The Spring Cleaning Series:
Keeping a clean space has never been as important as it has been this past year. Now that the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and hope is on the horizon, it’s time to get ready for the new. Nothing feels quite as nice as having a clean and fresh home. But trying to clean the entire house can be overwhelming, trust us, we know. But we’ve got your back so we’re going to take you step by step in helping you to achieve a clean and organized space.
The kitchen is ground zero for clutter and germs. This one space in the house is a congregating spot for all family members and if you’re anything like us, you want this space to be beautiful and inspire creativity. You want it to be a warm, inviting, and safe place for your family and friends. This feeling and sense of comfort is pretty difficult to accomplish when there are crumbs, germy hand prints, spills, and clutter everywhere. This is not the vibe. So let's get this done.
We’ll start with the junk drawer. We all have it. That dirty little secret of a drawer where we throw old batteries, and random homeless objects. I’m sorry love, but this has got to go. And as daunting as it seems, you will feel so much better when you open the drawer and it is clean and organized. After that we’ll do the same thing for all of the other drawers. The others probably won't be as bad and only take a few minutes. So let’s do this:
- Empty all of the contents and sort. Throw away all of the garbage. Get rid of old receipts, expired coupons, junk mail, etc. Make another pile for things that can be stored somewhere else like pens and batteries. Finally, you have all the things that are going back in the drawer. But first...
- Get baskets or trays to organize the things going back in the drawer. We understand that some of this stuff needs to be there for convenience, but they don’t have to be carelessly thrown in with no rhyme or reason. No, we’re civilized people here. Use trays or small baskets to organize the little knickknacks. But before you put the trays and baskets in...
- Wipe down the draws of any crumbs or dust.
- Now put the trays back in the drawers neatly.
Kitchen Towels and washcloths
Listen, it may be time to let some of those towels go. They have served you well and have come through in times of crisis like spaghetti sauce tantrums, knocked over cups of juice, and overflowing pots of oatmeal, but it’s time to lay these stained, torn and worn warriors to rest. These kitchen towels are super stylish, absorbent and perfect for your fresh kitchen vibes.
The process of cleaning out the fridge can be a real task if this is not something that you do regularly (no judgements here). But this is a must for Spring cleaning. It’s a bit more time consuming than the drawers, but ba-by when you open up the fridge and it is nice and clean and you don’t have to worry about what's lingering in the back waiting to bounce and assault your nose like a bandit of disgust ( ok that’s a little the over the top, but you get it) you’ll literally breathe easier. Get some trap music going, glove up, tie your hair back, and let's do this!
- Empty all of the contents out of the fridge and sort. Throw away the spoiled food. And maybe repack some of the food that can go into smaller containers.
- After the garbage is thrown away and all the food is out...
- Remove bins, drawers, racks, and crispers.
- Clean up loose crumbs or pieces of food that may have fallen. This bamboo brush is perfect for quickly sweeping up all of the crumbs out of the fridge.
- Pretreat the inside of the fridge by spraying all purpose cleaner and letting it sit.
- Spray all purpose cleaner on all the removed bins, drawers, and shelves and then generously sprinkle them with baking soda and let it sit. Baking soda removes stains and odors.
- Give the inside of the refrigerator a good scrub down. Use a small cleaning brush to reach corners, grooves, and gaskets (those rubber thingies that help keep the cool air sealed in).
- Wash racks and crispers with warm soapy water. Our plant-based scour pad will take those shelves from icky to luminous.
- Wipe dry.
- Then put everything back in an organized fashion. You can get an instagram worthy looking fridge by using fridge containers, they’re also great for saving space.
- Don’t forget to clean the outside of the fridge.
All right, you did it! Way to go.
The Pantry (ominous music: dum dum duuuuummm!)
The refrigerator and pantry are probably the most daunting cleaning tasks in the entire kitchen. There can just be so much stuff if you keep putting it off. But pantry, today you will be conquered and I will be the victor!
