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9 Kitchen Cleaning Tips From A Professional Cleaner

Wednesday, October 13, 2021   /   by Earl Gaddi

9 Kitchen Cleaning Tips From A Professional Cleaner

The kitchen might see the most foot traffic in your home on a daily basis. Three meals a day, not to mention snacks, can make for a messy eating area that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Having a clean kitchen is crucial when you consider the amount of build-up that could be hanging around when you’re prepping sandwiches on the counter or leaving produce in the sink to dry. You wouldn’t want to eat at a restaurant whose kitchen wasn’t cleaned properly, so it should be the same for your own home! 

1. Some items need to be cleaned more frequently

The messes you can see are, of course, the ones you tend to focus on. However, McCormack says there are a couple of spots people end up neglecting when cleaning their kitchen. 
“Behind the sink is a big one,” she shares. “And in the crevices of the actual tap on the sink. Spray it down with your favourite all-purpose disinfectant and if you take one square of paper towel and carefully slide the thin edge around those crevices, you can get most of the gunk out quite easily. Also remembering to dry around your sink is important. The edges of where the sink meets the rest of the counter are sometimes forgotten and can grow mould over time.”
Another spot is inside the microwave, which is often left until there’s the accidental explosion of spaghetti or soup. 
“There’s just something about the closed door of a microwave that gives it the out of sight, out of mind feel,” McCormack admitted. “Place a bowl of cool water and some squirts of lemon or lime juice in the microwave and run it for three minutes. Let it sit for an additional three minutes to allow the steam and lemon/lime to penetrate the dirt inside, then wipe it out. If you don’t have the juice, the hot water will still help steam the dirt out, it just won’t freshen it as well.”

2. Use glass cleaner on stainless steel appliances

Stainless steel appliances are prone to fingerprints and streaks, which can take away the sleek appeal of having them in your kitchen. Cleaning these appliances can also be a pain, but McCormack says a common household cleaner will help do the trick.
“The best way to clean stainless steel is to never touch it at all to prevent having to deal with it,” she jokes. “This must be my least favourite thing to clean, somewhere up there with glass shower doors! Honestly, I use glass cleaner. The stainless steel sprays and wipes usually leave marks and need to be polished with a dry clean cloth afterwards—it can be tedious. If a large area needs to be wiped down, I’ll spray glass cleaner directly onto the fridge and then wipe it with a cloth. For small areas, spray it on the cloth and then rub out the marks.”

3. Cleaning glass-top stoves

Glass-top stoves are becoming increasingly common, but they can also be prone to caked-on messes that are hard to remove. The good news is most glass-top stoves come with their own cleaners. McCormack admits these products are the best way to handle the mess. 
“There are a couple of different cleaners— a cream and a soap-like block in a plastic tub are the two forms I see often,” she explains. “The cream is drizzled over the whole glass top or over the dirtiest sections, then scrubbed away with the special sponge it comes with. Steel bladed scrapers are used to lift the black circles from around the burners. The soap-like block works the same except you soak your sponge in warm water and then rub it into the block until it forms a lather and then wash the stove top. After you’ve got all your marks lifted, give the stove top a rinse with a soap free cloth and then buff it dry.”
Don’t forget about the perimeter of the stove, either!
“It’s usually a soft rubber and man, it is hard to wipe dirt off of,” McCormack shares. “Use extra water and then a dry cloth. Paper towel just leaves bits behind and it’s an endless battle to get that off of rubber areas.”

4. Cleaning a traditional coil stove

While cleaning a traditional stove involves a bit more work, most of them actually lift up to make things easier!
“Up until just a few years ago I would stick my hands into all the four circles after pulling the coils and drip bowls out and clean as far as I could in there awkwardly,” McCormack admits. “When I found out it lifted, my life was forever changed. Get a scraper, one of those bladed ones from your local home accessory store, and scrape most of the super caked-on grease and grime right up. Then use an SOS pad for the rest. If you’ve been an exceptionally careful cook over the years, you might just need some kitchen spray or some hot water and mild dish soap to clean it up!”
For the top of the stove and the burners themselves, you’ll need to take the coils off to make sure you’re getting all the grime. 
“Unhook the coils, take the drip bowls out, and soak those in the hottest water your tap will give you and a bunch of dish soap,” McCormack explains. “Before you throw those coils in water, check to make sure they aren’t specifically labelled with the ‘do not soak’ warnings near the connectors. If they are, you’ll have to just wipe them down and scrub them off without the help of a soak. Wipe down the stove top with a soapy, hot cloth. Get into the nooks and around the empty burner circles. Your next step is to get some heavy duty dish gloves on and scrub the pans and coils. You can use a normal sponge, but you may need a scouring pad or even steel wool to get off crusted on foods. The longer they’ve soaked in the hot water, the easier this will be. Give them a rinse afterwards and make sure your coils are absolutely completely dry before reconnecting them.”

5. Give your counters a sparkle

If your counters are a lighter colour, stains and scuffs can be extremely noticeable and frustrating. However, you can make them sparkle with some common pantry items and a tried-and-true cleaning motion.
“Spray the area down with your chosen disinfectant; my go-tos are vinegar and hot water, or just wetting a cloth with mild dish soap and hot water and squeezing out the excess,” McCormack shares. “Starting at the top left corner with your hand straight and the top of your fingers curved to collect any debris, move across the counter just as wide as your arm goes, then scoop down to do the next section creating a closed area for the debris to collect in your palm. Do this all the way down, collecting debris in your cloth. I usually go over counters a few times since my first wipedown is gathering debris. Respray the counter after and get eye-level with the counter, then wipe again to make sure you haven’t missed any spots. If there are areas that need scrubbing, spray more cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. The cleaner will help eat away at the dirt and you’ll have less work in the end. If your counter is marble, just use mild dish soap and hot water. Make sure to dry it completely afterwards.” 

6. Cleaning the outside of your cabinets

Like stainless steel, the outsides of your cabinets can be hotspots for sticky handprints, finger prints, and grime. Even if you don’t realize it, your cabinet doors likely need a good scrub down—especially if you can’t remember the last time you did it! 
“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!
Lake Country Real Estate Team Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty Ltd. Brokerage
Bill Jackson
355 Bayfield St
Century 21
B.J. Roth Realty Ltd. Brokerage
Independently owned and operated

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Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS®. Copyright 2021 Last Updated November 29, 2021
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