Spring Cleaning: How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen & Recipe for Southern Sweet Iced Tea

How to clean a kitchen

 Big Spring Deep Clean for the Kitchen

Have you heard the saying, A clean home is a happy home? Sounds corny doesn’t it?  But, if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Who doesn’t appreciate coming home to a clean, orderly, neat house. It is satisfying to know your home is in order and looking its best.

Spring is the best time to clean and de-clutter the most used rooms in your house. The temperature outside is just right, and freshening the nest adds to the excitement of a new season. It’s also the best time to tackle the nitty-gritty, down and dirty cleaning you’ve probably been putting off  — like wiping fixtures and light bulbs, vacuuming behind the refrigerator and stove — getting the whole house squeaky clean!

I have gathered a list of cleaning to-dos for the kitchen. Don’t stress about trying to get the whole job finished in one day.  Break it up into smaller jobs so you don’t get overwhelmed. Try to complete one or two tasks during the week or during downtime, but don’t put off the the big spring deep clean for the kitchen too long, or you may miss the window of opportunity to finish it before the invitations for weddings, graduation parties and barbecues come in.

Start at the top of a room and work your way down. Here is a flexible list of cleaning supplies you will need:

• all-purpose spray cleaner, vinegar (optional), mild de-greaser, baking soda, clean rags and lint-free rags, old newspaper, cleaning bucket, rubber gloves, Magic Eraser pad, broom/electric sweeper, mop, duster, vacuum,  hand-vacuum,  touch-up paint, small sponge brushes (optional).

How to Clean the Ceilings & Walls

Wear a baseball cap to keep the falling particles out of your hair and eyes.

• Brush down cobwebs and vacuum up residue to keep allergens and dust mites at bay.

• Mist rag with water and wipe down ceilings and walls. Use all-purpose spray cleaner to remove smoke, grease or any other film on the surface.

• Touch-up scuff marks with paint. I keep a small amount of matching paint for each of my rooms in an air-tight, plastic bottle, labeled with room and color. Shake, then squeeze a small amount of paint on a paper plate and cover scuff mark. Discard plate and sponge brush. Quick and easy!

How to Clean Fan lights, Bulbs and Fixtures – If you are like me, it has been awhile since you last cleaned them.

• Unplug or turn off electricity for safety.

• Spritz dust rag with cleaner, never spray directly on a fixture or bulb, wipe clean.

• Fan blades – Use a pillowcase to lay over each ceiling fan blade, pull dust off and vacuum debris.

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers

• Fill a water bucket half way with mild cleaning detergent and warm water.

• Wipe each door of upper and lower cabinets top to bottom. Rinse with clean rag and water, then dry.

• Cabinets near stove may be extra grimey. Use mild-degreaser (I like Simple Green for grease removal and as an all-purpose cleaner) to lift grease.  Clean once a week to avoid tough build-up.

• De-clutter and organize cabinets and drawers.

• Tighten loose handles and knobs.

• Glass and mirrored doors — spray and wipe down with scrunched up newspaper until dry. Check glass pane for looseness and run a bead of clear rubber silicone along the interior corners where glass sits in place within the door.

How to Clean the Stove & Cooking Area

• Remove metal burner trays and vent filters, place in dishwasher for a deep clean to release gunk.

• Spray vent hood, along with top and front of stove, wipe clean.

• Pull the stove away from the wall to clean and vacuum.

• Clean outside and inside door of oven and walls.

• Consider the self-cleaning option if it’s available. Read manufacturers instructions.

How to Clean the Microwave

• Soak dish rag in plain water and partially squeeze dry. Place in microwave with 1/2 a lemon, turn on 1 minute to heat, steam and dissolve grime and odors.

• Allow rag and lemon to cool a few minutes, they will be hot! Use rubber gloves to wipe clean.

How to Clean the Refrigerator

• Pull refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum behind and under to avoid possible electrical fire. (Our last refrigerator had an electrical fire so I know the danger firsthand. Thankfully we were in the kitchen when it sparked!)

• Remove old containers and expired foods and condiments.

• Empty produce and meat drawers and remove them to spray out debris in the sink. Wipe down the interiors and dry.

• Spray and wipe exterior top and sides with mild cleanser.

How to Clean Stainless Steel 

• Use special polishing cream made to remove prints and spots.

• Do not over-apply the cleaner which could make the surface greasy.

• Using dry side of a lint-free rag, buff and shine.

• Never use abrasive cleaners on stainless steel.

How to Clean the Dishwasher

• Clean exterior panels the same as refrigerator. Wipe down interior door and along rubber sealer. Check for any build-up inside machine and remove.

• Follow stainless steel cleaning steps if needed.

I use Cascade Complete packets in our machine, and find I no longer need a deodorizing tablet or a rinse agent. Dishes sparkle and no more soap film!

How to Clean Countertops & Sink

• Spray with all-purpose cleaner and wipe down.

• Remove clutter, put away small appliances and unnecessary items.

• Scour sink with all-purpose cleaner and pad, or with baking soda and water to keep the drain fresh.

How to Care for Stone Counters

• Consider sealing, or resealing them every 6-12 months to ensure they remain stain-free. It is usually a simple task of wiping liquid sealer over counters, letting sealer penetrate for a few minutes, wiping dry.

How to Clean & Organize the Food Pantry

• Purge and organize boxes, cans, bags, storage containers.

• Spray and wipe down shelves, walls, ceiling, floor.

• Consider an efficient food storing system that takes up less space.

• Place a basket on the floor for paper towels, dog treat bags, extra items, paper towels, etc.

How to Clean Hard Surface Floors & Interior Doors

 Rugs

• Take outdoors and shake off dust. (Indoor/Outdoor rugs with pad work well at entryways, stove and sink areas.)

• Spray with mild cleanser, rinse with a hose, air-dry in the sun. Do the same for Rug Pads, or if they are fairly small, run through the laundry washer without detergent.

Baseboards, Doors & Trim –

• Use dust broom to quickly wipe down baseboards or spray and wipe clean if dirty.

• Do the same for interior doors and trim.

• Touch-up scuffs with paint.

Laminate & Wood Floors –

• Use soft-bristle broom or electric sweeper that will not scratch the finish. Sweep well under stove, refrigerator and cabinets. Vacuum pile of debris to suck up dust mites and allergens.

Mopping

• Use a sponge mop and a mix of 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water to clean laminate and wood floors. Or, use floor cleaner suggested by flooring manufacturer. I have found some floor cleaners leave a film on laminate flooring so I prefer vinegar/water solution, or simple warm water for quick touch-ups on my laminate floors. Follow manufacturers instructions for cleaning hardwoods.

Tile floors

• Clean tile and grout with solution especially made for them, or mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Apply the liquid with string or sponge mop.

• For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture. Scour extra dirty grout with scrub pad or toothbrush.

Extra Things to Do in the Kitchen 

• Scour out the trash can; organize under the sink cabinet; clean the pet feeding area, wipe down display items such as bowls, cookbooks, small appliances, etc.

It’s a big job to deep clean the kitchen, but well worth the effort and benefits that follow. Don’t get overwhelmed, complete each task as you can, then enjoy your accomplishments!

To quench your thirst while cleaning, make this real Southern Sweet Iced Tea to have on-hand. Baking soda… yes baking soda… is key to it’s smooth flavor. Try it with a little less sugar then the recipe calls for, unless you prefer it very sweet. Enjoy!

Have a blessed weekend!

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