Kitchen Nightmare

Before I was down for the count with the flu I THOROUGHLY cleaned our kitchen.  Talk about a disaster.  I keep the kitchen tidy but the deep cleaning is more or less a biannual activity.  After the lengthy cleaning session I was reminded why I don’t do it often but also that I NEED to do it often. Here are some my cleaning tips.
  1. Pantry: Remove all expired foods.  Immediately plan to use or donate food that is still good but not being used.  Take inventory of what you have and incorporate it in meal planning. 
  2. Refrigerator: Toss all expired foods.  Remove and sanitize all shelves and drawers. Organize food so you know what you have and nothing gets lost in the back.  Leave a fresh box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer to keep the fresh scent.  MOVE the refrigerator to clean the side and the floor below.  Vacuum the vent to remove dust and improve energy efficiency.
  3. Stove: Remove hardware/racks and wash. Our reflector bowls look bad and I still haven’t found a trick to get them shiny (Pinterest tips aren’t working). Clean the inside of the oven as best you can, then cover it with oven paste (Stir together 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup warm water), let sit for several hours or overnight, scrape off rough spots and sponge wash clean.  Lift your stove top to clean food that falls through – I didn’t know about this part of the stove until my second apartment.  I can’t move my stove but when I removed the drawer I was able to clean the floor.  I was also able to remove grease that filled the drawer’s wheels.
  4. Drawers and Cabinets: Remove everything from the drawers and cabinets to wipe shelves free of dust and crumbs.  
  5. Dishwasher: I was so proud of my spotless dishwasher I didn’t use it for a few days.  I cleaned every crevasse with a toothbrush, vacuumed the drain and ran a rinse cycle with a cup of vinegar on the top rack (bottom rack removed).
  6. Sink: I sanitized the heck out of the sink and threw some lemon down the garbage disposal to freshen it up a bit.
  7. Floors: I’m a hands and knees kind of girl when it comes to cleaning the floor.  Partly because we don’t have a big kitchen but also elbow grease helps keep things looking shiny.
Whew.  So there’s my cleaning routine. Lots of work but definitely worth it.  Martha Stewart provided plenty of helpful tips if you need them.

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