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Spring Cleaning Guide: 42 Tips for Kitchen Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning, and there’s no better place to begin your process than by spring cleaning your kitchen! Get ready to tackle the grease, refresh your cupboards, and sweep away the crumbs. These 42 kitchen cleaning tips and tricks will have the heart of your home feeling refreshed in no time!

Pantry

Neatly organized blue pantry with blue shelving, drawers, and counterspace. Photo by Instagram user @thehomeedit

Photo via @thehomeedit

Ready to refresh and refill your pantry? Create a kitchen storage space that’s organized and well-stocked so you can find exactly what you’re looking for when you need it!

Go Through Inventory

Start by removing all of the items from your pantry shelving. Throw away any old, expired food or empty boxes, and make a list to restock your essential everyday items. Then, group similar items together so that you can place them back on pantry shelves in an organized manner.

Wipe Down Shelves & Containers

Shelves, food storage containers, bins, and baskets can accumulate dust and grime over time, so clean your pantry shelves and containers with warm water and dish soap before you place items back in the pantry.

Organize Pantry Items

Consider adding pull-out pantry shelves, canned food organizers, spice racks, or stackable airtight food containers to help organize your newly cleaned pantry. You can even try using a turntable to get rid of dead space and avoid storing food in front or behind other items that you can’t see.

Refrigerator & Freezer

Spring is the perfect time to freshen up a grimy, sticky fridge and over-frosted freezer. Throwing away old food, cleaning up spills, and restocking your fridge will make it feel functional again.

Take Everything Out

The first step is to remove everything from the shelves so you can deep clean your fridge and freezer. Discard anything that’s expired or has gone bad, as well as any food you know won’t get eaten.

Defrost the Freezer

Consider defrosting your freezer before you restock it, especially if the ice layer is more than 1/4-inch thick. Defrosting helps your freezer run more efficiently and gives you more room to store frozen food.

Clean Shelves, Drawers, & Containers

Once the fridge and freezer are empty, remove the shelves, drawers, and any plastic storage containers. Use warm water and soap to remove any built-up gunk or sticky food spills on these surfaces and containers. Before returning them, use a sponge with dish soap and warm water to clean inside the fridge. After you’re done, place an open container of baking soda in the back of your fridge to absorb any lingering odors.

Sweep Around the Appliance

Tons of dirt, dust, and debris can pile up behind the fridge. Pull the fridge out so you can sweep and mop the grime from under and behind the fridge. If your fridge can’t be pulled out, try using a handheld vacuum and broom to clean around the appliance.

Wipe Down the Exterior

While your refrigerator is pulled out, wipe away any marks on the front and sides with a warm, damp cloth and use a mild disinfectant to sanitize the surface. If your fridge or freezer is stainless steel, use a stainless steel cleaner or polish to buff out fingerprints and smudges. Check the waterline connection on the back, too, to make sure the seal is tight and there’s no leaking that could cause mildew. And don’t forget forget to dust the top of your fridge and vacuum dust and debris from the backside—especially the coils!

Cookware

It’s a good idea to deep clean your cookware, particularly items like pots, pans, and baking sheets, all of which can accumulate baked-on stains and grease.

Take Care of Pots & Pans

Pots and pans can easily build up dark, burnt-on stains that soap, water, and a sponge can’t fix. For those stubborn marks, use baking soda, vinegar, and a steel scrubbing pad to clean burn spots on your pots and pans. Don’t forget to clean the bottom side of pots and pans, too, which also get really dirty.

Wash Cast-Iron Cookware

Soap can damage the precious layer of non-stick seasoning that builds up on cast-iron skillets, Dutch ovens, and griddles over time. Instead of using soap, clean cast-iron cookware with warm water and a soft-bristled brush, or use coarse kosher salt and water to gently scrub off any stuck-on food the brush can’t get. Once your pan is clean, dry it with paper towels and place it on the stove over medium heat to evaporate any leftover moisture. When the pan is dry, rub a thin film of vegetable or canola oil over the entire surface of the pan to prevent rust.

