How To Make Your Kitchen Sparkle Once And For All

 Knowing what needs to be cleaned when seems like an impossible thing to master.  In this post, Jenn shares what needs to be cleaned when and how to make your kitchen sparkle without feeling overwhelmed.  Included is a free checklist. #cleaning #cleaningtips #cleaningchecklist #cleankitchenchecklist #cleankitchen #wheretostartcleaning #cleanroutine

Cleaning the kitchen is something that seems like is never done.  It's like laundry...Never. Ending.  Am I right?

As much as we try to keep our kitchen clean there is always something that needs to be done.  The problem is, it's hard to know what to do when.  In this post, I'm going to walk you through how to thoroughly deep clean your kitchen.  

How to thoroughly deep clean your kitchen

I'm going to break this down to what should be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, twice a year, and yearly.  I've put together a checklist so you don't have to worry about remembering what needs to be done when.  I've tried that before I know how impossible that truly is!

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My kitchen hasn't always been clean.  

My kitchen was a place for everything.  Since our kitchen is the "central hub" for us all to gather it seems logical that the kitchen would be the place that the mail falls, homework hangs out, and my daughter's phone with wheels end up (moms you get this).

My biggest frustration was that I needed an hour to clean my kitchen before I cooked dinner then I needed another hour and a half to clean up the mess from dinner, homework, and play time.

I couldn't keep up.  

It was time for a system so that's what I did.

To be honest, this wasn't something that took overnight.  It took a lot of practice from everyone.  Setting up a system doesn't just change what you do but it does affect your family too.

The first thing was no more non-kitchen stuff in the kitchen was allowed.  This cut the clutter and cut the time it took me to clean the kitchen.

Then it was time to figure out what needed to be cleaned and then how often.  

About 10 years ago I invested in Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook this handbook is a beast.  It's got everything that you need to clean and more.  What to clean, how to clean it, how often, and what to use.  If you haven't seen it, you can check it out here.

This book is great, but I needed a quick reference guide so that's exactly what I did.

I wrote out everything that needed to be cleaned and then grouped them into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, twice a year, and yearly.  

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Here's what I came up with.

Daily cleaning

As much as you want to avoid daily cleaning it has to be done if you want to keep up.  

Each day I came up with:

  • Wash dishes (this will probably be more than once a day depending on your family size and how many meals you prepare at home)
  • Wipe down counters
  • Clean up spills as they happen (this save a ton of time in the long run)
  • Sweep floor
  • Disinfect the sink
  • Clean out coffee pot
  • Switch out towels
  • Switch out dish rag or disinfect the kitchen sponge (dishwasher or boiling water)

Every morning I like to unload the dishwasher from the night before.  I'm usually doing this while I'm making breakfast for everyone.  Then I load the dishwasher wipe down the counters and I'm usually good until lunch.

If I'm home alone, the afternoon is quite easy.  I just do my lunch dishes and that's it.

If the family is home I usually make everyone lunch, do those dishes, wipe down the counter and run the dishwasher.

At dinner time I unload the dishwasher and load as I go.  When we're all done with dinner I load the dishwasher, set it on a delay to run at midnight.  

This is when I complete the rest of the chores on the list.  So I clean out the coffee pot, switch out the towels, add the sponge to the dishwasher after I've wiped down the counters (again...), and then I complete my cleaning with a quick sweep of the kitchen floor.

Sure that may seem like a lot but it does go by fast if you do this every single day.  The biggest thing is keeping up and cleaning as you go.

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Weekly cleaning

The weekly cleaning is the semi-deep cleaning and sometimes can be the forgotten chores.  What I came up with for weekly cleaning was:

  • Mop floors
  • Clean the microwave (how often do you open the microwave and cringe?)
  • Remove old food from the fridge 
  • Take fridge inventory (this helps with meal planning)
  • Clean stove top
  • Wipe down cabinets & appliance fronts

If you are doing the daily cleaning your weekly cleaning really isn't that bad.  I've found that once I started doing this weekly cleaning every week it went by so fast.

Usually, Monday is my deep cleaning day.  This is the first day that the family is gone for the week and I can clean up after them.

