Kitchen Cleaning Checklist: A Comprehensive Guide
| Published September 20, 2023
A kitchen can be hectic and overwhelming to manage on your own.
Mismanaging a kitchen isn’t advised because doing so may result in contamination and sickness
So how does one better manage their kitchen? Some would write a kitchen cleaning checklist to keep accountability and organization.
This guide will help you make a checklist for keeping your kitchen clean while presenting tips and tricks for organizing one.
Understanding the Need for a Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
Onyx Cleaning Services takes kitchen cleaning seriously and has always found using a checklist to be an effective way to keep our schedules.
However, the people under the list make the list effective and start with understanding the importance of maintenance.
Importance of Regular Kitchen Cleanliness
Regular cleaning keeps your kitchen from becoming a staging ground for disease. Cross-contamination through food may make other people sick.
Regular cleanliness also ensures everything in your kitchen stays functional for a long time. A marble countertop can last 50 years but can break apart in 20 due to negligence.
Benefits of a Structured Cleaning Routine
The checklist is meant to keep your mind and kitchen organized.
You can use the list as an easy reference on what to prioritize by placing it in an area with a lot of visibility, such as a refrigerator or a central wall.
The list organizes the tasks so our minds can recall more easily, such as remembering to wash the dishwasher and sink after every meal.
Keeping a checklist would eventually make doing any daily or weekly cleaning routine second nature.
How to Create Your Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
Making your checklist for cleaning is simple, but execution is more difficult. The checklist helps you track the different tasks you need to do daily.
The biggest challenge would be sticking to a routine based on your checklist. It takes commitment and consistency for good habits to form.
Determining the Tasks
The tasks are determined when you consider how much the actual kitchen is used daily. You begin to notice how much oil is used or trash is produced from wrappers.
By seeing the kitchen as a system, you see how people within the kitchen use each piece of equipment. Thus, your priorities begin to form, and you begin scheduling dates.
For habit formation in cleaning to take root, keep the following steps in mind:
- Cue: A trigger for cleaning, such as a weekend or extra time free from work.
- Craving: The desire for a clean kitchen or home desiring a reward.
- Response: Cleaning is the response you try to associate with and habituate.
- Reward: A desired result you want to see, such as a clean room, no expired items in the fridge, or a free weekend.
Organizing the Tasks
In our experience, dividing your weekly tasks by the day is very helpful. They help you prioritize which tasks need to be done and save you the headache of doing everything at once.
An example of a priority organization would be focusing on floor tile maintenance to prevent cracks and accidents before daily mopping.
Allocating Time Appropriately
Divide your weekly and monthly tasks among your employees, roommates, or family members for regular cleaning.
Collaborative effort eases the burden of management and minimizes the difficulty of more arduous monthly tasks.
Essential Elements of a ‘Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
Daily, weekly, and monthly tasks are organized to ensure tasks are done by how necessary each day.
- Daily tasks may be simple and sometimes skipped, but foregoing these tasks too often can lead to the buildup of kitchen waste.
- Weekly and monthly tasks may be more difficult, but the gaps between each repetition ensure rest for you.
Daily Cleaning Tasks
For your daily kitchen cleaning checklist, these tasks can be just the regular cleaning for your three meals or other everyday occurrences.
A prime example would be the necessity of you cleaning the dishes after every meal to have usable plants.
Another example would be mopping the floor, normally a weekly task, but depending on the typical traffic or material of the floor, it can become a daily task.
Needing to mop a durable vinyl floor daily due to heavy foot traffic when typically it’s durable for a weekly cleaning.
Here are some sample tasks for your daily kitchen cleaning checklist to consider adding to your list;
- Wash the dishes: Add all the smaller cutlery and dishes onto a dishwasher and hand wash more delicate items.
- Wipe clean the sink: Constantly wash and empty the sink after every use to have it readily available.
- Empty dishwasher: Empty the dishwasher of clean utensils and dishes to use after every use.
- Clean dishwasher: Clean the dishwasher by running it on a hot cycle with a bowl of vinegar to neutralize the smell:
- Wipe down and sanitize countertops: Clean and sanitize countertops for any stains or bacteria
- Wipe down stovetops and clean burners: Wipe away burn residue to keep your burns active.
- Sweep floor: Sweep floor and kitchen rugs of crumbs, dust, and dirt, then dispose of them.
- Tidy clutter: Sort all your accessories and equipment, such as your charger or keys, properly
Weekly Cleaning Tasks
These tasks are done with more care and depth for a weekly kitchen cleaning checklist than everyday cleaning.
These weekly tasks need more effort to be done consistently and remembered frequently. The risks of forgetting would be steeper.
For example, not cleaning your floor may lead to more slippery spots and cracks.
Here are some daily tasks you must always have on your weekly kitchen cleaning checklist:
- Take leftover inventory: Sort what is still fresh or expired items
- Clean interiors of microwaves: Boil a cup of vinegar to loosen grime within a microwave and negate bad smells.
