I think I have shared this before: I struggle to simply clean. When I get started on cleaning, I have a tendency to go hard – full, deep, intense cleaning – the kind of cleaning which takes most of a Saturday to clean one room.
That is just who I am. BUT…
Somewhere into having four kids and starting to homeschool, I got better at “good-enough” cleaning. However, I actually still get excited to spend my day cleaning my house! I derive so much joy from the doing of the task, as well as the end results.
This week in the March MAIDness series, I am planning to share my new, post-kids deep cleaning routines for each room in my house. Each day, I will share how I get the deep clean I desire in a little less time. Most days it will be deep cleaning in an hour. And I have checklists!
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Deep Cleaning the Kitchen
The one room in my house I spend the most time cleaning is my kitchen. It’s probably the same for you, too. Four kids, three meals a day, plus snacks are hard on this little space! In fact, I already told you that my 15 minutes for our thrice-daily clean-up time is almost always in my kitchen. There is always something to be cleaned in there!
Even though we are dreaming of kitchen remodels to start…soon, we don’t have the budget for a maid or a self-cleaning kitchen. I wish!! If my kitchen is going to get the deep down clean I so desire, I have to do the dirty work.
The Details of my Deep Cleaning Routine
I try to clean – deep clean – my kitchen about once a month. If it goes much longer than that I start to struggle with the mess. Sadly, the days of setting aside an entire Saturday devoted to cleaning the kitchen are long gone.
Thus, I have a routine for cleaning my kitchen which should take about an hour and a half. I move quickly when I clean, so I will give you a quick run down of my cleaning routine.
Starting Point: Refrigerator
I start out cleaning out the inside of my refrigerator. I remove everything – shelf by shelf – and wipe down the shelves with a simple solution of soapy water. Into the garbage go all the expired items, into the disposal go all unaccounted for leftovers. And into the dishwasher go all the dishes from this process. I take out the various bins and removable shelves from the fridge and wash them thoroughly in the sink, drying them as I put them back into their places.
Once the inside of the refrigerator is clean, I switch gears for just a moment to run a load of dishes. This serves as a timer of sorts. The goal is to be finished – almost – with the entire deep cleaning of the kitchen by the time the dishwasher is done with its cycle.
Then I head back to the refrigerator and clean its top and outside. I make sure to wipe down the top of the refrigerator and use the vacuum attachment I have for cleaning under appliances! I have shared the way I clean my stainless steel appliances here.
Cabinets, Counters, and Backsplash
I use simple soap and water to clean pretty much everything in my kitchen. So where you see me refer to “wiping down,” I am just using soap, water, and elbow grease. Similar to the refrigerator, I start cleaning my cabinets and backsplash from top to bottom. Typically I stand on my countertops and wipe down the upper cabinets, working top to bottom and clockwise through the kitchen.
When I clean my counters, I do a quick declutter – just simply putting away items which have been left out – as I go. I also wipe down the appliances that live on the counter.
If you have granite countertops, as we do, you will want to add this twice yearly maintenance process to your routine.
After the uppers, the backsplash, and the countertops have been addressed, I continue down to the bottom cabinets. I try to make sure to get the toe kicks, too. If I don’t get to them at this point, I will get another chance at them when I do the floors.
Cooktop, Oven, and Microwave
This is the hardest part of my kitchen to clean! All those cracks and crevices! I start by taking the grates and burners off my cooktop and placing them in the sink. Soaking them may be necessary, if I haven’t been keeping up with daily cleaning.
I throw some water, a splash of vinegar, and some lemon essential oil into a microwavable bowl and run it for a three minutes.
While that goes and cools a bit, I get back to the cooktop. Since this space is so hard to clean, I sprinkle a little bit of Bon-Ami on the surface of the cooktop and scrub with a wet flour sack or microfiber towel.
When the microwave cleaning concoction is cool enough to work with, I use it to wet my cloth and wipe down the inside of the microwave. If there are some stuck on stains, I sprinkle a little bit of baking soda and scrub with the warm solution. I also wipe down the outside of the microwave.
Then I head back to the cooktop to dry the grates and burners. Once they are back in place, I am almost done with this dirty task!
My little confession about deep cleaning: I don’t clean my oven very often. It is not safe to run the self-cleaning cycle while staying in the house. So, I only clean the inside of my oven when I am planning on being gone for the day. But I do clean the outside – using my stainless steel cleaning process – and the glass. If I am feeling really ambitious, I will follow my friend Anna’s tutorial to clean between the oven glass. I also check the drawer underneath the oven to make sure it is free from crumbs. A little hand vacuum we have is appropriate for this task. I can also clean underneath the oven with the vacuum attachment I used under the fridge.
Dishwasher & Door Handles
By this time in the cleaning process, the dishwasher should be almost done with its cleaning cycle. At this point, I clean the outside of the dishwasher. Again using the stainless steel technique I have mentioned before.
Then I make sure to wipe down all door handles, light switches and outlets.
When the dishwasher is finished with the dishes from the refrigerator clean out, it is time to clean the inside of the dishwasher. I throw a quarter cup of borax and a quarter cup of washing powder into the detergent dispenser of the dishwasher. If the rinse aid dispenser is empty I put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar into it. Then I run the dishwasher empty on the “sanitize” setting.
Almost done! A quick sweep of the kitchen floors prepares the floors for a good scrubbing. I fill up my bucket with soapy water. This is the only all–purpose cleaner I use in my kitchen. I use it because I like the smell!
While I am cleaning the floors, I make sure to clean baseboards and toe kicks.
A Printable Deep Cleaning Checklist
After years of doing this deep clean in my kitchen on a monthly basis, I have the steps in my mind. But even I can use some reminders. A checklist has a way of making me feel even more accomplished. So I came up with a checklist for deep cleaning my kitchen.
I posted the printable deep cleaning versions of my checklists into the Facebook group I started – Simple Homeschooling Blessings. Please request to join for all sorts of encouragement in a small community of like-minded mamas.
Might I suggest that you print it out and laminate it (for real or cheap-o style) and post it inside a cabinet? That way you can check it off with a dry erase marker, erase, and repeat each week, month, or season.
Please stay with me through the week, as I will be bringing you more printable deep cleaning checklists for other areas of your home.