How to Clean Your Kitchen in Basically 5 Minutes
The Kitchen. Photo: The Kitchen

The kitchen is generally the main hub of the home and can be one of the worst places that we accumulate clutter. It's time to work on cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of all of that extra stuff that we don’t really use or need. And, most importantly, we will be coming up with a plan to keep it that way!

Fast Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Tidy up

Pick up everything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen and place it in a laundry basket. When you’re finished in the kitchen, return these items to their rightful homes.

Pull the trashcan over and toss all the garbage sitting on the counter and stools.

Clean the kitchen

Fill the sink with soapy water and any dirty dishes you plan to wash by hand. The plates and bowls that don’t require hand-washing can go straight into the dishwasher.

While the dishes soak, spray the counters with multipurpose cleaner, and wipe them down with a clean washcloth. Wipe the stove top as well.

Return to the dishes that need to be hand washed and give them a good scrubbing. Rinse with clean water and set them on a towel or drying rack to air dry. Finally, sweep or vacuum the floors to pick up any crumbs.

Once a week, tack on mopping to the end of your kitchen cleaning routine. Once a month, wipe down the front of each appliance and all cabinet doors.

Soak dirty dishes

The text says your guests are popping in to say hello but you have a sink full of dishes with baked on casserole on the plates and baking dish. “Scrubbing food off dishes is time consuming, but if you let your dishes soak and the food will fall off,” says Jaime Kulaga, owner of Two Maids and a Mop. Before you start cleaning the rest of kitchen, fill the sink with hot water and a squirt of dish soap and let the dishes soak. By the time you are sprucing up the rest of the kitchen, the baked on food will lose its grip and you can quickly wash the dishes.

Clean top to bottom

If you want to clean your kitchen fast, follow the old rule of top to bottom and front to back. “It saves time so you are not doubling up on the work,” says Kulaga. “If you clean the counter before you clean the top of the stove hood, you will have to clean the counter again as debris falls below.”

Clean up light-colored cabinets

Photo: This Old House
Photo: This Old House

If you have light-colored cabinets, a few greasy spots can make the whole kitchen feel dirty. National home improvement expert Danny Lipford, host of the nationally-syndicated Today’s Homeowner TV and radio show, has a great tip on how to clean the kitchen fast: “Heat a damp sponge in the microwave for a minute, then squirt it with a citrus-based cleaner. The heat from the sponge removes residue from cabinets and cuts cleaning time in half.”

Freshen a funky smelling garbage disposal

Smell something funky near your kitchen sink but don’t see any usual culprits? “The garbage disposal is one of the stinkiest features in the kitchen,” says Lauren Haynes, a home cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners. Haynes suggests dropping lemon peels in and running the disposal with the water to nix the bad odor. No lemon peels? Run hot water down the garbage disposal drain, then add one-fourth cup of baking soda. Shut off the disposal and water and let it sit for a few minutes. Add a cup of vinegar and rinse it through, according to Reader's Digest.

Shine up a stainless steel sink

Photo: Real Homes
Photo: Real Homes

A shiny stainless steel kitchen sink is a glowing compliment to your kitchen. To quickly clean the sink without scratching it, use a damp sponge and baking soda. “The baking soda will remove stains without scratching the surface,” says Kathleen McEvoy, owner of Zen Green Services in Baltimore. “Once you’ve cleaned the stains, use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to rinse the sink,” explains McEvoy. The vinegar acts as a disinfectant. Rinse with water and your sink will shine like new.

Refrigerator Cleaner

Before you give your fridge a good scrub down, turn it off. Remove all of your food items, and then take out any parts of the fridge which can be easily removed like trays. Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 2 cups hot water and 1 tablespoon essential oil in a spray bottle. Scrub the inside of your fridge and the trays with this DIY mixture until it’s spotless.

Kitchen Floor Cleaner

The kitchen floor is covered in germs and dirt, spills and drips so you need to get rid of the dirt and stains, but also disinfect. Mix white vinegar with hot water and lemon juice to sanitize your floors and make them shine. If you have hardwood floors, you can use black tea since the tanic acid adds shine and removes dirt. Boil a pot of water and add 5-6 tea bags. Pour into a bucket and mop away. Dazzling floors await!

Refresh and clean the microwave

Photo: Compact Appliance
Photo: Compact Appliance

A food splattered microwave looks and smells bad. When your guests wants to warm his apple pie and opens the microwave door, he may opt to eat it cold if he sees this mess. To clean it fast, fill a microwave safe bowl with water and a slice or two of fresh oranges and a piece of clove or cinnamon powder and vanilla or lemon slices and rosemary, suggests Novak. Microwave in one-minute increments until the caked-on food is soft. Wipe it clean and you have a clean microwave and a fresh smelling kitchen.

Clean small appliances

Disassemble and deep-clean your coffee maker, toaster, tea kettle, and other small appliances that get regular use. You may want to do this more than once a year, depending on how dirty they get.

All-Purpose Spray

We saved the best for last. You need an all-purpose mix for cleaning countertops, walls and even the sink. Something that’s always on hand. You can use the basic, but effective vinegar-water solution. Or you could try my brilliant recipe - cut orange peels, add 1 tbsp salt and let it sit for 15-20 minutes in a glass jar or bottle. Fill the container with equal parts white vinegar and water and let the solution sit for 2 weeks. (The longer it sits, the more effective it is). Strain the solution and fill a spray bottle with this all-purpose mixture. You can even add a few drops of essential oil and spray away. The best part is that the citrus scent overcomes the strong smell of vinegar and cleans better too, as reported by Food NDTV.

How To Organize Your Kitchen Cleaning

Create time in your schedule where you can fit in short cleaning sessions. I dislike cleaning for more than half an hour at a time, I get bored and easily distracted, and this often means the task goes unfinished or I rush and I miss the details. I like to schedule cleaning time into my day but in half-hour sessions maximum, if I’m honest 10 – 15 minutes is often all I manage.

Procrastination is a killer of even the best plans, if you let it into your life it will not stop until it has destroyed everything you want to do. But, how do you tackle it? You have to start, once you get past that starting point it does become easier.

You might find that for you, five minutes is all you need to help you get started, if you don’t feel like continuing after that initial 5 minutes at least you’ve started and that’s something to be proud of.

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