Essential Kitchen Cleaning Guide

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Introduction

Essential Kitchen Cleaning Guide

Get ready to cleanse your counters, freshen up your fridge-freezer and tidy your toaster, as Ovenu have created the essential guide to cleaning your kitchen.

Whether you’re going for a quick spring clean or you’re planning on getting down and dirty with a deep kitchen cleaning session, this handy guide contains all the details you need to ensure that by the time you’re finished, the grime will be long gone.

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that this is an extensive list, so don’t feel like you need to get it all done in one day. In order to help you keep a record of your progress, we’ve included a handy checklist at the end of this document. Why not copy it into a spreadsheet and build yourself a regular cleaning schedule?

Ready to begin? Let’s get started then.

Quick Links
What You’ll Need
Getting Started
Counters and Worktops
– Kettle and Toaster
Cupboards and Draws
– Clearing Out
– Cleaning Out
– Organising
Sink
– Basin
– Dish Rack
Fridge
– Clearing Out
– Cleaning Out
– Organising
Freezer
– Defrosting
Oven
– Chimney
– Hob
– Interior
Counters and Worktops (Again)

What You’ll Need

As with any big project, preparation is vital. It’s no good setting a whole day aside to clean your kitchen and then not being able to do the job properly because you haven’t got any of right tools to hand.

Keeping this in mind, Ovenu have put together a handy list collecting together all the tools you’ll need.

What you'll need

– Bicarbonate of Soda
– Bio Washing Powder
– Disinfectant
– Disposable Cloths
– Duster
– Dustpan and Brush
– Heavy Duty Bin Bags
– Lemons
– Microfiber Cloth
– Rubber Gloves
– Scraper (old wooden spoon will suffice)
– Scrubbing Brush
– Sponge Scouring Pad
– Spray Bottle
– Toothbrush
– White Vinegar

Whilst some of the above ingredients such as lemons, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar may seem more at home being used in cooking instead of cleaning, each most certainly has its uses when it comes to removing dirt.

Of course this isn’t a comprehensive list and you may have your own methods, tools or products that you prefer to use – in that case go right ahead. For the sake of you and your family’s health though, we would advise against using any store-brought cleaners that contain potentially harmful chemicals.

Ingredients to specifically look out for include:
Chemical Effects
Sodium hypochlorite Irritant
Sodium hydroxide (Caustic Soda) Extremely corrosive
Potassium hydroxide Extremely corrosive
Ammonia Highly volatile

Some cleaners won’t list all their ingredients, but will instead have hazard labels on the packaging. If it tells you on the label that it could potentially harm you, do you really want to bring it into your home?

Click here for more information on using the correct products.

Getting Started


To begin cleaning, you’ll want to divide your kitchen up into sections. By separating each space, you’ll make the entire job much easier to tackle. This’ll also allow you to easily monitor your progress, making it much easier to see what’s been done and what is still left to tackle.

As a rough guide, we’ve separated the kitchen into eight individual sections below, but how you categorise the space is up to you. If you have extra features such as dishwashers, range cookers and disposal systems for example, then you’ll need to work those into your schedule as well.

Counters and Worktops

Counters and Worktops

Let’s start with the most visible option – your work surfaces. Out of all the features in your kitchen, your counters probably see the most use. They’re used daily to prepare food, pour drinks, store items and collect used plates and other apparatus.
With all this happening on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that these counters can quickly accumulate dirt and grime. Luckily, they’re also one of easiest parts of your kitchen to clean.

Begin by clearing the whole counter and tidying everything away. Wash up any dirty plates, put away or throw out any food that has been left out and tidy any letters, papers or other important documents. Also move your kettle and toaster as you’ll want a completely clear surface in order to have the proper impact.

Grab a dustpan and brush (preferably one that hasn’t been used on the floor), and sweep any crumbs or clusters off the worktop. Be sure to get right into the corners as well. Once all the dirt is swept into the pan, you can also go over the surfaces with a cloth to ensure that any loose dirt is completely gone.

When you’re sure you’ve removed all the crumbs, spray the disinfectant and thoroughly wipe the sides down. Use a sponge scouring pad to remove any of the tougher marks, but be careful not scrub with anything that’s too abrasive, as you may end up damaging your worktops.

– Kettle and Toaster

This is also a good opportunity to clean your kettle and shake out your toaster. To remove any lime scale from your kettle, fill it with one cup vinegar (or lemon juice if you’re after a more aromatic smell) and one cup water; leaving it to soak for at least an hour. When you’re ready, boil the kettle and empty it down the sink. You’ll then want to unplug it, scrub the inside and rinse it out, just to be sure.