I start off by wiping out the microwave and polishing the front.  Then I remove old food from the fridge and take inventory of items that I need to buy at the grocery store.  

Sure that might not be technically cleaning but I'm in there and it needs to be done.

Then I clean the stove top.  I have a glass cooktop so I use my AP cleaner and a microfiber cloth to polish.  

I take the same cleaner and cloth and clean all of the cabinet and appliance fronts.

I finish off the kitchen cleaning with mopping the floor.

** Cleaning tip **

Clean from top to bottom this will help with crumbs, dust, and other weird stuff that falls. 

Monthly cleaning

The monthly cleaning list is a little long but these are things that need to be done just not that often.  I like to call this my deep cleaning time.

Here's what I came up with:

  • Dust cabinet and appliance tops
  • Clean pantry
  • Take inventory of fridge, freezer, and pantry
  • Clean stove burner liners (if applicable)
  • Clean garbage disposal (if applicable)
  • Vacuum and wash all corners
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Clean out freezer
  • Wash the window and window cill/sill

So the monthly cleaning list can be a little overwhelming but it does go by rather quickly once you're in it.

If your cabinets are not all the way up to the ceiling then the tops need to be dusted along with the items that are up there.  So every month I wipe down the cabinet tops, the top of the fridge, and microwave.

Then I like to head over to the pantry and dust, reorganized, and vacuum the shelves and floor.  I've found doing this each month really does help keep the pantry in good "working order".

After the pantry is in working order I jump over to the freezer and clean it out.  So often we'll just through things in there and completely forget so each month I like to go through everything.  If it's during the cold months I dump out the ice so we are getting fresh ice.

After the pantry and freezer are cleaned out I like to take inventory of the items in the pantry, freezer, and fridge.  You can simply write down everything you have on a piece of paper and store it in a home management binder or kitchen binder.  

dust cupboad tops.jpg

You can check out my Ultimate Busy Mom Planner for inventory sheet (and WAY more, like organize your entire life more).

Then if you have coil burners or a gas stove you'll want to clean out the burner liners.  The easiest way if there's stuck on food is to soak them in hot soapy water.

Your garbage disposal needs to be cleaned and freshened (if you have one).  The best way to do this is to cut up a lemon and run it through then follow with some boiling water.  Your sink will smell lemony fresh.

Every day the floors are swept and the counters are wiped down but it's good to really get into those corners and clean them.  So once a month I grab the vacuum and using the hose attachment I vacuum all of the corners (floors and counters) then I wash them with my AP cleaner and a rag.

The light fixtures are something that seems to be forgotten.  Once a month I like to dust the light fixtures.  

Then I finish off my monthly cleaning with washing the window and window cill/sill (depending on your spelling).

Later on in this post, I'll share a few tips that I use to get through the cleaning so it doesn't seem like the only thing you're doing is cleaning.

Quarterly cleaning

Quarterly cleaning is something that I never did but I have found that it is really important for more than just keeping your kitchen clean.  By doing some of this cleaning helps with clutter, and gives life to small appliances.

Here's my quarterly cleaning list:

  • Mop under fridge and oven
  • Wash light fixtures
  • Wash oven/vent filter
  • Polish stove top
  • Polish appliance fronts
  • Clean out small appliances
  • Replace water filter
  • Clean dishwasher filter
  • Clean dishwasher
  • Clean faucet
  • Clean spice jars and update spices as needed
  • Clean garbage can
  • Clean out kitchen cabinets
  • Clean pantry jars (flour, sugar, etc. containers)
  • Co through kitchen gadgets toss and replace if needed
  • Clean fridge coils
  • Clean fridge filter
  • Clean window blinds/curtains
  • Go through canned foods and toss expired food

Okay, yes, I know this is a very long list.  The good news is, these items only need to be done 4 times a year so every 3 months I make a date with my kitchen and do the thorough deep kitchen cleaning.

It sucks but it's so worth it.

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Each appliance gets a little bit of a "tune-up".  Filters are cleaned, fronts are polished, (if they can be) they're pulled out dusted and cleaned underneath.

Appliances are expensive to replace so I like to make sure that I do my part by making them "good-as-new".