Tackle Baking Sheets

To get rid of stubborn, dark stains on your baking sheets, sprinkle baking soda on the sheets, pour in some hydrogen peroxide, and let it soak for about two hours. Once the stains are softened after a couple of hours, use a rag or sponge to scrub away the remaining stains.

Clean Knives & Knife Blocks

Dirty and dull knives are more much dangerous than extremely sharp knives because they can become rusty and difficult to use. Clean dark stains and potential rust spots on your knives with a degreaser or rust inhibitor before sharpening them at home or taking them to be professionally sharpened. Even if you have knives that don’t merit a professional sharpening, wash them with dish soap, hot water, and a dish brush and immediately dry them. While the knives dry, turn over your empty knife block to shake out any dust and food debris inside the slots.

Work on Cutting Boards

To disinfect your wood cutting board, use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. Once it’s been disinfected, use salt or baking soda and a lemon wedge to buff out any lingering stains. You can also oil wood cutting boards to help prevent them from drying out and cracking or warping. For plastic cutting boards, mix water and a capful of bleach and use a sponge to clean them before washing with soap and water.

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Microwave

Small kitchen with stainless steel fridge, oven, and microwave. Photo by Instagram user @hearthandclove

Photo via @hearthandclove

Little food splatters quickly become stubborn, stuck-on stains inside the microwave. But with a couple microwave cleaning hacks, it’ll be back to looking (and smelling) as good as new this spring!

Wipe Down the Microwave

Place a bowl of water in your microwave and heat it for three minutes to create steam that will soften those stubborn stains. Carefully remove the bowl and the turntable, then wipe down the inside of the microwave. Then, use dish soap and a cloth or sponge to scrub it clean and dry it with paper towels. Don’t forget to wipe the front and sides of the microwave as well! If there are any stubborn stains dish soap can’t remove, use a degreaser to clean them. Lastly, wash the microwave turntable with warm water and dish soap.

Clean Around the Microwave

If your microwave is on the kitchen counter, unplug it and remove it so you can clean around and under it. Wipe away any lingering crumbs, then clean both the outside of the microwave and the counter with warm water and dish soap. If your microwave is mounted or hangs above your stove, clean the underside, which can be a hiding spot for grease, grime, and dust.

Get Rid of Food Smells

Does your microwave have a lingering smell after cleaning? Fill a shallow bowl with baking soda and leave it inside the microwave overnight. The baking soda can help absorb any smells.

Stove

Looking for the best way to clean your stovetop? Wondering how to clean your range hood filter? Tackle the built-up grease on your stove and its hood with these spring cleaning tips!

Degrease the Stovetop

First, make sure you choose the right degreaser to clean your stovetop to help break through splatters or food spills, then disinfect after you finish degreasing. Don’t forget to clean the knobs, clock, display, and buttons, which can also collect grease over time.

Eliminate Burn Marks

Use a mixture of baking soda and water to get rid of any lingering burn marks on your stove, which works for both gas and electric cooktops. Let the mixture sit on top of the burned area for 30 minutes or more before you wipe it clean.

Wash Grates, Burner Caps, & Drip Pans

For gas stoves and ranges, wash stove grates with warm water and dish soap. If they’re extra dirty, use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda and add a few drops of dish soap. Clean the burners by removing them and scrubbing them with a toothbrush and dish soap. If your stove has disposable drip pans, now’s a great time to replace them! To clean drip pans, mix dish soap and baking soda into a paste, apply to the pans, and let it sit for an hour before rinsing.

Clean the Hood Fan & Light

Remove the hood fan filter and either replace it with a new filter or soak it in warm, soapy water. After it soaks, scrub it clean. You may need to use a degreaser if the dish soap isn’t strong enough. Wipe down the front, sides, and hood light with a degreaser and finish with a disinfectant. If the vent hood light needs to be replaced, check with the manufacturer for instructions.

Oven

By getting rid of built-up grease, grime, and food drippings in your oven, your kitchen will no longer smell like burnt food whenever you’re cooking. Here are some helpful oven cleaning tips!

Clean the Oven Racks

To begin, remove the oven racks and soak them in warm soapy water. (If your sink isn’t large enough to fit the oven racks, try a large storage bin or a bathtub.) You can also use laundry detergent, dishwasher pods, or commercial cleaning products to fight grease.

