FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 24, 2015 — Most of our kitchens will be extra busy from now until after Dec. 31. It’s a labor of love for those of us who cook and bake a lot during the holidays. However, it is possible to make the labor part a bit easier if you have a plan to get and keep your kitchen clean between cooking sessions.
When cleaning the whole house for the holidays, cleaning expert Megan Hennes recommends starting with the bathroom and then moving on to the kitchen.
You will need window cleaner, bleach spray or liquid scrubbing cleanser with bleach, household degreaser spray for stovetop or glass stovetop cleaner, furniture polish, floor cleaner, cleaning rags, dusting rag, paper towels, trash bag and a small canister vacuum or broom.
Pick Up: Put away or organize anything that sits atop the eating table or counters that doesn’t belong there. If you don’t have a place for kids’ backpacks, put them in their rooms. The same goes for shoes and boots; hang up coats and hats.
Dust: If there is a ceiling fan, start with that, using a ceiling fan brush. Utilize an extendable dusting device with disposable dusters on any blinds, tops of drapes, cobwebs in corners and behind doors, and bottom of eating table; wipe down window sills. Use paper towel to brush crumbs from stovetop onto the floor. Next wipe down and dust eating table and chairs. Then move chairs to alternate location and vacuum or sweep entire eating area, and then mop it using the cleaner of your choice.
Stovetop: Burner stove – Fill sink with hot, soapy water. Put grates from gas stove or pans from under electric burners and knobs in sink. If gas or electric, spray a de-greaser on stove and let sit. If you have a glass-top stove, apply cleaner for it and let sit as well.
Microwave: Take turntable out and put into sink to soak. Dunk cleaning cloth in sink and wring out well. Clean inside it, making sure to wipe walls, bottom and ceiling of oven as well as inside door and its frame. Use glass cleaner on outside to get rid of smudges and fingerprints.
Stovetop: Wipe away degreaser with a cloth with soapy water. For glass top stoves wipe cleaner off with paper towel, rubbing firm with your thumb to get stubborn stains. Do not use microfiber cloth with glass stove top cleaner! It sticks to the cloth even when you wash it. Use a regular cleaning cloth after getting as much as you can with paper towel. Then polish with clean cloth or paper towel. Wipe down hood, inside and outside, then front of stove, if applicable. Clean oven window with window cleaner. Wash and rinse grates or pans with SOS pad if necessary, Rinse off knobs, then dry items and replace on stove.
Coffee maker: Wipe top and sides of machine with soapy water including hot plate when it is cool. For one-cup coffee makers pull the bottom where cup sits out, if possible, then clean underneath. The bottom usually comes apart – clean that by hand, dry and put back.
Appliances: Use stainless steel cleaner, mineral oil or even WD-40 on all stainless steel appliances with paper towel making large strokes – top to bottom. For black or white appliances, wipe down with cloth and soapy water, including the grate in water dispenser area. While you’re at it, be sure to clean around the knobs and handles on cupboards. Also, get any doors too.
Countertops: For natural stone, either use a dedicated cleaner made for it or soapy water. Formica and Corian: soapy water or mild household cleaner. For stubborn stains make a paste using baking soda and water. Let sit for a bit then wipe off with non-abrasive cloth. Lift or move appliances and jars out of the way, wiping crumbs to the floor and then slide back into place. Go from one end or the counter to the other.
Sinks: Wash dishes or load dishwasher*. Empty sink strainer, throwing contents in the trash. Use bleach spray, liquid scrubbing cleanser, or kitchen cleanser like Comet, Ajax or Barkeeper’s Friend. Scrub with sponge or cloth, getting around and on knobs, faucet and sprayer. Rinse. Wipe dry with paper towels, including hand cleanser bottles or scrubby holder.
Floor: Vacuum kitchen rugs, if possible. Replace chairs and other items to the eating area. Sweep or vacuum the floor with a broom or small canister vacuum. If the laundry room is close to the kitchen, go ahead and do that floor too. Use the hose or tip of broom to get at base boards, around table legs, under appliances if possible and especially where lower cabinets meet the floor. Mop. Take out the trash. Enjoy!
*During the holiday season take out any special dishes, plates and flatware you plan to use and run through dishwasher well ahead of when you need them.
Join me next time for more cleaning tips.
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