- Declutter. Empty out all of the contents of the pantry onto the counter tops or table. Maybe do it shelf by shelf if you have a really big pantry with lots of stuff.
- Toss the expired or stale canned goods, chips, and crackers. If you have canned goods that aren’t expired and you know that you nor anyone in your family is going to use it (I mean seriously, canned beets, yuck!) donate them to a food bank.
- Sweep and wipe down the shelves. This is where a small bamboo brush will come in handy. (When your 3 year old knocks down your bulk bag of chia seeds, a big broom will not cut it.)
- Now for the fun part. Get some trays, boxes, or my personal favorite, baskets. Your chips will be sitting pretty in these. These baskets can also hang on the door and would be a neat place to story knickknacks such as bag clips. Organize your food by type, like snacks, cereal, and pasta. If you want to be really fancy, purchase uniformed containers and labels to put your different cereals, rice, oats, pasta, etc in.
- Put the items back in the pantry, storing the most used items on the middle shelves and items that aren’t used as often on the top shelves.
Ok, so far we’ve tackled the drawers, fridge, and the pantry. Time for a little celebratory treat. Give yourself a piece of chocolate, do a little dance, give yourself a high five, but you are killing this spring cleaning! But we’re not done yet.
- Take out the racks.
- Scrape and sweep or vacuum up all of the burnt crumbs.
- Get your oven cleaner and spray it and let it sit. (For best results, have the cleaner sit overnight.) If you don’t want any chemicals in your oven here is a simple solution using products that you probably already have (baking soda, water, vinegar).
- Pour a generous amount of baking soda into a container and add water until it becomes a paste.
- Put the baking soda paste all over your oven, don't forget the door, and let sit for a couple of hours.
- After, get a spray bottle and fill with white distilled vinegar and spray the oven. It will start to bubble like a volcano science experiment. (Be mindful of how much you spray, you don’t want to make vinegar baking soda soup.)
- Wipe out the grease. You can use a pumice stone to get out the really stubborn baked in grease.
- Wipe dry the oven with a cloth.
- Wash the racks. Again these scouring pads are a life saver. Did we mention that they smells like coconuts?
- Replace the racks.
- Wipe down the door and handle.
- Remove grates, burner covers, and burners.
- Wipe off all of crumbs.
- If you have a stainless steel stove top, baking soda and vinegar will not be much help with removing the burnt grease. Bar Keepers Friend seems to be a winner in removing hard grease. The active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid which comes from rhubarb.
- Make a pourable paste with Bar Keepers Friend and water.
- Put the paste on the grease stains and let it sit for 5-10 minutes
- After the paste has set, remove with a non scratch sponge. (Be sure to wear gloves, the cleaner can be irritating to skin.)
- Repeat if necessary.
- Apply paste to grates, burner covers, and burners. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes then scrub and wipe or rinse clean.
- Replace all of your sparkling clean stove top pieces.
Coil Electric Stove
- Remove coils and drip pans.
- Sweep or wipe away crumbs.
- Clean with a stove top cleaner ( don’t forget to lift the top of the stove and get underneath.
- Buy new drip pans or clean them with a cleaner like Bar Keepers Friendfollowing the same directions as cleaning a gas stove.
- Replace clean drip pans and coils.
Electric Smooth Top Stove
- Sweep up crumbs with bamboo brush (man this brush is really coming in the clutch!)
- Apply stove top cleaner of your choice.
- Wipe off all the gunk.
- Ta da!
How to clean your microwave with vinegar. This is so easy!
- Remove the microwave food cover. Fill a mug or a microwave safe bowl with vinegar, (you can also dilute it with water if you don’t like the smell) and place in the microwave.
- Microwave for 5-10 minutes depending on how much build up there is inside your microwave.
- Wipe down.
- Wash microwave food cover.
- Put everything back in the microwave.
- Wipe down the outside of the microwave.