Degrease the Oven

Use a degreaser or a homemade oven cleaner to scrub the inside of the oven; be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands! Pay special attention to the bottom of the oven, where food drippings and spills may be baked on. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the interior, consider using your oven’s self-clean feature.

Wipe Down the Exterior

Once the inside is clean, wipe down the outside of your oven to get rid of any smudges and grease, then clean the surfaces with a disinfectant. If your oven has a stainless steel door, use a stainless steel cleaner for stubborn grease stains and polish the surface for a clean finish.

Sweep Behind & Underneath

If you can, pull your oven out from the wall so you can clean around it. Sweep up any crumbs and mop the floor where the oven was. If you can’t move the oven, use a small handheld broom or vacuum to clean around and under the appliance.

Dishwasher

Bright kitchen with white cabinetry and stainless steel dishwasher. Photo by Instagram user @fowlercottage

Photo via @fowlercottage

If you’re not quite sure how to clean your dishwasher, these spring cleaning tricks have you covered. From cleaning the dish racks to running a hot water cycle, deep cleaning your dishwasher isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Focus on the Drain & Filter

Start by removing any food build-up around the drain and clean the dishwasher filter under the bottom drawer. It’s typically a cylinder and can be removed by turning it clockwise. Hand wash the filter in warm water with dish soap.

Run a Hot Water Cycle

If necessary, remove the racks and accessories to wash with a scrubbing brush and dish soap. You can also put a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe cup on the upper rack and run through a hot-water cycle to wash away grease, built-up grime, and lingering musty odors. After the hot water cycle, wipe down the interior walls to remove any remaining stains.

Clean the Exterior

Wipe down and disinfect the front of your dishwasher to get rid of any smudges and germs. For stainless steel dishwashers, use a stainless steel cleaner to get rid of stains from water drips and buff the surface with polish.

Small Kitchen Appliances

From your coffee maker to your blender, chances are your kitchen has a handful of small appliances. Once you’re done spring cleaning your large kitchen appliances, take some time to deep clean the smaller ones.

Clean the Coffee Maker

To clean your coffee maker, mix water and vinegar in the reservoir and turn the coffee pot on to help clean the reservoir. Change the water filter and wipe down the entire machine with a warm soapy cloth. If your coffee pot is stained, mix baking soda and water to form a paste, wipe it onto the glass, and let it sit for a few minutes before you wash it away.

Tackle the Toaster

Shake your toaster out over the sink to dislodge any lingering crumbs inside. Pull out the bottom tray and rinse it with warm water and soap, wipe down the toaster’s exterior, and thoroughly dry everything before you plug in and use the toaster again.

Don’t Forget the Blender

To deep clean your blender, mix lemon juice or vinegar and baking soda and blend the mixture on high for 30 seconds to a minute. Scrub the container with a brush or sponge and rinse it thoroughly, then use dish soap and a washcloth to clean the base.

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Cabinets & Drawers

Ready to deep clean your cabinets, cupboards, and kitchen drawers? You probably don’t realize how many crumbs get swept into small spaces throughout the year, so take time to refresh and organize your storage space.

Wipe Down Shelves & Drawers

Pull all items out of your kitchen cabinets and separate them into piles to keep, donate, or throw away. As you’re clearing out space, be mindful of what items in your kitchen you actually use and need. Once the drawers and cabinets are empty, clean the shelves inside and out with warm water, dish soap, and a sponge or cloth. Finally, spray them with a disinfectant and do a final dusting, if necessary.

Replace Shelf & Drawer Liners

If any of your kitchen liners are peeling away, ripped, or stained, it’s time to replace them! Liners help protect your drawers and shelves and prevent scratches, but aren’t nearly as effective when they’re old and tattered.

Clean the Outside of Cabinets

Remove any grease stains, grime, or food spills from the front of your cabinets and drawers. Be extra attentive to cabinets and drawers that are close to the stove, and use a solution of water and vinegar to help cut through grease. Simply mist your mixture onto the cabinets with a spray bottle, and let the solution sit before you wipe it off with a cloth. Don’t forget to wipe down and polish cabinet and drawer pulls, hardware, and hinges, which can accumulate dirt, dust, and grease over time.

