How to clean a kitchen?(23 Posts)
I am feeling so desperate with the state of the house that at 1.30am even with both DS asleep that's all I can think about.
I feel like no matter now much I clean the kitchen it is never clean. I'm coming to the conclusion that I must be doing it wrong. The floor is always sticky. The work tops streaky. I don't know where to start.
Please tell me how you wise domestic goddess keep a clean kitchen. Which protects do you use? What type of cloth? Do you change cloths regularly? How often do you clean? Do you use a mop/steam mop/hands and knees?
It may sound like a joke but I need someone to teach me how to clean. There are so many cookery programmes/books etc. where's the ones that show you how to clean up afterwards
For most cleaning you only need hot water, some detergent and a cloth. You don't need expensive anti-bac products or fancy gadgets.
Get a bucket if you don't have one, some rubber gloves (you can tolerate very hot water when wearing rubber gloves without the risk of scalding yourself), and a mop - I have a Vileda super mop as you don't need a special mop bucket.
Detergent - something simple and cheap like Stardrops is perfect. Don't use washing up liquid as it can leave a film which feels sticky if you use it for cleaning. Use as directed on the bottle in hot - not just warm - water in a bucket. Dunk a cloth in, squeeze it out well and clean then rinse, squeeze and repeat.
I like washable cloths - microfibre ones are good and things like old cotton tea towels are great. Don't try to clean using a sponge scourer pad! I just use the same cloth to clean my kitchen then stick it in the wash, but if it got greasy gunk on it I'd get another one to carry on with.
Start from the top and work down, so clean cupboards, then splash backs and work tops, base units then finish with the floor. Change the water in your bucket if it is dirty or no longer hot.
You can use a dry cloth to polish off/dry to stop things going streaky as you go along.
If your units are greasy, sugar soap, which you can buy in a trigger spray or as a powder and make up to a solution in a spray bottle, cuts through grease brilliantly without giving off nasty chemical fumes. Spray on, wipe over the greasiness using some pressure then rinse your cloth in the bucket, squeeze and wipe over the area you've just cleaned.
For the floor, sweep with a soft broom or vacuum up any bits first. Put some very hot water in your bucket and detergent. Dunk your mop in, squeeze out excess water well and clean the floor. Work methodically from the corner furthest from the door, section by section going back and forth pushing the mop over the floor. Stop and rinse it in the bucket then squeeze it out frequently. This should mean you are not just pushing the muck around.
Work backwards to the entrance to the room. When you have finished, leave the floor to dry before walking on it. Empty and rinse your bucket. Rinse your mop - this might be easier in a clean bucket of hot water then over the sink - squeeze it well then put it head up to dry. This should ensure it doesn't get smelly.
Just do what wowfudge said. And clean up as you go along.
I run a tight ship and I feel like I "know" my kitchen well, but whenever I move into a new house or stay in a villa I feel exactly the same way as you do now. You just need to find your routine.
In addition to what's been noted above, I would say having a good store of high-quality dish towels (cheap ones will just push liquid around rather than absorbing) and rags is essential, for example I just made a big breakfast and went through 3 dishtowels while cooking and cleaning. Conserving dishtowels because you're worried about running out of them is an easy way to an unhygienic kitchen.
Dirty floors are a bug-bear of mine so I make a habit of sweeping after every meal (put your kids on this) and I drop a clean rag in my (still-clean) dishwater and run it over the floor that sits beneath my oven, sink and fridge just as my last cleaning step. From there, straight into dirty laundry pile.
I second rubber gloves, I have no idea how people manage without them. I use a big washing-up bowl and change my water probably 3x for a big kitchen clean-up. I use a scouring pad for all my surfaces and pans (Waitrose has adorable pink/yellow/green ones with different patterns, I love them) and I change this probably 2x weekly. I wipe down all my surfaces with this and then wipe them dry with a clean dishtowel.
I suspect you really should keep 2 sponges (one for dishes and another for worksurfaces) but I can't be bothered to do this.
Have this bowl full of hot soapy water when you start cooking, and drop things in it as you use them. Make use of your timer while you're cooking - if you're making broccoli, for example, you can immerse yourself in cleaning for 4 min and clear away a lot of stuff in this time and not forget about the broccoli.
Clean as you go is key.
Be ruthless about what you keep in your kitchen. Having extra gadgets around crowds your cabinets and clutters your worksurfaces, and makes it harder to clean.
When I first got married my grandmother gave me a book called "Home Comforts" which is all about running a house . If you want it I can post it to you - it's very useful.
Deep cleaning is quite separate, obviously. You need the Vileda mop and bucket
Keep an extra head on hand.
Can you get to a Wilco? I find them great for housekeeping stuff. I use the Detol with Febreeze for my floors which smells lovely, it's cotton scented or something.
Sugar soap is indeed great for wiping down cabinets that are a proper mess.
If you have a place where you can mount your broom, dustpan and mop that is a great start. Make sure it's accessible to stay on top of your floors.
If you need cloths try halfords microfibre car cleaning ones, they clean brilliantly and wash well.
Just dont use fabric softener on them because it stops them being absorbant.
Do you have a dishwasher? it's easier to keep a kitchen tidy when you can load everything into the dishwasher.
I always think a scrubbing brush is the only way to clean really dirty tiled floors - involves getting down on to your hands and knees I'm afraid!