- Unplug the toaster.
- Remove any extra parts like handles or crumb catcher.
- Shake out toaster over the garbage to remove loose crumbs.
- Use a long skinny brush, like this one to loosen the stubborn crumbs at the bottom.
- Shake out the loosened crumbs in the garbage again.
- Repeat until all crumbs are gone.
- Wipe down the outside of the toaster.
- Wash the crumb catcher with warm soapy water.
- Put everything back.
- Remove the racks and utensil trays
- Spray the interior with all purpose cleaner and let sit
- Mix one part dish soap and one part baking soda. Use your small cleaning brush to brush around the frame of the dishwasher and the small crevices where there is a lot of build up and let it sit.
- If you have a filter, remove it and soak it in warm soapy water.
- Rinse the dishwasher with warm water and wipe with a cloth and done!
- Make sure you find out which cleaners work best with the countertops that you have (usually a dish soap and water mix will work perfectly fine, add a little rubbing alcohol to the solution to make it quick drying and streak free).
- Remove all items from the counter.
- Apply cleaner and wipe down.
- Do the eye level check to make sure you haven’t really missed any spots.
- Apply disinfectant to high volume areas (like where you put plastic bags, keys, mail, or anything that is from the outside that may have come in contact with any contaminants) allow to sit for allotted time and wipe dry.
- Put everything back.
- Remove all dishes sponges, soap container, etc, from around the sink.
- Dump a half cup of baking soda down each drain to help deodorize.
- Spray the entire sink including the faucet with all purpose cleaner.
- Drizzle a generous amount of baking soda all over the sink as a scouring product.
- Soak a paper towel in vinegar and wrap around the parts of the faucet where there is a lot of hard water build up and crust.
- Spray a small brush with all purpose cleaner and dish soap and scrub around those hard to reach areas where the sink meets the countertop to remove all of the hidden, germy gunk.
- Spray some more all purpose cleaner and dish soap on the small brush and scrub all the nooks and crannies in the drain.
- Now, use a scouring pad or a dish brush to wipe down the sink from top to bottom.
- Rinse with hot water from top to bottom.
- Remove the vinegar soaked paper towel and use a small cleaning brush to clean in all of the joints and where the faucet meets the counter.
- Buff and dry the faucet and sink with a super absorbent cloth.
- Place vinegar in a zip lock bag and with a rubber band secure it to the end of the faucet and leave for a few hours to remove hard water stains.
Before deep cleaning your floors, remove all furniture and mats and sweep up any crumbs, or dust. Gently loosen any spills or crumb that don’t come up easily and are stuck to the floor. When it comes to mopping the methodology depends on the flooring.
Ceramic is the most durable flooring.
- Mix water with a mild detergent, or dishwashing liquid in a bucket.
- Mop with a chamois-like mop, sponge mops can push dirty water into the grout (and we don’t want that).
- If the tile floors have a glaze, wipe up the water with a cloth, air drying may cause water spots.
- To clean the grout make a baking soda and water paste and apply with a small cleaning brush until the dirt is removed.
- Rinse with a clean mop and clean water.
- Dry with an absorbent cloth.
- Mix water and a non abrasive all purpose cleaner.
- Mop .
- Dry the floor to avoid water spots.
- Mix a small amount of vinegar with water.
- Ring out the mop until it is damp (not wet).
- Dry floor with a cloth.
- Using wax, acrylic, or bleach can mess up the floor’s finishing.
- Only deep clean once or twice a year.
- Use recommended hardwood floor cleaner (depending on finish, type of wood, etc.)
- Follow manufacturer’s direction for dilution.
- Wet and ring out mop until it is almost dry to the touch.
- Wipe up any standing water or wet spots. Standing water could damage the floor.
You are finished! Treat yourself to some wine, sit back and enjoy a rom com and order some take out! Enjoy your spotless kitchen for the next few minutes until your kids need a snack. Just kidding, you at least have a few hours.