Spring is here — there’s no better time to open the windows wide and start sprucing up.
We know no one wants to spend an entire weekend spring cleaning the kitchen, so we compiled a quick clean-up list divided into zones so you can spring clean your kitchen one small project at a time. Tasks are listed in order from quickest and easiest to more time consuming, so you can divide and conquer with a buddy or tackle it yourself in stages.
Pick a zone, cross it off, and enjoy your spring-cleaned kitchen all season long.
Declutter: If you have space, buy a couple of bins to stash mail, miscellaneous papers and other clutter that needs a home. Spend a few minutes emptying them at least once every couple of days.
- Marble & Granite: Resist the urge to use vinegar or harsh chemicals like bleach or window cleaner as they will dull the glossy finish. Hot soapy water is all you need for daily cleaning. If you feel the need to sanitize, fill a spray bottle with a 50:50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water and spray it on the counter. Let the solution sit for a few minutes and wipe clean with a cloth.
- Quartz/Engineered Stone: Soap and water does the trick for these engineered countertops. Treat any stains with glass cleaner and wipe clean.
- Laminate: Use a mild household cleaner and a scratch resistant sponge or cloth. Any stains can be treated with a paste made from baking soda and water. Apply the paste, let sit for 5 minutes, and wipe clean.
- Clean out the food trap in the bottom of the dishwasher with an old toothbrush.
- Run your empty dishwasher with white vinegar to freshen the interior and remove grime.
- Use a vinegar-soaked rag to wipe down the seal around the dishwasher door.
- Give the sink a quick scrub, plug the drain, and fill about halfway with hot, soapy water. Pull the plug out and run the garbage disposal to flush out any debris.
- Throw a handful of ice cubes, a few lemon peels, and about ¼ cup of kosher salt down the drain and turn on the disposal to freshen, remove grime, and sharpen the blades.
Stove & Hood
Note: Make sure the stove is completely cool before cleaning.
- For gas stoves: Remove all of the grates, wash them in hot soapy water and let them air dry.
- For electric stoves: Remove the coils and drip pans. Wipe the area beneath the drip pans to remove cooked on food and drippings. Wash and dry the drip pans and replace them on the stove.
- Most stoves have a way to get under the range and clean any crusted food or debris from the tray beneath. Check your owner’s manual for details.
- Check that your oven is empty, turn on the self-cleaning function and let it go to work.
- Hood: Remove the hood filters and place in a sink full of hot water, a few drops of dish soap, and about ¼ cup baking soda. Let the filters sit submerged while you wipe down the inside and exterior of the hood with a grease cutting cleaner. Scrub the filters with a dish brush, allow to air dry, and place them back in the hood.
Cabinets & Drawers
- Use a warm, damp rag to wipe down cabinet fronts and hardware.
- Whenever you have 10 minutes to spare, remove the contents from one drawer or cabinet, give it a quick vacuum and wipe down the interior.
- Toaster: Unplug your toaster. If you have a toaster oven, remove the grate and crumb tray and soak both in hot water. Shake the toaster over your sink to get rid of any crumbs and burnt bits. Wipe the interior of the toaster using a rag soaked with soapy water. Scrub the grate and crumb tray and return them to the toaster.
- Coffee maker: Fill the back reservoir with equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, empty, and brew with plain water.
- Microwave: Place a large bowl of water with several cut lemons in the microwave and heat until boiling. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then wipe down the inside. The hot lemon water will release baked on gunk and freshen the interior without leaving a chemical smell behind.
- Cookware Storage: Pull out all your pots and pans and assess which items you use the most. Donate or sell duplicates or anything you don’t use or need anymore. Clean the area with a soapy wet sponge or rag and soapy water, and towel dry. Relocate frequently used pots and pans to a more convenient cabinet or drawer, if appropriate. Nest pans inside one another and use a wire rack to hold unwieldy lids.
- Cookware: Clean any crusted-on on black bits from baking sheets, pots, and pans with a little baking soda, water, and elbow grease.
- When the fridge is mostly empty, pull everything out and wipe down the shelves. Pull out the crisper drawers, shelves, and door caddies and clean and dry.
- Before putting everything back, check expiration dates and throw out any expired condiments, mystery take-out containers, and unloved leftovers.
- Return dairy products to the back of the fridge where temperatures are coldest. Utilize the crisper drawers for perishable fruits and veggies and put condiments in the door. Always store your proteins on the bottom shelf, or in a separate meat drawer to eliminate cross-contamination.
- Pull everything out and place on the counter. Only have 20 minutes to spare? Choose one section to tackle.
- Group like items together. Toss expired foods and fill an empty box with non-expired food you plan to donate.
- Give the shelves a quick vacuum to get rid of any food debris. Then, wipe them down with soapy water and towel dry.
- Return the items to the pantry by area of need. Put baking ingredients together on a lower shelf and all-star items like canned goods, dried pasta, and beans, at eye level. Snacks and lunchbox treats should go on a high shelf away from little hands.