When it comes to the toaster, remove the crumb tray and rinse that off first. Then unplug the gadget from the wall and shake it upside down over an open bin, to remove the majority of crumbs. Use a toothbrush to dislodge any remaining dirt by scrubbing in and out of each toast slot. Be careful though, as you don’t want to ruin any of the internal components.

Once you’ve got their insides cleaned out, spray and wipe down the outside of both apparatus. If they have any metal features, you could always dab the cloth in vinegar and use it to buffer up the exterior and gain a fresh-looking finish.

Cupboards and Drawers

– Clearing Out

You’ll want to start by removing the contents of your kitchen fittings. Quick disclaimer: this is going to get messier before it gets clean.

Work your way through each cupboard, taking out everything inside, checking it’s still in date/usable and putting it to one side. This process can either be carried out cupboard by cupboard or all at once; it all depends on what you have space for.

– Cleaning Out

Use a duster or microfiber cloth to clear away any dust or loose dirt that has built up inside the cupboards and drawers. This is also a good opportunity to dust above and below the cupboards. If possible, remove your drawers and give them a good shakedown to completely clear them (please only do this if you’re completely sure you can replace them afterwards as some drawers cannot be taken out.

Once they’re dust-free, dip a cloth in warm, soapy water and give them a generous wipe down. When clean, use a fresh tea towel (or another microfiber cloth) to completely dry out the insides.

– Organising

Now your fittings are nice and fresh, it’s time to ensure that everything that goes into them is properly organised.

When it comes to packets of food, check the ‘best before’ date to see which food is going off soonest, and arrange the order accordingly so that the longest lasting items are put further towards the back.

Quick Kitchen Hack – You can hang pot lids and pans on the inside of your cupboard doors, freeing up storage space and making them much easier to find.

If you have spices, why not use this time to invest in a spice rack, or create your own, and organise them in order of usage.

Got more food than you think you need, or than you have space for? Instead of throwing it away, why not donate it to your local shelter or foodbank?

If you have any utensil storage in your drawers, ensure it is properly washed out and dried before placing back inside.

Sink

– Basin

sink

You’d think that because it’s constantly full of soapy water the sink basin would be one the cleanest places in the house, but sadly this isn’t so. Leftover food, soap deposits and grease can all turn the sink into a germ-infested hive, so regular cleaning is definitely recommended.

It’s important to avoid chemical or abrasive chemicals when cleaning stainless steel, so to really get results you’ll need to get a little creative with natural ingredients.

First rinse the sink out and ensure that the entire surface is wet. Then you’ll want to sprinkle a layer of baking powder (bicarbonate of soda) and leave that to sit for an hour or so.

Quick Kitchen Hack – Keep your sponges dry by rinsing them out and using an office binder clip to stand them upright.

When you come back to the sink, you’ll need to use a sponge scouring pad to work the powder into a thick paste, and then scrub and rinse thoroughly.

Sprinkle more baking powder down the drain, and pour down a cup of white vinegar. The powder will fizz up and clean the drains insides naturally.

Use an old toothbrush to remove any particularly tough stains and to clean any difficult to reach areas, like the faucets and handles.
Once you’ve got the sink clean, buffer the entire basin (faucet included) with a cloth soaked in white vinegar to leave it properly sparkling.

Once you’ve sorted the basin, take a moment to organise your utensils underneath the sink by storing all your sprays, unused sponges and cloths in a basket.

– Dish Rack

After just days of having plates constantly drip sink-water down onto them, dish racks can become a haven for grime and bacteria. There’s no point in spending time meticulously cleaning plates, only to put them down into a dirty dish rack.
To ensure that they stay as clean as possible, fill the sink with soapy water and 1⁄4 cup of household bleach, and submerge the rack for at least 15 minutes. Be sure to give it a thorough rinse before leaving it to dry out on a tea towel.

If the rack is dishwasher safe, you can always machine wash it on the top rack to save time.

Fridge

– Clearing Out

Just like the cupboards, you’ll need to remove everything before you even think of cleaning the fridge. This includes the shelving and drawers inside the unit.

This is a good time throw out any food that’s going off, and check for any water building up at the bottom of the fridge. If you do find puddles forming in the base, your filter may have become clogged. Look for a small hole towards the bottom back of the fridge, then take a pencil and poke it through. Remove any remaining gunk with your trusty toothbrush, and the problem should be solved.

Be sure to contact your fridge’s manufacturer if you have any further issues.

– Cleaning Out

Run a sink full of warm soapy water and let the fridges’ internal components soak for a while before wiping down and rinsing away any remaining suds.

