Whether you have a newly built kitchen or an old kitchen on its last legs, keeping it clean can sometimes feel like a full time job, especially if you have children.
Below we have highlighted 5 of the best tips on keeping your kitchen clean and hygienic all year round.
1. Removing grime build up from taps and drains
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more unsightly than those nasty stains that build up around your kitchen taps and sinks. You’ll often see them around sink edges, drain holes and in between the fixtures where grime seems to accumulate over time.
So what exactly is this grimy substance?
This grime is actually a buildup of minerals, left behind as a result of evaporated hard water.
What is hard water?
Hard water is water that contains high amounts of mineral deposits like lime, calcium and silica. As the water evaporates, the minerals are left behind, which results in those greyish brown stains.
Not only does it look unsightly, but it can harvest nasty bacteria and other unwanted germs that you certainly don’t want anywhere near dishes or areas where you might be preparing food.
So what can be done?
If you’re anything like me, the first thing that comes to mind will be buying bottled chemicals, half a dozen scourers and setting aside an entire day to scrub frantically in an effort to try and remove the stains.
Thankfully, however, there is a much easier way.
In fact this simple home remedy doesn’t involve any sort of expensive or harmful chemicals at all, and chances are, you’ve probably already got this one ingredient in your kitchen cupboard right now.
The best approach here is to mix up both white vinegar and water in a 50/50 ratio. It’s also a good idea to consider using a hand held spray bottle too. It saves having to mess around with buckets and allows you to store it once you’re done for easy reuse later.
Simply spray the solution on, let it sit for a few minutes, then simply wipe clean. Be sure to dry everything off once done to prevent further build up. You may also want to consider using a toothbrush for really stubborn stains.
2. Cleaning kitchen floor tile grout
Because kitchens are wet areas, they’re often prone to spills and stains which can often result in dirty or discoloured floor tiles.
Cleaning the tiles themselves isn’t difficult. A quick mop with some hot water and hospital grade floor cleaner will usually always bring them up looking like new.
However, even with a generous amount of mopping, often it’s the grout between the tiles that becomes stained over time. For kitchens with lightly coloured, or even white tiles, this can become quite noticeable, as you end up with contrasting grout (darkened) between lightly coloured tiles.
What most people don’t realise is that mopping can actually worsen the problem as the grout is actually porous, which in effect means the grout is actually “soaking up” all that grubby water each and every time you mop. This results in the discolouration that we see.
So how can we clean the grout? Is there an easy way?
There is an easy solution, baking soda and warm water. That’s it. Let me show you how easy it is.
Firstly, you’ll need a hand held spray bottle, and some baking soda. Apply the water sparingly directly onto the grout, then simply sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the top. Gently rub it in until the two combine, forming a paste.
Let that sit for approximately 15 minutes, then return with a small scrubbing brush with firm bristles, and give the grout a good scrubbing. You should notice a change almost immediately. Once you’re satisfied with how it’s looking, wipe over the area with a damp cloth.
Be mindful that this method involves a bit of elbow grease, and although it does work well, it’s certainly suitable for larger areas. Regular sized floor spaces within most kitchens would be fine, but definitely not entire households.
3. Cleaning oven racks
Without a doubt, one of the most difficult jobs in the kitchen, apart from cleaning your oven – is cleaning your oven racks. Have you ever opened up your oven and taken a good look at the oven racks?
Often they become so caked in grease and fats that it becomes near impossible to get them clean again, and what’s worse of all is that they’re so akward in size and shape.
Trying to manage them in the kitchen sink is a challenge, let alone trying to scrub them clean.
There is a quick and simple way, that doesn’t involve having to spend hours at the kitchen sink, scrubbing away til all hours of the night.
For this you’ll need a thick bath towel, an old one is preferable. Laundry detergent, a soft sponge, or a toothbrush and lastly a bath tub.
Yes, that’s right.
You’ll want a bath tub that’s big enough to sit your entire oven racks into.
Follow these steps:
- Lay the towel down on the bottom of your bathtub. This will protect the surface of your bathtub and prevent any scratches.
- Place the oven racks on top of the towel.
- Next put the plug in and fill the bathtub with the hottest water possible. You’ll want to ensure you use hot water here, this is key. Fill the bathtub until the oven racks are entirely submerged.
