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Kitchen cleaning 101

A messy kitchen full of crumbs, spills, smells and stains can create a lack of appetite rather than stimulate one. Here are 10 steps to cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom:

1. Cabinets. Every time someone grabs a handle, fingerprints, food stains and germs document the moment. Most cabinet types can be cleaned with warm water and a soft rag. Don't use an abrasive cleansing powder or you’ll scratch the finish.

2. Stovetop. Cooking is a messy business: pasta boils over, sauces get spilled and crumbs scatter. If equipped, remove the burner coils and clean them with an abrasive cleaner under hot running water. Wipe the surface with a soft rag and cleanser.

3. Countertops. This is the area where you chop, dice, carve and prepare your food with various instruments. Different countertops require different types of cleansers. Don’t neglect to check your manufacturer’s instructions for optimal care.

4. Dishwasher. As you rinse dishes to place in the dishwasher, water spots and food particles cling to the front of the appliance. Wipe the outside with a rag and cleanser. You can clean the inside by pouring a cup of vinegar into the unit and running it on the low cycle.

5. Microwave. The microwave should be wiped down with a rag, warm water and liquid dish cleanser. For tough spills in the interior, heat a cup of water for a minute (making sure it doesn’t reach a boil) and let the steam loosen the stains.

6. Refrigerator. The most used appliance in the kitchen will more than likely attract the most fingerprints, spills and germs. Perform a quick audit on a weekly basis and toss out food that has expired. Wipe down the inside shelves with a cloth and warm water.

7. Sink. Use a mild abrasive to clean a stainless steel sink. To clean the garbage disposal, pour vinegar into the drain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Then, flush it with hot water for one minute.

8. Dish rack. Treat the dish rack like a dish. Soak it in warm, soapy water, wipe it down, rinse and replace on the counter top.

9. Oven. Follow your owner’s manual on cleaning out your oven or use the self-cleaning option.

10. Garbage can. Remove the trash from the garbage can. Wipe down the garbage can inside and out and replace with a new bag.

If you find cleaning the kitchen to be a larger than desired project, or if you simply don’t like to clean, there are several professional house cleaners who can do the job for you. Sign in to Angie’s List for more information on highly rated house cleaners.


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