How To Quickly Surface Clean The Kitchen

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Keeping the kitchen surfaces clean can go a long way toward making your house feel cleaner. In addition, it can cut down on the possibility of unwanted visitors that may come in search of some midnight nibbles. I recently had to list out for someone how to clean a kitchen quickly, and decided to share that with you here.

Clean The Refrigerator

Science experiments do not belong in the kitchen. Keeping on top of what is in the refrigerator is a good way to prevent fuzzy stuff from growing. The refrigerator can be brought up to speed with three quick steps:

  1. Remove old food. If you can’t remember what is in a container, toss the contents. Even if you do remember, if it is beyond your comfort level for leftovers, toss it. If you peek in the container and it smells funky or is fuzzy, toss it.
  2. Toss the dirty containers in the sink. You will wash them and put them away later in this process.
  3. Wipe the shelves onto the floor. Do a quick wipe down and get the crumbs onto the floor. You will get them in a later pass.

Wipe Down the Cabinets

Go through the kitchen, starting at the sink and moving in one direction around the kitchen and wipe down the counter tops, pushing the debris onto the floor. Move things on the counters and get behind them to ensure you are not leaving bits for unwelcome visitors. As you pass each cabinet, look for drips and spills on the fronts, and clean them up.

Wipe Down Your Eating Space

If you have a place where you routinely eat, wipe that down as well. If you have children, make sure to wipe the edges and underside of the table as well. (If you have kids, you know what I mean. If you don’t have kids, know that children smear food. Everywhere.) If you have placemats, change them out.

At this point your kitchen will be pretty much clean except for the sink and the floor.

Clean the Dishes and Sink

Your sink will contain the now-empty containers from your refrigerator purge, and any other leftover dishes. Your job is to clean them. If you have a dishwasher, great, load it up. Otherwise roll up your sleeves and clean up the dishes. The longer food stays on dishes, the harder it is to get off.

When you are done, clean the sink. If you have a garbage disposal, run it until it is clear-sounding. Never leave food in a garbage disposal – not only will it attract bugs, but after a few days it will stink like you wouldn’t believe (lesson learned during our last week-long power outage).

Do The Floors

Your kitchen is looking pretty good now, and all you have left is the floor. Do a thorough sweep with a vacuum or broom, then wash the floor. You don’t have to scrub, but do your best to clear up any dirty patches.

With a little practice, this whole procedure can take about 20 minutes. In that time you can make your kitchen an inviting place to be and cook, as well as discourage bugs and rodents.

Do you have any time-saving tips for cleaning the kitchen? Share below!

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  1. says

    I agree with everything here except for shaking crumbs and particles onto the floor. I think this just creates more work. I pick up crumbs in a wet rag, then shake the rag over the sink. I don’t wash the kitchen floor every day (as I don’t eat or prepare food on the floor), but I do wipe down the counters daily.

    • LJ Earnest says

      I can see your point. If I were to do this as part of a daily thing, I would be right there with you. But since doing the floor is the final step, I wipe everything quickly onto the floor so I can get the crumbs when I sweep.

      The biggest kick I got out of explaining this routine to my husband was his remark, “Why do I have to sweep the floor? I did it last week!” as I watched the tumbleweeds of pet hair roll across his feet…