Sink & Counters

Without regular cleaning, bacteria and mold can build up in the sink and on countertops. Avoid gross buildup and keep your kitchen smelling great and free of germs by deep cleaning the sink and counters!

Wipe Down Counters & Backsplash

Start with an all-purpose cleaner or a homemade solution to clean your backsplash before focusing on the countertops. Remove everything from the kitchen counters and sink, then use a damp cloth to wipe away any crumbs and spills, as well as a disinfectant to get rid of bacteria and germs. If your kitchen has granite, marble, or stone countertops, avoid acidic cleaners, which can damage the sealer and even corrode the stone itself. If you’re worried about using a potentially damaging cleaner, stick with hot water and dish soap.

Polish Countertop Scratches

If your kitchen countertop is scratched from knife marks or scuffed from heavy pots or other cooking utensils, you can usually buff out the scratches yourself. Just be sure you find the right fix for your countertop, depending on the type of material. Steel wool can typically buff granite or marble while mineral oil can treat limestone. Resin or epoxy can fix scratches and scuffs on man-made quartz countertops, but be sure to check with the manufacturer for the correct solution.

Get Rid of Sink Stains

To remove stains in the sink, pour baking soda into stainless steel sinks or onto the drain rim. Add a little water and let it soak for a few hours before you scrub away the baking soda with warm water. This homemade solution can also be used to scrub and polish the faucet and hardware.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Cleaning your garbage disposal is key for preventing odors that tend to build up over time. Pour ice, vinegar, and baking soda down the drain, run cold water, and run the disposal until the ice is ground down. Afterward, you can grind citrus rinds in the disposal for a fresh smell. If you think you need to sharpen the garbage disposal blades, simply drop eggshells down the drain and run the disposal.

Kitchen Floor

Dark brown hardwood flooring in a white kitchen. Photo by Instagram user @ellyathome

Photo via @ellyathome

Kitchen floors accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and splattered water from your meal prep around the kitchen. Finish up your spring cleaning steps by washing and protecting your kitchen floor!

Wash Floor Coverings

Remove any rugs or runners in your kitchen and shake them out to remove any dirt, dust, and crumbs. Check tags to see if they are machine washable or need to be hand-washed. Once washed, let them air dry before returning them to the kitchen floor.

Prep Floors for Deep Cleaning

Sweep, vacuum, or dry mop with a microfiber mop to pick up dirt, crumbs, dust, and pet hair. You’ll want a dry floor that’s clear of any debris before you start on the deep cleaning process.

Mop the Floors

Start by finding the right solution to clean your kitchen floor. For vinyl and laminate floors, use warm water and vinegar or a floor cleaner specifically made for this type of flooring. For ceramic tile floors, use warm water and mild soap. For wood floors, a vinegar and warm water mixture or a hardwood floor cleaner work well. After your kitchen floors are mopped, dry them with a clean, dry towel.

Clean the Baseboards

Scrub your baseboards with a sponge or cloth to get rid of dirt and shoe marks. For more stubborn stains, use a mixture of warm water, vinegar, and dish soap. You could also use a melamine foam sponge to remove scratches or stains if you’re worried about damaging paint or wood finishes on your baseboards.

Get Scuffs & Scratches Out of Floors

Once your floor is clean, repair any scratches or buff out any scuffs. To remove scuff marks from tile and laminate floors, use a mixture of baking soda and water or an acetone solution like nail polish remover. For scuff marks on wood floors, try warm water, baking soda, a pencil eraser, or a tennis ball to buff them out. Wax pencils or colored putty are the easiest way to repair minor scratches on laminate flooring, while blending pencils can repair small scratches on wood floors, too!

Looking for more kitchen cleaning and organization projects? Check out these kitchen decluttering ideas, hidden storage hacks for kitchens, and small kitchen organization tips!

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Need more space at home while spring cleaning? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the nation that can help you declutter while you deep clean. Find a storage unit near you!

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