.
Sequence to Clean a Kitchen
There’s no set sequence to cleaning a kitchen since all our kitchens look different.
But, in general, work from top to bottom. After all, you wouldn’t want to sweep the floor first only to keep doing it because you’ve dusted the debris from your cabinets and appliances back on the floor.
Another kitchen cleaning hack is to work from left to right (or right to left). This ensures you cover everything — from the large appliances to the light fixtures — in one smooth sweep.
When cleaning appliances, clean from the inside to the outside.
Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Cleaning a kitchen can be daunting, especially for beginners.
However, creating an effective kitchen cleaning checklist and looking for a step-by-step guide can make the task more manageable.
Daily Cleaning Habits
It’s ideal to deep clean your kitchen weekly. However, having a daily cleaning routine can lessen the amount of work you’ll have to do.
- Clean up after every meal.
- Keep your sink empty at all times. If using the dishwasher, don’t overfill it — otherwise, it won’t do its job properly, and you’ll need to do the dishes yourself again.
- Be mindful of what’s in the fridge. If something isn’t exactly fresh or they’re nearing expiration, use them as soon as possible. If you see something has expired or isn’t fresh, throw it out immediately.
- Empty your trash can. Don’t wait for the trash to overflow before you chuck it down the garbage disposal chute. Clean the trash can with a soapy cloth before putting in a fresh trash bag too.
- Vacuum. This will prevent tough stains from appearing on delicate floors — which will be harder to deep clean.
Tools and Products to Make Cleaning Easier
Having effective kitchen cleaning products can help you keep your kitchen sparkling clean.
Some great cleaning tools you should have are:
- Dish towels
- Spray bottle
- Scrub brush
- Dish rack
- Cast iron cleaner
- Scour pads
- Kitchen gloves
You should also have the right cleaning products. For one, explore the best kitchen surface cleaner since it’s what you’ll use the most for kitchen surfaces and the exterior of your appliances.
What you use to clean your kitchen surfaces and appliances might also depend on what material they’re made of — so check that first too.
Natural ingredients like distilled white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda can also be used.
Cleaning a Kitchen in Less Than an Hour
If you don’t have much time to clean your kitchen, you’ll be happy to know you can do it in less than an hour!
- Clear the counters. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or the sink and empty the trash (including compost and recycling, if applicable). Put everything in the right cabinet/drawer.
- Wash the dishes. Then, clean the sink. Add any unclogging cleaning agent and leave it until later.
- Clean the cooktop. Scrub down the gas burners or glass-top stove.
- Clean everything else. But, as previously mentioned, work top to bottom and left to right. However, remember that you’re only doing surface cleaning. So, don’t disassemble that stand mixer or take out that ice cube tray. Schedule deep cleaning of certain aspects of the kitchen for another time.
- Wipe down the breakfast bar or dining table.
- Reassess your counter. Aside from ensuring it’s spick and span, see if it still looks cluttered. If it does, think about what you really need on display. If there’s something on the counter that you don’t often use, like the waffle maker, find some space in the cabinets for it.
- Finish cleaning the sink. Scrub it, then wash it with hot water.
- Clean the kitchen floor. Doing so will prevent dust accumulation
- Add finishing touches — like replacing any textile, sponge, and paper towel or putting a new liner in the trash can.
Professional Cleaning Techniques for Kitchen
There are still a few additional professional techniques that can help you further properly clean your kitchen.
- Use the eye-level test – Get down on the same level as the surface you’re cleaning to check if there’s anything you’ve missed.
- Remove dinnerware and mug scratches – Make a mixture of water and cream of tartar until you have a pudding-like consistency. Put that on the scratched surface and rub it in a circular motion. Apply a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice if you’re dealing with stubborn scratches. Once you’ve buffed away the scratches, rinse and wipe it clean.
- Clean with vinegar without the smell – Fill a mason jar with citrus peels and fill it with white vinegar. Leave it for three days. Then, filter out the infused vinegar and use it as you wish.
- Remove coffee and tea stains – Wet a pinch of baking soda with a few drops of water. Rub the mixture on the stains, rinse, wipe, and repeat until the mug is spotless.
When to Hire Professional Cleaning Services?
You can certainly clean the kitchen yourself — but sometimes, you might want to hire a professional kitchen cleaning service to do the work for you.
It might be better to hire a professional if you really don’t have the time for kitchen deep cleaning. This is also a good option if you’re not confident in your cleaning skills.
After all, professionals are excellent at their jobs — not to mention, they can use specialized equipment too.
Thanks to that, they can get the job done faster and better. You’re also assured that they’ve eliminated diseases and pests in the kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cleaning a kitchen can be overwhelming. So, we’ve answered a few questions to further help you in your task.
What Is the Correct Order to Clean a Kitchen?
Ideally, you’ll want to first clear the counters of clutter to give you more space to work with. Then, wash the dishes either by hand or using the dishwasher.
When you’ve got those down, continue cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom.
Are There Specific Cleaning Supplies Necessary for Different Areas of the Kitchen?
You can get all-purpose solutions for your kitchens. However, it’s still worth noting when are the best times to use certain disinfectants.
Bleach – This can be used for different areas — like the floor and countertops. However, follow the directions and use it in a well-ventilated space.
Disinfectant sprays – These can be used on all surfaces — including cabinet handles.
Surface wipes – These are similar to disinfectant sprays. However, they’re better for handling small spills than full-blown cleanups.
Floor cleaners – You can also dilute liquid disinfectant or bleach with warm water to make floor cleaners.
Vinegar, lemons, and baking soda are also excellent all-purpose natural products.
How Can I Keep My Kitchen Clean on a Daily Basis?
Develop good everyday cleaning habits (like we’ve listed above) to keep your kitchen presentable.
This will also make deep cleaning your kitchen easier since you don’t have to deal with too much build-up and stubborn stains.
What Professional Methods Can I Adopt in Cleaning My Kitchen?
There are several easy pro tips you can use to improve your kitchen cleaning skills.
Get ready – Wear something you don’t mind getting dirty. Gather all your cleaning tools and products. Move mats and rugs out of the kitchen.
Get rid of clutter – Remove items from the countertop and clear the sinks of dishes.
Clean top to bottom – Start by dusting the tops of the upper cabinets, then work downwards. Wipe surfaces, clean the stove, then countertops and lower cabinets. Clean your big and small appliances as well. When you’re done with everything, clean the floor.
How Long Should It Take To Completely Clean a Kitchen?
How long it takes to completely clean a kitchen depends on how often you clean and use it.
Deep cleaning can take around two hours if it’s quite clean and well-kept. But if your kitchen needs serious work, it can take at least four hours.
Cleaning the kitchen can be hard work, but you’ll learn to be more efficient in cleaning the more you do it.
After completely cleaning your kitchen once, develop good everyday kitchen-cleaning habits to give you less work when you have to deep clean it again.