Spring Cleaning: Your Kitchen

The term “spring cleaning” can be applied to a variety of different areas of your home: your closet, your garage, or even your bathrooms. But one area that can probably benefit the most from a good spring cleaning is your kitchen. Since the kitchen is used daily for food preparation, dining and much more, making sure it's always clean and organized is a must. With the new season approaching quickly, now is the best time to spend a weekend spring cleaning. Here are a few areas to focus on cleaning and some tips and tricks.

clean cabinets

Your cabinets– Your kitchen cabinets hold everything from dishes to food, so you want them to look good on both the outside and inside. For the inside, empty out the contents and give the cabinet a good dusting. Get rid of any dust, crumbs or debris that has collected. You can always line your cabinets with paper or linens to help with this. Before putting the contents back in the cabinets, get rid of anything that is broken, old, stained or useless. For the outside of your cabinets, give them a nice cleaning with some cleaning products (you can generally use soap and water, but each type of wood or surface requires different cleaning products). This will get rid of any fingerprints or stains and make your cabinets look like new.

pots and pans

Your pots and pans– Over time, your pots and pans can take quite a beating. If you use them infrequently, it's a good idea to give them a good cleaning to get rid of any dust. If you use them often, chances are they have some build-up or damage from frequent cooking. If this is the case, give them a deep clean to get rid of any build-up, scratches or debris. Each material requires different cleaning methods, so be careful to use the appropriate one. Generally, a soft cloth and white vinegar gets the job done on stainless steel.

range hood filter

Range hood, stove and oven– Starting at the top, it might be time to check and replace the filter in your range hood vent. These need to be changed periodically and cleaned, so spring is the perfect time. Give your stove a nice cleaning to get rid of any grit, food debris or burnt spots. Most ovens have a self-cleaning feature, which makes the final step fairly easy. If not, you can always give the inside a good scrub with baking soda and water (or a store-bought oven cleaner). Let it sit and then scrape any debris off and you're good to go.

garbage bin

Garbage and waste storage– An often-neglected area of the kitchen is the waste baskets and pull-outs. Give your garbage cans a thorough cleaning with a basic bleach-and-water solution and let them dry. If your bins have seen better days, replace them with new ones. This is also a great time to stock up on garbage bags and store them for future use.

stainless steel sink

Sink and garbage disposal- Your sink can always use a good scrubbing- and now is the ideal time. Disinfect your sink with a cup of bleach and a sink full of water. Rinse it out and use a wipe to give it a nice shine. Don't forget to shine the faucet and knobs as well. If you have a garbage disposal, try running a lemon through it to get rid of any bad odors. If you have a clogged sink, use a store-bought product to clear this problem up.

Tips for Cleaning Your Bathroom

After you”ve remodeled or updated the look of your bathroom with a few small changes, it”s important to keep it looking new and tidy. Even the most stylish and modern bathrooms can look bland or outdated if they are dirty, which is why is it crucial to routinely clean your bathroom properly. Your bathroom mirror, vanity, shower, mats, and toilets all need a little extra attention to make the room look spotless. To make cleaning easier and to encourage it happening more frequently, store cleaning products under the sink or in a nearby closet for ease. Here are some tips for cleaning your bathroom.

clean mirrors

Clean your mirrors. The mirrors in your bathroom are subject to lots of grime. Common culprits include toothpaste, fingerprints, hairspray and more. The first step to clean your mirrors is to evaluate what is causing the grime. For example, spray your hair further away from the mirror to prevent the daily buildup. This will reduce how often you have to clean the bathroom. Then do a quick wipe with a soft cloth to get off any heavy dust or particles. Next, it”s time to use a water-based solution to get rid of grime. A solution of 1 quart of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar works wonders. Apply with a lint-free cloth or even dry, crumpled up newspaper . If you prefer using a household cleaning product from the store, feel free to do that instead- just make sure it is suited for mirrors.