- Clean exteriors of appliances: Remove grease buildup with a cloth
- Disinfect sinks and faucets: The two fixtures can become a hotbed of diseases and germs.
- Sanitize sponges: This is your main tool for scrubbing away specialized equipment and kitchenware build-up.
- Mop floors: Remove the floor’s deeper sills, stains, and scruffs.
- Deep clean sink: Put water and baking soda paste in the sink overnight to remove tough stains.
- Empty trash and recycling bins: Clean your recycling bin out to clean; toss some ice down the drain to knock grime off the disposal blades.
Monthly Cleaning Tasks
Your monthly kitchen cleaning checklist won’t be as numerous as your weekly tasks but is a consequence of your kitchen size.
These monthly tasks would have you doing a deep clean in your kitchen for accumulated debris or freeing storage space to add more kitchen space.
An example would be having you rinse your drawer dividers of any crumbs and debris with a vacuum. Having your drawers clean gives you enough room for more storage.
Here are some examples of tasks in your monthly kitchen cleaning checklist:
- Dust light fixtures: By having dust light fixtures, you prevent debris from falling out from above in dense packets.
- Take inventory out of the pantry and freezer: Check for expiration dates and signs of freezer burn on the food from each cabinet.
- Clean and descale coffee maker: Fill the appliance with white vinegar to clean and then with warm water to cleanse before air drying the water chamber
- Clean dishwasher and drying rack: Run the dishwasher with detergent and dry rack for cleanliness.
- Clean tile grout: Use a 3:1 baking soda to water paste to wipe the tiles for 30 minutes or a white vinegar and water mixture for a few minutes.
- Sanitize trash and recycling bin: Use bleach to clean and rinse the interiors before drying.
- Dust the tops of freezers and refrigerators: Very easy for dust to accumulate and may need a stool to reach the top rack.
- Garbage disposal: A busy kitchen would leave a lot of trash accumulating.
Expert Suggestions for Comprehensive Cleaning
Daily, weekly, and monthly tasks are done to keep your kitchen and its appliances in tip-top shape, from having your empty dishwasher loads to sweeping the floor.
Before cleaning, always ensure the acidity of your cleaning product. Although effective against grime, high acidity can damage your equipment.
Kitchen Cleaning Checklist for Different Kitchen Types
A different context and environment would shape your checklist further in keeping a clean kitchen as follows:
Home Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
An unclean kitchen would be a massive risk to the health of any family members living with you. To ensure their safety keep note of the following;
- Dishwasher: The dishwasher can clean dishes en masse automatically, only needing detergent and a few buttons.
- Sink: A sink is a fixture to wash a person’s hands and dishes.
- Range hood: A range hood is a fixture that redirects all the heated air and grease outside as you cook.
Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
A restaurant would need more sophisticated and larger cleaning equipment to clean the kitchen. The following items ensure a restaurant’s kitchen remains safe and healthy for its staff and guests:
- Rubber Gloves: These rubber gloves protect your hands from cleaning chemicals and spreading germs.
- Vent hoods: A kitchen would be burning a lot of oil in grease, and this fixture redirects all the oily grease in the air outside from the kitchen and even other rooms.
- Steel Wool: although very abrasive, this utensil is specifically designed for heavy scrubbing.
Dormitory Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
Although a small community runs the college dormitory, it would need collaborative help to remain clean.
The following items are essential in keeping a college dormitory kitchen clean;
- Dishwasher: To save water from everyone individually cleaning their dishes.
- Trash bags: To gather all the trash and keep it in sturdy plastic.
- Soap dish: A cleaner to wipe dirty dishes and appliances when mixed with hot water, especially the coffee maker.
Cleaning Checklist for Kitchen Equipment
Kitchen cleaning tools are necessary to keep your kitchen and its cooking tools clean.
One of the best cleaning tips we can give is “regular maintenance is paramount.” Nothing valuable lasts long without consistent maintenance, regardless of durability.
NOTE: If any equipment has a manual, read it for any recommendations regarding cleaning.
Cleaning Refrigerators and Freezers
When cleaning stainless steel appliances effectively, an effective cleaning solution is what you need. These cleaning solutions range from dish soap and hot water mixtures to baking soda paste.
What matters is that they can keep your refrigerator clean and wipe clean the interior with a damp rag. Remember to remove everything inside the refrigerator and freezer before you deep clean.
Clean refrigerator coils are another task you can do once a month besides a typical deep clean. However, you would only find it in older refrigerator and freezer models.
As you wipe the appliance, watch out for expired items, because people sometimes forget about food in the freezer.
Cleaning Ovens and Stoves
The typical method for cleaning ovens and stoves would be to scrub the oven and stovetop with a baking soda paste. Let the paste sit for a few hours before scrubbing with a sponge.
