Living in the desert has its advantages….like warm weather this time of year that makes you think of spring. This week I’m focusing on spring cleaning your kitchen. We’ll take a look at how to deep clean your major appliances and how to clean your kitchen top to bottom with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Welcome to my edition of spring cleaning your kitchen!
First up: The dishwasher
This one’s not too bad. You’ll want to remove the bottom rack (or just pull it out) so you can reach the drain area in the bottom of the dishwasher. I recommend wearing gloves for this task because it can be pretty gross. Check the drain for any debris that may have accumulated at the bottom and remove it (ick!). Remove the filter and wash it in soapy water. Then, take a dishwasher safe cup and fill it with vinegar. Place in the top rack of your dishwasher and run the dishwasher through a normal cycle with hot water. When that is done, sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and run the dishwasher again. And, voila! you’ve done the dishwasher.
Second: The Sink & Garbage Disposal
For the sink, make a paste with baking soda and water and coat the sink. Soak paper towels in vinegar and place on top of the baking soda paste. Let this react and sit for 10 minutes. Remove the paper towels and rinse the baking soda down the drain. Follow with a small pot of boiling water. Use a toothbrush to scrub hard to reach places like parts of the faucets. For the garbage disposal, ice cubes, coarse salt and lemons are your friends. Put some ice cubes in the sink and pour salt on top. Run the disposal while running cold water until the ice and salt are all down the disposal. Slice a lemon and put lemon slices, one at a time, down the disposal. Voila! Sink and Garbage Disposal are done.
Third: The Oven and Stove
Ok, not gonna lie, this one will take a while. It’s not labor intensive, but is time consuming. Make a baking soda paste with water. So, now is probably a good time to suggest buying baking soda and vinegar from places like Costco or Sam’s. Coat the inside of the oven with the paste. Let it sit overnight. Brush out the paste and spray the inside with a vinegar:water solution (50:50 will be good). Leave this alone and let all the bubbling and fizzing happen. Wipe out with a damp cloth and a bucket of water. You might want to do this 2 or 3 times to get all of the vinegar and baking soda out of the oven.
4: The Refrigerator
Ugh, I hate cleaning my fridge. I will do just about any other chore but this one. Just me? Some maintenance things you’ll want to consider. Change the water filter if you have one. This should be done twice a year, so like batteries in the smoke detectors, change this when the time changes. You’ll want to purchase a refrigerator coil cleaning brush and use this to clean the coils under the fridge. For the inside, wipe down the shelves with a vinegar solution. Wash drawers out with warm, soapy water. Clean out any expired condiments, sauces, salad dressings, etc in the door. PSA: the door of the fridge is the warmest place in the fridge, so you might want to think about storing the milk and cream somewhere else in the fridge. For the ice drawer, empty it completely and wash it out with warm, soapy water. Toss freezer burnt items and any items you put in the freezer that you cannot identify. Replace the boxes of baking soda in both the fridge and freezer.
5. Cabinets & Spices & Pantry
With the major appliances done, it’s time to focus on all the extra areas. Toss out spices that have expired and any pantry goods that have expired. Wipe down the cabinets and vacuum out the bottom of the pantry. Go through your cabinets and toss anything broken or unusable. Donate anything you no longer use but that is still in good condition. Take stock of what you have and put any duplicates together (like the 4 bottles of southwest seasoning I had in my cabinet).
Wipe down cabinet doors, the top of the fridge, vacuum and mop. Then your kitchen should be sparkling clean and organized. And, hey, if any of the other people living in your house dare to mess it up, give them the stink eye.
Hop on over here for the recipe for the carpet freshener. I love love love it.