- Take a cup of the laundry detergent and premix it with water. This ensures a the product is broken down and gives you a good solution. Once you’ve done that, add more laundry detergent over the top of the racks.
- Leave the racks submerged in the hot soapy water for at least 6-8 hours. Overnight is best if you can.
- From here, all you need to do is wipe off any remaining residue using either the soft sponge or the scourer depending upon how stubborn the remaining grease stains etc might be. You should find that the detergent has broken down most of the gunk and you’ll be able to simply wipe it away without the need for excessive amounts of scrubbing. For more info click here.
4. Cleaning your fridge
Arrangement of refridgerator. For many of us, the thought of having to clean the fridge is a daunting task. I mean, it’s not a simple job where you can give it a quick wipe over and be done within 5 minutes. Especially when it’s so full you can barely close the door.
I mean, who knows what’s lurking back there on the second shelf.
Is that chicken?
There’s nothing worse than the thought of having to open a plastic container that holds a mystery item that’s been hidden at the back of the fridge for the last 6 months.
What can be really off putting though, apart from unslightly spills and stains within your fridge are those unwanted odours. You know the type. It hits you right in the face as you open the door and reach in for something.
This can be particularly embarrassing when having guests for dinner or when entertaining friends, so it’s really something that you need to stay on top off.
Unfortunately, there’s no real quick and easy way to clean your fridge, but there are a few tips that I’ll share with you.
To begin with, empty out everything that’s in your fridge. This is the best time to go through things and discard anything that’s either out of date or has gone bad whilst in storage.
Be sure when doing this that you have both a rubbish and recycling bin nearby so that you can dispose of waste appropriately. Remember, its important when performing this step that you’re realistic about what to keep and what to dispose of. If there’s something that’s been in the fridge for some time, it might be best to simply get rid of it, rather than hang onto it.
Clearing the fridge is just as important as cleaning the fridge.
Next, remove your fridges shelving, including the doors, and crisper drawers. Be sure to empty out any fluids into the kitchen sink to prevent unwanted spills.
Once the fridge is empty, use a spray on an all purpose cleaner, (a hand held spray pack is best) and apply it generously. You’ll want to really cover the insides of the fridge thoroughly all over. For stained areas, apply some baking soda, and once done, let the fridge soak for approximately 15-20 minutes.
During that time, you can clean your shelving in the kitchen sink, using nothing more than washing liquid, warm water and a non scratch sponge. If your shelving is large, you might consider using your bath tub, again using warm soapy water.
Once you’ve finished with the shelving, again using your sponge, begin wiping down the inside of the fridge. Starting at the top, and working your way downwards the bottom.
As a quick tip – you might want to consider wiping the inside of your fridge with a paper towel dosed in a small amount of vanilla essence. It wont leave any streaks or stains but it will leave a pleasant fresh smell.
When returning foods to the fridge, ensure that you give bottles, jars and anything else a quick wipe over before placing them back in.
5. Cleaning your dishwasher
Dishwashers are often one of the most neglected appliances within the kitchen. Unlike fridges or ovens that are cleaned at least once in a while, dishwashers are often overlooked as many people believe that they’re actually self cleaning.
Whilst this might seem like it makes sense, in that you fill the dishwasher, you add the powder, and the machine not only cleans the dishes but itself, right?
Well, this isn’t exactly true, as over time, grime and gunk can build up and accumulate not only within the filters but also within the dishwasher itself.
Of course once this happens, your dishwasher will begin to give off less than pleasant odours and smells.
To clean your dishwasher, all you need are 2 simple ingredients.
- Baking soda;
- White vinegar.
The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure the dishwasher is completely empty.
Remove the filter, along with the filter tray and soak them in warm soapy water. In the kitchen sink is usually fine for this. Be sure not to damage the filter in any way as most are quite delicate and expensive to replace.
Take one cup of vinegar and simply pour it into the dishwasher. Select the deep cleaning cycle and run the dishwasher as normal.
The vinegar will break down any buildup and deodorize the inside of the machine. For additional deodorizing, sprinkle a cup of baking soda within the dishwasher and leave it sit overnight. In the morning, run a normal empty cycle. You’ll be surprised at just how fresh and clean your dishwasher will smell.