You’ve got a full plate of kitchen cleaning tasks—use these tips to stay on track
Maintaining a clean kitchen can feel more complex than a Michelin-Star tasting menu. It’s easy to lose track of the details, especially when you’re a kitchen creative or a chef with multiple mouths to feed. Use these tips for sticking to a kitchen cleaning checklist that will have your space sparkling week after week.
1. Tackle Cleaning Tasks During Your Cooking Downtime
A watched pot never boils, so take advantage of that downtime during meal prep. Wash dishes, wipe down counters, and clean up splatters while you wait. Keep a timer handy to prevent burning if you’re cooking meats, stir-fries, and other time-sensitive dishes.
2. Make Sweeping a Part of Your Daily Cleaning Routine
Even if your countertops are sparkling, the gritty feel of crumbs beneath your feet can make it seem like you’ve lost track of your cleaning. Those little pieces also make tasty morsels for rodents, roaches, and other guests that you really don’t want putzing around your kitchen.
Whether you’ve cooked dinner or ordered takeout, always end your night with a once-over from the broom to keep crumbs at bay. Mopping can happen weekly or as needed, depending on what makes the most sense for your home.
3. Find Your Kitchen Cleaning Flow
The most effective way to stick to a cleaning routine is to make it your own. For example, if it makes more sense to clean your prep area before you eat rather than after, then arrange your to-do list accordingly. On the other hand, if washing up after the meal helps you clear your head and wind down, then make that your method. Either way, find the procedure that flows most naturally, and you’ll get through it with ease.
4. Add Entertainment to Your Kitchen Cleaning Schedule
Cleaning is definitely not the most riveting way to spend your time, but it doesn’t have to take up 100% of your attention. While you wash, wipe, and sanitize, pop on your favorite podcast or audiobook. You can also set up a tablet to catch up on the latest show you’re binge-watching. Keeping yourself entertained will make your cleaning tasks go by that much quicker.
5. Keep a Written Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
There’s power in putting pen to paper. Not only will a written kitchen cleaning checklist help you remember what your daily tasks are, but it will also help you stay accountable for getting them done.
Here are a few to-dos to get done on the daily:
Put spices and other stray items back in their designated places.
Empty the dishwasher and put away dry dishes in the dish rack.
Wash dirty dishes.
Wipe around and clean out the sink.
Wipe down the stovetop, burners, and range hood.
Clean and sanitize the countertops.
Sweep the floor.
6. Use a Cordless Hand Vacuum to Suck Up Dry Messes
Using a handheld cordless vacuum is a cleaning hack that makes tackling dry messes quicker, easier, and much more satisfying. Before wiping down your cooktop, table, and counters, pick up any bread crumbs, spilled spices, and other dry messes (avoid liquids or sticky spots). Be sure to empty the filter before placing it back on the charger for the night.
7. Maintain a Weekly Deep Cleaning Routine
Even if you’re diligent with your daily cleaning, messes can slip through the cracks. Plus, it’s always easier to start your week off with a (deep) clean slate. Along with a thorough spring cleaning in the kitchen every year, here are a few important deep-cleaning tasks to tackle on a weekly basis:
Sweep and mop the floor.
Wipe down cabinet fronts, appliances, the exterior of your fridge, the stovetop, and range hood.
Wipe down the full surface of your table and chairs.
Clean walls and tile backsplashes.
Replace germy sponges or sanitize them by placing them wet in the microwave for about two minutes.
Clean in and around the microwave.
Scrub in and around the kitchen sink.
Dust china cabinets and other decorative or lesser-used surfaces.
Use specialized cleaner (or shaving cream!) to clean and polish any stainless steel surfaces.
Review the contents of the fridge and toss anything that’s spoiled or expired.
8. Avoid Leaving Food Scraps in Your Kitchen Trash
Food scraps and grease in the trash can turn rancid fast—and that smell is the last thing you want commingling with the lemony freshness of your clean kitchen. To minimize what goes in the trash, keep sealed baggies of bones in the freezer to use for soup. If you throw away anything perishable, keep a separate trash bag or take the trash out before you turn in for the night.
Better yet, use fruit and veggie scraps to make your own compost for fertilizing your lawn and garden. Pro tip: To make fewer trips to your compost pile, keep a container of scraps in the fridge until you’re ready to take it out.
9. Consider Bringing in Regular Cleaning Services
Between errands, getting through your entire home cleaning checklist, and finding time for the things that bring you joy, keeping a spotless kitchen can be a real challenge. To save yourself time and set yourself up for future house-cleaning success, consider investing in a local cleaning service. You can have them come in regularly or sporadically—whichever works best for your home and budget.