“If the cabinets are wood, I use Murphy’s Oil,” McCormack shares. “Mix a bit into some warm water and then just soak a cloth in there. Wring it out and start wiping. For those carved indents, it can be a bit tricky. I see a lot of build up in those details and you have to either go for it and dig your nails in to slide it across or get a plastic scraper (they’re usually $7 to $15 at home accessory stores) and put the cloth around the scraper and slide it across. You can also use hot water mixed with a grease-fighting dish soap and wash any cabinets. I buff them dry with another clean cloth to avoid any possible water damage or unattractive water drip marks.”
7. Your appliance cleaning timeline
By this point, you’re realizing that any exposed surface in your kitchen is going to need some type of wipe down on a regular basis. But what about the inside of your appliances? McCormack shares her suggested timelines for cleaning inside your fridge, oven, and dishwasher.
“The most efficient thing to do is give your fridge a wipe every time there is even the smallest spill or dribble,” she explains. “Most of us are living busy lives and don’t even notice these things until suddenly your fridge is full of sticky snack memories. Once a month is great if you’re on your own or living with one other person, but bi-weekly is likely necessary if you are a family with young children and therefore have much more fridge traffic.
A tip I have from personal experience is to not wait until the oven sparks a flame when you use it,” she laughs. “That’s when you know you’ve waited much too long to clean your oven. Cleaning it every couple months is generally fine depending on your household. If you drop a piece of food in there, get it out so it doesn’t crisp up and cause more problems later, but a full spray down and wipe out doesn’t need to happen more than a few times a year!”
“Ideally you want to clear out any food particles or paper label pieces from jars or whatever else out of the bottom after each cycle to keep it at peak performance,” McCormack suggests. “Remove your filter every few weeks for a wash. If you notice the dishwasher getting a bit stinky inside, fill a large glass with vinegar and set it upright inside the appliance. A lower rack is recommended if you can find a sturdy spot for it to stay upright. Run a normal cycle but make sure to turn off the “heat dry” option. If you don’t have that option, just put your normal dishwasher cleaner in and run a normal cycle. Once a month is typically enough.”
NOTE: Certain cleaners may foam up when used in a dishwasher, which could lead to a mess. Make sure you’re using dishwasher-approved cleaners that won’t cause more problems than they solve!
8. You should be deep cleaning your sink
Your sink is usually where you clean your dishes and prep your food, so keeping it clean should be a top priority. You can deep clean inside your sink and the surrounding area to make sure mildew and dirt don’t build up over time.
“Sprinkling your sink with baking soda and some drops of water to form a paste and scrubbing with a sponge or soft cloth will do a good job of eliminating odours, then rinse with vinegar to sanitize,” McCormack suggests. “In my own home a lot of the time, I just spray the whole thing down with Lysol or any disinfectant and then scrub it down with a clean wet cloth. I like to use a paper towel to get into the crevices of the tap and surrounding areas. Dirt hides well there.”
9. Pay attention to the hidden areas
There are a lot of hidden surfaces in your kitchen, some you may have never thought to look at before. McCormack shares that underneath your cupboards can become grimey over time as grease and splashes from cooking can coat the bottoms without ever being seen.
“The build-up usually comes in the form of little orange dots,” she says. “I spray the whole area with a cleaner made for the kitchen specifically because it has degreasing agents in it. Then I soak a cloth in really hot water and wipe it down after the cleaner’s had a minute to sit. I wipe a lot of the gunk off and once I dry it with a clean cloth I can see what I have left to deal with. I’ll usually take a magic eraser to the rest.”
Another commonly missed spot is inside the pantry.
“I spend a lot of time scrubbing rings from spilled sauces or syrups that just started as tiny drips down the side of a bottle but over time created sticky piles on the cupboard surfaces,” McCormack shares. “Giving your bottles a quick wipe down after use is an easy way to prevent these messes from building up.”
It’s easy to just clean the parts of your kitchen you can see, but there’s a lot more to cleaning this high-traffic room than meets the eye. Make sure you’re doing a thorough job and creating a clean, sanitary space for you and the family to enjoy your meals!