Every month I take a Swiffer duster to the light fixtures but every 3 months I like to wash the glass fixtures with soap and water.  This helps keep the lights bright in the kitchen.

Then about every 3 months, I like to wash out the inside of the garbage can.  This helps with any weird smells that might be starting and the garbage looks nice.

The faucets need a little bit of TLC so I like to clean the faucets.  I take a scrubber to them and then let them soak in white vinegar for about an hour.  Then I rinse and they're good as new.

The biggest part of the quarterly cleaning is going through and cleaning the spice jars, pantry jars, and going through all of the cabinets.

However, if you take a look in your drawers and cabinets you'll find food particles (how they get there I'll never know) so about every 3 months is a good time to clean all of the drawers, cupboards, pantry, spice jars, and all of the jars that store the flour, sugar, etc.

The last thing that you'll want to do is clean the window blinds/curtains.  If you're anything like me, this is something that I forget to do.  But they look so great when they're clean.

Twice a year

Thank goodness that the twice a year list and once a year list are small because the monthly and quarterly lists are quite overwhelming.

Here's what I came up with:

  • Clean the oven
  • Wash the walls

So with that being said twice a year, I like to clean the inside of the oven.  Since I have a self-cleaning oven I just turn it on and let the oven do the work.  

I don't stop there though, I clean the oven racks.  Throughout the months they turn yellow and brown from spills, grease, and other questionable things.  So while they're out because the oven is at 1 million degrees to clean I soak them in the tub in hot soapy water for about an hour.

I scrub and whatever didn't come off from the first soak I take baking soda and vinegar to those areas.  That combo works like a charm.

Then I finish off my twice yearly cleaning with washing the walls.  I have no idea how spaghetti sauce makes its way onto the ceiling but it does.  I take a sponge with a scrubber back and wash all of the -- who knows what -- off the walls.

And that's it.

clean walls.jpg

Yearly cleaning

The yearly cleaning isn't really cleaning but some maintenance that needs to be done.

  • Calibrate the oven

That's it.  The oven takes a beating in our home.  I use it almost every day so it needs to be calibrated so it stays at the temp I need it.

How to actually follow the cleaning checklist

I know what you're thinking.  

This is too much!

Yes, it's a lot to do but I have a few tips that I use and I want to share them with you.

1. I clean throughout the day.  

My daily cleaning gets done a little at a time.  Sure I might do the dishes more than once a day but I'm trying to "keep up with the mess".

2. Clean as I go

During the day, I clean as I go.  I put things away as soon as I'm done with them so I don't have to do it later which seems like it takes longer.  Or--not getting done at all.

3. Break up the cleaning

The weekly, monthly, and quarterly cleaning I like to break up so I'm not feeling like I'm cleaning all of the time.  

For example, Monday's I focus on the floors.  Since my family has been home all weekend tracking in this and that and spilling this and that I like to scrub the floors.  Tuesdays I like to focus on dust.  

Sometimes I'll spend a little bit of time cleaning the light fixtures.

4. Create a clean routine

Setting up a clean routine is probably the one thing that has helped me the most.  If you'd like a cleaning routine I've written a few blog posts on them.  One for you and one for your family.

Setting up a cleaning routine you complete

Setting up a family cleaning routine

5. Delegate some of the cleanings

Once you have created a cleaning routine for yourself it's good to get the family involved.  Since everyone makes the mess and lives in the house then why not have everyone help.  

That's why I like to delegate some of the cleanings so all of the cleanings hasn't fallen on my shoulders.

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In conclusion

Being thorough with your kitchen cleaning takes a lot of work but if you have a plan it doesn't have to be that overwhelming.

By doing a little bit every day you're going to be able to keep up.  Your kitchen will be cleaner and you'll notice that your appliances will last longer.  

The fear of looking at the back of the fridge will go away since you're clearing out old food each week making your life that much better.

I did create the Kitchen Sparkle Blueprint.  Inside the Kitchen Sparkle Blueprint, you'll find everything that I talked about in this post.  

The blueprint is broken into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, twice a year, and yearly job.  This will help eliminate some of the overwhelm and you can know exactly what needs to be done when.

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I want to thank you so much for stopping by.  I've included a few other posts below that I thought you might love.

Have an amazing day,

Jenn