Cleaning the kitchen is probably the most time consuming and intimidating room to tackle when it comes to cleaning, but once it’s spick and span, it can be one of the most rewarding. Cleaning bathrooms is no cake-walk either, and a few easy systems makes bedroom organization a breeze—but kitchens are just an entire world away from every other room in the house. From caked-on grease near the stove to filthy sinks and disorganized pantries, we have you covered with a how-to guide and checklist of exactly what it will take to give your kitchen a true deep clean. That way, the next time you go to prepare a meal, you’ll be at ease from start to finish.
Take a look at our kitchen cleaning checklist:
How to Organize Pantry and Cabinets
Struggling to find flour or realizing there’s not enough sugar left for the recipe you’ve already started can be very frustrating. We think using uniform, clear containers with labels makes all the difference when it comes to organizing the pantry and cabinets.
- Pull all dried goods, cans and bottles out of the pantry and cabinets where they’re stored.
- Wipe the shelves down with a cleaner and towel.
- Take inventory of what you have, checking for expiration dates (and chucking the items that have expired).
- Transfer items into containers that are similar sizes and shapes so you can stack and maximize your shelf space.
- Label the outside of the container with what is inside.
- As you put things back in your pantry and cabinets, place items you use most frequently on lower, easy-to-access shelves, and items you use less often higher up.
- Utilize a turntable for items like vinegars and oils to keep them a spin away.
Good tip: Leave the label for any instructions (like grains and pasta) taped to the back of the storage container so they’re handy when you’re ready to cook.
Need more inspiration? Check out how Katie Workman did a complete Pantry Makeover in her kitchen using just Pop Containers, elbow grease and a little creativity.
How to Conquer Drawers and Countertops
Stop fishing for a can opener in a stuffed drawer or trying to prep on a crowded countertop— spend time making your kitchen drawers and countertops orderly with this checklist that will make every drawer sleekly organized, with every useful item at the tip of your fingers.
- Take everything out of the drawers, including silverware, cooking utensils, aluminum foil, parchment paper, oven mitts and tea towels.
- Wipe down drawers and any organizers you have with cleaner and a towel.
- Place a drawer liner down if you prefer.
- Use a Utensil Organizer to organize utensils by shape and size.
- Group similar things—measuring cups and spoons should stay together for example. If you have big serving spoons, consider putting them in a Utensil Holder on the counter.
- For that drawer that holds aluminum foil, parchment paper and other miscellany (we know you have it too!), make sure to tidy up the boxes. Hold clips and rubber bands in a smaller container or drawer divider to keep them contained.
- Less is more for countertops. If there are appliances you don’t use daily, store them away.
- If you’re a coffee drinker and keep a brewer on the countertop, make sure to wipe down the counter and underneath the brewer—ground coffee always finds a way to get everywhere. You can also use descaling solution and clean your coffee maker while you’re at it—your morning cup of coffee will taste better for it!
- For appliances you do keep out, like toasters and microwaves, lift them up and clean under them. Use the Kitchen Appliance Cleaning set to clean inside and breakdown any pesky stains.
The Faux Martha has the right idea, she has mastered the minimalist kitchen and shares exactly how she organizes her kitchen cabinets and drawers.
How to Deep Clean Big Appliances
Refrigerators and ovens tend to build up lots of stains and dirt; let’s put a little elbow grease into making appliances feel like new again.
- Pull everything out of the fridge and check for expiration dates on jarred items and condiments we know have been in there for too long. Can’t remember how long food can stay in your fridge for? We use this chart from FoodSafety.gov for quick reference.
- Wipe down the shelves and drawers of the fridge—don’t forget the butter shelf! Use a scrub brush for any caked on stains.
- Frustrated by the amount of produce you’re tossing because it went bad too quickly? Stick a crisper insert in produce drawers and see how it keeps spoilage at bay.
- Follow the same steps for the freezer; pulling everything out, checking for expiration dates (frozen soup can only last so long!) and wiping the shelves clean.
- Now is a good time to also clean under the refrigerator—you’ll be astonished at what’s been living under there when you clean with this long, flat profile duster.
- Tackle the stovetop and oven today too. Clean under the oven with the same duster and don’t forget to clean your broiler drawer if you have one. Tiny food scraps always find their way there.
- Pull oven knobs off and soak them in hot water and some soap. Use the Deep Clean Brush Set to reach any tiny crevices.
- Wipe down the oven door—you’ll be happy to be able to see through the glass again.
- Scrub the stove and grates—if you haven’t tackled the grates in a while, it might be best to let them soak in the sink with soapy water for a few extra minutes.
- If you keep a spoon rest on the stove top, now is a good time to give it a wipe or run it through the dishwasher.
How to Clean and Streamline the Sink Area
The sink (and under it!) can get a little out of hand over time. Here are our tips to tidy it up.
- Clean the sink—don’t forget the faucet and handles.
- Throw out and replace any old sponges, and utilize a sponge holder to keep sponges organized and dry.
- Refill any soap dispensing brushes so you’re ready to take on dishes for weeks to come.
- Clean your dish rack and drying mats—some are dishwasher safe, if not, wipe them down.
- Pull out everything under the sink—cleaning solutions, trash bags, sponges, etc. Wipe down the shelf.
- Consolidate similar items, like boxes of trash bags and dishwasher pods.
- Organize plastic bags by corralling them into one bag or container (and while you’re at it, be realistic about how many you really need on hand).
- Utilize a turntable to hold cleaning solutions and other bottles
What else would you add to our kitchen cleaning checklist? Share your feedback and your own progress using #OXOBetter on social media.