clean toilet

Keep your toilet clean. Most people dread cleaning the toilet, but it”s an essential task in keeping the bathroom clean and germ-free. Always use gloves and protect yourself from harsh chemicals like bleach and their fumes. Use a toilet brush with a long handle and some toilet cleaner to give it a good scrubbing. Make sure to disinfect the handle and lid as well with anti-bacterial wipes. Remove any hair or dust on the bowl as well, no house guests want to see that!

bathroom vanity top

Pay attention to the vanity tops. The counter tops are used daily and collect debris and residue from your daily grooming activities. Most bathroom vanity tops and sinks are made of marble, granite or laminate and can therefore easily be cleaned. Stay away from any abrasive product and stick to sponges and cloths and your basic bathroom cleaning mixture (homemade or store-bought). Homemade options include a solution of baking soda, a tiny bit of ammonia or dish soap and warm water.

Protect your shower from build-up. Since you use a shower to clean yourself, all the dirt and debris can make it quite a messy area. Turn on a ceiling fan and keep the bathroom door open after showers to increase circulation and prevent mildew. Wipe down the shower with a cloth after each shower or at least once a week to prevent mildew and deposits. Lastly, clean your shower doors with a water/vinegar solution to get rid of streaks, soap residue, tile grout buildup and other water spots.

Prevent mildew on your shower curtains. You should change your shower curtains every year or two. In between those times, there are a few ways to keep them clean and free of mildew. Always use a liner (you can use your old shower curtain for this) and have the nicer curtain on the outside for aesthetic purposes. Spraying down the curtain with a mild disinfectant helps prevent mildew buildup as well.

*some images are from Houzz

How to Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is arguably one of the most-used rooms in your home. Multiple times a day you are in there preparing and cooking food, as well as sometimes eating it. Because it is always so busy on a regular basis, it is bound to get dirty. To keep your cabinets looking in top shape, you need to clean them periodically. Although it may seem like a chore at first, cleaning your cabinets is very easy once you know how to properly do it.

When cleaning your kitchen, you typically think of the counters, food preparation area and the sink. However, the cabinets are one of the dirtiest areas of your kitchen. Frying food with grease, cooking using oil, and dirty fingers opening and closing the cabinets produces build-up of food particles. This makes your cabinets appear dirty and grimy to both the eye and the touch.

For regular, basic cleaning of cabinets, all you need is warm, soapy water and a clean rag. Wash them as you would any other part of your home, making sure each cabinet and surface area is cleaned. Properly rinse them with water afterward so no residue is left on the doors. Cleaning cabinets with this mixture on a bi-weekly or weekly basic will prevent buildup of grease or food residue. The longer something is left on the cabinets, the harder it will be to remove- so periodically cleaning them can prevent this in the future.

For heavy grease build-ups on your wood cabinets, you may need something other than regular cleaners. A good degreaser will cut through the buildup. Make sure you clean up the degreaser completely and that none of it is left on your cabinet fronts. Dry them with a clean cloth. Finally, you could shine your cabinets with a little furniture polish for some extra sheen. It’s important to always read the labels on any household cleaners to make sure they are suited for use on your cabinets, particularly if they are wood or metal. There are a variety of products out there made specifically for use on cabinets, so do some research and trial-and-error before cleaning your entire kitchen.

A tricky thing to do when cleaning your cabinets is to avoid the hardware. To make things easier, you may want to remove the knobs or handles. If they can easily be screwed back in, removing them temporarily when deep-cleaning can make the job a lot easier. To wash the hardware itself, place them in a solution of water and dish detergent and let them soak while you clean the rest of the cabinets. This will help prevent germs as well, since everyone is constantly touching the handles to get into the cabinets. Using a sanitizing solution or wipes daily can help prevent the spread of germs.

Daily cleaning of your cabinets with a wet cloth is simple and quick. A weekly cleaning with soap and water will help remove food splatters and particles. A monthly de-greasing cleaning will remove any thick buildup. Finally, a yearly cleaning is great for polishing up your cabinets to make them look like new.