Keeping kitchens sparkly clean can feel like a full time job, and without the right tools and tips for the job – it certainly can be! If you’re in the mood for spring cleaning or just looking for some useful ideas, check out these quick kitchen cleaning hacks that will save you time, effort and energy.
In the Fridge
Refrigerators are notorious for being a hotbed of funkiness, and the time required to tear apart the different shelves and get them wiped down, and then replace all of the different items on the shelves guarantees that this isn’t something that you’re going to do every day. However, you really don’t want to leave the nasty germs and bacteria there when your kiddo knocks over the chocolate milk and leaves a puddle in the fridge. Here’s a hack: line the shelves with plastic wrap, and when something happens simply pull up the plastic wrap and replace it with a fresh layer! Not only will it keep the shelves clean, but it will help keep things from sliding more than you want them to.
Need a deeper clean for your cold box? Baking soda is good for more than just removing odors – mix it with water to form an eco-friendly paste that you can use to scrub the shelves of your fridge. Toss out expired condiments and products as you go through the process. Dairy and raw meats should always be kept in the coldest spots - the bottom, back and deli drawer – to ensure they maintain peak freshness.
Cleaning the outside of your fridge is just as important as the inside. Vacuum your coils at least quarterly or bi-annually to keep things running efficiently, and scrub out your water dispenser tray with vinegar at least twice a year.
Keeping your oven clean will help reduce the chance that you turn it on and suddenly smell smoke – or worse yet, see flames shooting out when you open the door!
Drips and spills in your oven, especially those with a high fat content such as grease or cheese, can cause it to flame up when the heat is turned up high enough and release a horrid stench into the air. There are a few ways to combat this problem, but the easiest is to keep your pans and the bottom of the oven lined with aluminum foil. Aluminum foil can be used in so many different ways to make cleanup a breeze, and it’s relatively inexpensive (and reusable!) besides.
Here’s another place you might want to use baking soda and water paste: coat the entire inside of the oven with the goop and let it sit for at least 12 hours. Once the time is up, spray lightly with white vinegar to activate the baking soda and wipe clean. All the gunk and grease should wipe right up with no elbow grease needed! If this doesn’t work as well as you’d like, try putting ½ a cup of ammonia in a bowl and set it inside your cool oven overnight before wiping away the buildup.
Oven doors are never simple, but head for the baking soda paste and a scouring pad to do the best you can. Self-cleaning features sound great, but have been known to cause damage to the oven and even bake certain foods in to the doors, causing a haze that’s nearly impossible to remove.
Clean Your Blender with Ease
Morning smoothies can be a lifesaver, but taking the time to pull apart the blender can be a real pain. Rinse out the big chunks of fruit or juice and add warm water and a quick squirt of soap, and turn your blender back on. You won’t believe how quickly the blades and parts will come clean! Rinse well.
Bring Shine Back to Copper
There are a few different options for cleaning copper bottom pots or getting water spots off of pots in general. To clean off copper bottoms, dip a cotton ball in ketchup and swipe it across the bottom, then wipe clean. Alternatively, you can use vinegar and water to get your pots squeaky clean. If the residue is cooked on the bottom, instead of scraping and risking your nails (and the pot!) put about an inch of vinegar in the pot and boil it gently. The vinegar will remove the gunk and you can gently wipe or rinse it away.
Can’t take the smell of vinegar in the kitchen? Try this hack: toss a dryer sheet into a caked-on pan along with some warm water. Let it sit until the water cools and then scrub down the sides with the sudsy dryer sheet.
Wooden Cutting Boards
We love our wooden cutting boards, but they can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Keep them lean and clean by wiping them down with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar as a disinfectant, then scrubbing in coarse salt using half a lemon – a quick way to get rid of odors or stains. A touch of mineral oil will help keep the wood seasoned and healthy.
We Heart Vinegar
Whether you’re deep-cleaning your coffee maker, getting baked-on food out of a pan or cleaning your dishwasher – vinegar and baking soda are two steady cleaning products that nearly everyone has in their home, and which are safe for use nearly anywhere that you’re preparing food. Running vinegar and water through your coffee maker will get it squeaky clean, and you can run a cup of vinegar through your dishwasher to get rid of iron stains and lime deposits.
Hopefully, these cleaning hacks will save you time, money and effort – and will help you break away from the need for harsh chemicals in your home at the same time. Happy cleaning!