Once a week, I clean our kitchen. And for the 62 minutes after I’m finished when we’re not in it, all is right with the world.
Having a scheduled time to do this each week is what allows me to walk away from a stove covered in grease and a microwave caked in exploded food. Because I know that it won’t be like that indefinitely. Having this routine provides the simultaneous freedom of not being held captive by mess or the guilt to clean the mess.
But as much as I love having a clean kitchen, actually doing it is not my favorite task. So I’ve had to find a way to do it quickly and get the most reward for the least amount of work. #storyofmylife
Weekly Kitchen Cleaning in a Flash
Wash out the sink
Scrub & rinse the sink. Put the drains in the dishwasher.
Wipe Down Surfaces
The verb “wipe down” is very carefully chosen to describe this task. I use a Norwex EnviroCloth for all of my kitchen cleaning (except the sink…… although as I’m typing this, I’m not sure why….). Using this cloth means that water and the cloth are the only two tools I need to clean my entire kitchen. No messing with multiple bottles, sprays, rinsing and all the stuff that takes time that I don’t want to spend on cleaning.
In our kitchen, surfaces include: Window ledge, Faucet, Countertops, Backsplash and Appliance fronts.
Start at the top and work your way down. Our window ledge is above the countertop, so that get’s wiped off first and the dirt from the ledge is pushed on to the counter. When the counters are wiped off, everything gets pushed to the floor.
For the countertops, anything siting on the countertop is moved (another reason to keep kitchen counters clear!) and wiped underneath, then moved back.
Our appliances are stainless steel and the Norwex rag works great for those too. It works best if the rag is rung out well and, truthfully, the Norwex Polish Rag works best on stainless steel because it doesn’t leave streaks. Oh well. We live here. Streaks and all.
Wipe Down Stove Top
For a gas stove, remove the grates & burner tops and wipe off all of the hardened food. I scrub what will come off with the EnviroCloth and call it good. Once or twice a year, when I deep clean the kitchen, I will scrub the grates (with a specific cleaner that is made for the ceramic) and use a more abrasive cleaner for the stubborn spots on the stove top.
This is my favorite hack. Before wiping anything else down, cut up 1-2 lemons and put them in a microwave-safe bowl (or measuring cup) and fill it with water. Put it in the microwave for 5 minutes. The steam loosens caked on food and the lemon smells divine.
Remove the lemon water and wipe out the microwave – remembering to start at the top and work down so that you don’t have to repeat cleaning a surface.
Wipe Down Refrigerator Shelves
This is not a full clean out of your fridge. Just move stuff around as you wipe to get most of the surfaces. Good enough is good enough in this case.
Wipe Floor Mat
We have a Wellness Mat in front of our kitchen sink that gets picked up off the floor one time a week and this is it. Once I have no more uses for my rag, the floor mat is the last item that rag cleans. The Wellness Mat is a non-porous material, so it cleans very easily. If you have a different kind of mat in front of your sink that requires laundering to get it clean, toss it in the washing machine.
Clean the Garbage Disposal
Remember the lemon water that cleaned your microwave? It’s not done working yet. Pour the contents into the disposal and run for a long time with lots of cold water. The lemons deodorize any residual food smells. For extra credit, toss in a few ice cubes to sharpen the disposal blades.
Now that everything that used to sit on a surface in your kitchen has been wiped on to your floors, it’s time to take care of that. Sweep (or, in our case, vacuum) the floors. This is part of my daily cleaning, but on kitchen-cleaning day, if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I will bust out the crevice tool and get in those hard to reach nooks and crannies.
Total, this takes 20 minutes (if I’m not interrupted – which almost never happens).
The kitchen is 90% clean when I’m done which is good enough for me for everyday life. This routine has helped me find the balance between taking care of what we have and maintaining it, but not being a slave to a perfectly clean kitchen.
I enjoy being in our kitchen and cooking a meal for my family. And when I make a huge mess, I do the dishes and wait until Monday morning to take care of the rest.