Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen
Tips for Keeping the Kitchen Clean & Fresh
The kitchen is probably one of the most used rooms in the house. We sit at the kitchen counter visiting with family and friends, the kids do their homework in the kitchen, and we prepare and eat meals in the kitchen.
Even when I’m entertaining, the kitchen ends up being the hangout spot for conversations and eating. For many of us, the kitchen has become the home’s hub.
Because it’s not just a place for cooking anymore, below we have some handy tips for removing odors, helpful savings tips, and cleaning tips.
Removing Odors from the Kitchen
Have you ever noticed that sometimes your clean dishes and glasses have a funny odor? It’s caused by a smelly dishwasher. Here is a simple solution that should help with this problem.
Every Sunday night before bedtime, put one cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher. Turn the dishwasher on and go to bed. Do not do this with dishes in the machine.
Do this every week and you will always have clean, fresh kitchenware, and a dishwasher that does not smell.
I don’t use kitchen sponges anymore but I have plenty of friends that still do. Sponges are used frequently in the kitchen to clean the counters, cabinets, juice from meats (ick!) and wipe up spills from counters and even the floor.
A sponge can harbor germs and bacteria and start to smell over a very short period of time. I know you think your rinsing it clean but think of all the things you use it for.
If you still use a sponge, change it frequently. You even may want to consider ditching the sponge altogether and start using something else.
A couple of alternatives I use are: wash cloths that get tossed in the hamper daily and an all natural spaghetti scrub.
How to Clean and Remove Food Odors From a Cutting Board
Many meals we prepare require the use of a cutting board. When we are done cutting most of us will wash it with a liquid dish washing detergent and warm or hot water.
This works fine but we should frequently disinfect them too. This will also help to thoroughly remove any lingering smells of fish, onions, garlic, etc. Here are some cleaning and odor removal ideas.
Vinegar and Water
Vinegar is a great disinfectant. Fill your sink with just enough warm water to cover the cutting board, add 1 cup vinegar then swish through the water. Submerge the cutting board and let sit and soak for a few minutes. Rinse clean and dry. This can also help to remove food odors from your hands after preparing a meal.
If you have a wood cutting board, do not soak it in water as this can cause cracking when it dries. Mix 75/25 vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray on the wood surface, clean and wipe dry.
Coarse Salt and Lemon
If you have a cutting board that smells, sprinkle coarse salt on the board and rub it in. Then cut a lemon in half and scrub this over the board also. Let this sit a few minutes, rinse, and wipe dry. The salt and lemon can also be used by themselves and work just as effectively.
Another place kitchen odors can come from is the drain. Over time food particles and slim can build up inside the drain.
Removing the trap and cleaning it out can help this smelly situation.
Removing Drain Trap
Before you start, don your rubber cleaning gloves so you don’t get any gunk on your hands.
- Get a bucket and place it under the trap so any debris and water will fall into the bucket.
- Unscrew the slip nuts. This can usually be done by hand. If you can’t unscrew it by hand then use a pair of pliers and be careful not to damage the nuts.
- Remove debris and gunk from the trap and clean out the pipe. I wet an old rag and run it through the pipe a few times until its clean.
- I also take a look in the pipes above and below the trap and clean them the best I can if necessary.
- Replace the trap and tighten nuts. Be sure not to over tighten the nuts.
How to Remove Fingerprints from Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel appliances are very popular. The sleek look makes them very attractive in any kitchen. Everybody loves them but who likes the fingerprints that are left behind?
- Simply adding a few drops of baby oil to a soft cloth, this works very well for removing prints and smudges. Clean with the grain and the spots will be gone quickly.
- Wipe dry and shine with another clean soft cloth.
Freshen the Air
Because we do spend so much time in the kitchen, we want it to smell fresh and nice. No need to spend a lot of money either. Extracts work great to freshen any room of the house. For the kitchen pick a scent like lemon, orange, cinnamon or whatever works for you.
- Put a cotton ball in a small jar such as a baby food jar.
- Pour 1 teaspoon extract on the cotton ball.
- Seal jar and poke holes in the lid to release the fragrance.
Handy Saving Tips
SOS and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
I still use SOS pads, they come in handy on stubborn baked on foods. The only problem with these pads is you can’t help but get the whole pad wet and eventually they rust and you have to throw them away.
Why waste the whole pad when you don’t have to! What I do now is cut them in half. The box of SOS pads now lasts longer and it’s more economical. SOS pads are the best, bar none for cleaning metal cookware and for removing extreme baked on food stains.
I do the same thing with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Cutting these products in half is economical, makes sense and it’s like getting two for the price of one.
Water Saving Tip
If you’re like me then you wash all your fruits and vegetables prior to cooking them or eating them. Instead of rinsing them directly under the running water one at a time – fill a large bowl with water and rinse your food.
You are not only watching your water consumption, you’re not washing money down the drain either.
If the rinse water isn’t dirty when your done, keep it in the bowl and use it after a meal for rinsing glasses and silverware.