Thanks guys for taking the time to reply it's all been really helpful.
How many dishcloths do you think I should have overall? I know I need to buy new clothes and tea towels etc.
Are there any particular ones you would reccomend ? I don't mind spending more if it's going to make my life easier overall.
Thanks goodbye (on my phone so can't see your name) that's a lovely gesture with the book! I think it's just what I need!
I'm no expert but in trying to get on top of everything if I have learned one thing it is to declutter. Get rid of everything you don't use frequently. Dh keeps things 'just in case' but I have decided I'd rather buy them again than have them messing up my house - if they are expensive items and we aren't using them I see them otherwise I give to charity / friends / take to skip.
In an ideal world I would have a toaster, a microwave and kettle on my worktops and nothing else. At the moment I also have a standing small file of paperwork, a fruit bowl and tea and coffee jars. It annoys me!
goodbye I am in awe. I bet your house just sparkles!
How do you clean your oven?
Incidentally, it sounds like you have children. How on earth did you keep your house clean when they were babies?
Sorry for hijacking your thread, OP, but goodbye the fountain of all cleaning knowledge
Also how do I clean tiles? The kitchen is fully tiled with annoying small mosaic style tiles. They just look grey and grotty I have a steam cleaner contraption, should I have a go with that? Or do I need to get a bucket and scrub?
Try the steam cleaner on them.
Try 3 packs of these £6 buys two per day
They last ages too.
Tesco do five plain white microfibre cleaning cloths for £1.50 in the cleaning cloth section. They're about flannel sized. I have lots and they're useful for all sorts.
thank you Chaircat, my house doesn't sparkle but it is in good order
unless I'm hungover.
I do not clean my own oven. That is a heavy-duty job.
I suggest 15 tea towels assuming you do 3 loads of white/hot per week. More tea towels if you do fewer. My most recent purchase were from Ottolenghi which I think were about £7 for 2, I strongly suggest you do not scrimp - I have some tea towels that are probably 8 years old and they do a beautiful job (they don't look great).
I personally do not like the microfibre cleaning cloths because they glide (no abrasion) and don't absorb well, but I'm certainly in the minority here. My favourite rags are my old Ikea washcloths from the kids' bath-time, they have the perfect amount of abrasion. I suggest a stack of at least 15 rags (same caveat as above). You can also buy washcloths at Savers or similar, they are perfect.
I had a far more difficult time keeping order when my kids were babies/toddlers. As your kids get older (my youngest is now 9) you can really appreciate an orderly house in a way you never will pre-kids.
I agree that manual labour is the only way to clean tiles. If you have a daunting number of tiles to clean, you could spray them in advance and hire a rotating brush thing.
I agree with 306 that an uncluttered countertop is the key to all of this. Unfortunately I think you need a breadbox and possibly a food processor on top of what 306 suggests. Potentially a coffee maker (my MIL recently got me small Nescafe one and my husband insisted it stayed).
For keeping the worktop as clear as possible, shelves between the wall units and worktop are great - they don't have to be deep, but they are really useful. We have some IKEA Lindahl (I think that's the name). One is by the kettle and has teabags, coffee and sugar bowl on it and the other is by the cooker with salt and pepper and pestle and mortar. We also have a magnetic knife rack instead of a knife block. The only things on the worktops are: kettle, coffee machine, toaster and chopping boards on end in a holder.
We also have a magnetic knife rack instead of a knife block. The only things on the worktops are: kettle, coffee machine, toaster and chopping boards on end in a holder.
The day my husband installed our magnetic knife rack was a revelation. No knife blocks on the countertop!
Unfortunately, we also have a microwave and food processor. I use them both daily.
Thank you for all the info Goodbye! You've been so helpful. I'm drawing up a shopping list to make a start on things. Can I pick your brains a little further? What do you use to clean in other areas of the house? Do you use different cloth's for different surfaces?
Sugar soap to clean tiles. Best stuff ever and doesn't streak.
This is how I clean mine:
Go around the kitchen/lounge collecting dirty plates and glasses and put them by the sink. Empty and refill the dishwasher. I'm lazy so if something has burnt food on it or whatever and should be hand washed, I give it a quick scour and put it in the dishwasher and stick it on.
Clean surfaces of whatever's on them and put them in the right place- newspaper in recycling, shoes back in the hall etc etc.
Then I clean the counters. I have a cat so I use kitchen cleaner with bleach- I go around the kitchen spraying it on all the surfaces (including oven) and then wipe off.
Floor is mopped twice a week. I just use generic floor cleaner or flash concentrate if it's on offer. I used a steam cleaner once and didn't seem to make much difference. Dishcloths are thrown away after 3 days (I buy big cheap rolls in Costco which probably makes a difference). Tea towels are replaced twice a week, just like bathroom towels.
Tip for cleaning microwave- cut up a lemon. Squeeze the juice into the bowl and put the halfs in the bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Leave to stand for a few minutes- crud comes off much more easily. I rarely use my microwave but if I used it daily I'd do this 1-2 times a week.
Inside of fridge is cleaned monthly- take food out, take shelves out and wash in hot soapy water. Spray kitchen cleaner in the fridge and leave to sit while cleaning shelves and wipe clean.
I don't think I've ever cleaned the inside of my oven
I'm a scatty mare really
Oh and I wipe down the front of the cupboards with a damp cloth daily too because there's usually cat prints all over them!!!
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