The paste can be made from half a cup of baking soda mixed with three tablespoons of water or vinegar until a thick paste is formed.
An effective way to prevent your ovens and stoves from getting dirty would be to cover the grates and bottom of the oven with aluminum foil.
The foil would catch any charred debris.
You only need a bowl of water, a sliced lemon, and a microfiber cloth damp with vinegar and hot water to clean your microwave.
First, you squeeze the lemon into the bowl of water and then put the bowl inside the microwave to set for a minute and a half. The evaporated lemon juices cancel out any smells.
After the bowl of water, use a rag damp in vinegar to wipe the appliance clean of any grime. You can also fill a spray bottle to squirt the grime away.
Improper cleaning can damage your appliance’s warranty. Hence, check the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions regarding the dishwasher’s filter.
You can clean your dishwasher with the following steps;
- Empty the dishwasher of any attachments(the bottom rack).
- Spray the frame and door with a cleaner.
- Scrub the gasket and frame with a mix of dish soap and baking soda using a brush or sponge.
- If your dishwasher has a removable filter, you can soak it in the sink with hot water for an hour.
- Scrub with a nylon brush and wipe with a paper towel.
- Remove the bottom spinning arm and brush with a sponge
- Scrub with a water-soaked toothbrush to remove any excess cleaning product
- Reattach any accessories back into the dishwasher
- Leave a cup of white vinegar at the top rack or a dishwasher tablet at the bottom of the appliance and run an empty cycle.
Managing Cleaning Supplies for Your Checklist
Cleaning supplies will be needed within the kitchen. “There will always be a mess to clean or a dish to wash before the next meal.”
Cleaning supplies can be divided by their specialization or if they are typical everyday items.
No matter how financially well off you are, you can always rely on these everyday items to effectively wash and wipe your appliances:
- Dish soap: Dish soap is a milder acidic cleaner to wipe germs away with warm water.
- Soft sponge or scrub brush: A non-abrasive utensil used to remove tough stains that a damp rag could not remove
- Multipurpose cleaner: A disinfectant to make sure your dishes and surfaces are germ and stain-free.
- Baking soda(Sodium bicarbonate): Baking soda is for tough stains, weird smells, and burnt-on messes on a cooktop
- White vinegar: An effective acid against stains and most debris.
- Dish towels: Dish towels or paper towels to wipe surfaces and stains away.
- Microfiber Cloth: A clean cloth or even a clean rag to apply the product and wipe away debris anywhere.
Buying Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
Some of the best eco-friendly cleaning products in the market are available to ensure your family’s health and environmental protection.
Each item is certified to be made from natural ingredients and is as effective as more variants. These include the following:
- Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap: Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap is approved for being very organic and an effective cleaner for the house and body.
- Arm & Hammer’s Baking Soda: Arm & Hammer’s Baking Soda as being organic and an effective baking soda for cleaning metal fixtures like door handles and pest control.
Specialized Products for Cooking Equipment
Some products are meant to ensure our equipment remains functional such as:
- TriNova Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is an effective cleaning agent against grime, especially within an oven or dishwasher door.
- Wright’s Silver Cleaner and Polish Cream for cleaning the interiors of stainless steel appliances such as grills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although you are now more familiar with making a checklist, you may still have questions about kitchen cleaning.
Here are some of the answers to some of the most common ones.
What Should I Clean in My Kitchen Every Day?
A countertop is at the center of the living space where every occupant passes by. Not cleaning your countertop regularly can cause a buildup of germs.
Make sure to practice proper daily cleaning habits for the kitchen to ensure your kitchen countertops are always clean.
What Kitchen Equipment Requires Special Cleaning Attention?
Kitchen equipment that should be given special cleaning attention is the kitchen exhaust.
It ensures all the grease within the kitchen is removed, but faulty wiring can cause a fire without professional guidance.
How Often Should I Deep-Clean My Kitchen?
You should only deep clean your kitchen once every month, depending on how heavily the kitchen has been used.
NOTE: Spring cleaning or garbage disposal happens when storage or shredded foodstuff hits critical mass.
Are There Any Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products You Recommend for the Kitchen?
The Safely All-Purpose Universal Cleaner is a versatile cleaner that has a pleasant smell.
The product is a versatile cleaner made from a plant-based formula for many surfaces, from the sinks to kitchen rugs.
How Can I Keep Track and Maintain My Kitchen Cleaning Schedule?
The best way to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks would be a chore calendar in the middle of the kitchen.
A chore calendar is essentially the checklist but with all your tasks set to dates. Having this will ensure everyone knows their respective chores.
A clean kitchen needs consistent order to remain clean and healthy for everyone. A deep clean every so often as the daily, weekly, and monthly are completed.
Keeping a schedule ensures that all your household tasks are done diligently.
The benefits of a working kitchen are shared by many, so it is everyone’s responsibility to keep it clean daily.