Quick Kitchen Hack – Eliminate leftover odours from food by leaving half a lemon in your fridge

When it comes to cleaning out the inside of the unit, fill a spray bottle with water and mix in a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Spray a generous amount around the insides of the fridge and wipe away. Use the toothbrush to get right in between the door seal and ensure everything is left as clean as possible.

You can also use this opportunity to clean the exterior. Carefully pull the fridge away from the wall and use a dustpan and brush to sweep away any dirt on top, and then vacuum any mess that’s left behind. Go over the door and handle with a cloth dowsed in disinfectant to leave the fixture sparkling.

– Organising

Now you’ve got an empty, freshly cleaned fridge, it’s time to stock it up again.

Don’t just place your food randomly though; there are certain ways to store your food which will prevent mess, keep your fridge hygienic and even extend the shelf-life of food.

Quick Kitchen Hack – Line the fridge shelves with plastic place mats to catch any spillages and create an easy to clean surface.

First ensure your fridge’s temperature is no higher than 5oC, any warmer and the area becomes a bacteria breeding ground. Don’t mix any food types in drawers; you should have one drawer for vegetables and a separate compartment for fruit to avoid cross-contamination.

You should keep quick-to-perish items, like milk, inside the fridge instead of the fridge doors, because their temperature fluctuates constantly. Fish and meat products should be wrapped appropriately and stored towards the bottom of the fridge to avoid drips getting onto other foods. Bring any expired or opened items to the front of the fridge, or group them together on a shelf of their own, to ensure that they get consumed quicker.

Freezer

– Defrosting

If you can’t see the food for the frost in your freezer, chances are it needs to be defrosted. If done wrong, defrosting your freezer can mean losing all your frozen goods; but follow these 12 handy steps and you’ll have your freezer looking fresh before the food even has a chance to realise its outside.

1. Switch off your freezer(or turn it to zero if it’s connected to your fridge)
2. Remove the entire contents and store together in a heavy duty binbag
3. Use this opportunity to organise any loose foods in to packets
4. Remove any shelves or drawers and leave them to soak in warm soapy water
5. Gently scrape the ice away from the side of the freezer, and throw out any loose ice immediately
6. Mop any puddles that form before they get a chance to freeze again
7. Half-fill a baking tray with boiling water and carefully place it on the base of the freezer
8. Do the same with a pot and place it on the middle shelf
9. Close the door for five minutes, and let the steam build
10. Open the door and use a scraper to remove the remaining ice (which should now be melting away fast).
11. Repeat steps 6-9 until all ice is removed.
12. Clean away any dirt or leftover puddles with a cloth, turn the freezer back on and replace the shelving and food

With that complete, your freezer should be looking super fresh. Time to move onto the oven.

Oven

– Chimney

Starting at the top and working your way down, if your oven has a chimney, you should replace the fleece filter every two months. If you’ve got a metal filter, you can save money by using the same one and just washing it instead.

– Hob

You should dab a cloth in disinfectant and wipe the hob down after every use, but you can also spray and wipe a baking soda and water solution in order to give it a proper shine. Once again, enlist the help of a toothbrush to remove those tough stains in hard to reach areas.

oven

– Interior

Chemical and store-bought cleaners may promise a clean oven, but the way they utilise toxic substances presents potential dangers when it comes to your health.

Luckily, you can use natural cleaning solutions instead and still achieve the same results. Open your oven, remove the trays and sprinkle a thin coating of baking powder throughout. Spray this with water and mix slightly until a paste is formed.

Leave this for an hour or two before scraping away and voilà! The dirt should drag away effortlessly.

Use a cloth soaked in white vinegar to buffer both the inside and the outside and give your appliance an attractive shine.
To clean your oven trays, leave them soaking in boiling hot water and bio washing powder overnight, then scrub thoroughly with a brush in the morning.

Of course no matter how much you scrub away at your oven, there are always going to be certain areas that you’re unable to reach, and it’s never going to look as fresh as it did on day one; but that’s where Ovenu come in.

Our friendly oven technicians are fully trained to leave every part of your oven looking ‘like new’, giving you the time to do whatever needs to be done elsewhere.

Contact us today to find your local Ovenu technician.

Counters and Worktops (Again)

Counters and Worktops

With all that’s been going on, chances are your counters have become rather messy again. Wipe away any dirt that’s built up, and user a cloth to buffer any stainless steel fixtures.

Once you’ve got everything sparkling again, take all the bins out and sweep and wash the floor. It’s a tiring job yes, but your kitchen won’t look completely clean without doing it.

All that’s left to do now is stand back and admire your handiwork.

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