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There is nothing like a cluttered kitchen filled with piles of dirty crockery and glasses and splattered with food stains to make you feel depressed. The amount of cleaning needed almost feels overwhelming! But don’t panic – if you follow these simple tips, keeping your kitchen clean should become a simple and easy task.
Before tackling anything, first make sure that you assemble all the necessary supplies and equipment as looking for these things later will not only make the process take longer but may also distract you and make you forget vital tasks. Things you will need will include:
Fill your sink with a solution of hot water and dishwashing detergent. If you have a double-sink, then make sure that you use the side that does not contain the disposal unit, as you may need this for getting rid of left-overs and other rubbish later on.
Scrape all the plates and bowls clean and push their contents either down the sink disposal unit or into the rubbish bin.
Place all dirty crockery and cutlery into the sink of hot, soapy water to soak. Place the most heavily-soiled dishes in first. If you have large pans and pots that won’t fit in the sink, simply fill them with the same solution of hot water and detergent and leave them to soak on the counter.
Use the time, while the crockery and cutlery are soaking, to go through the kitchen, clearing countertops and returning any clean or used items to the pantry, fridge, cupboards and drawers. Put any rubbish into the bin.
Now, if you are using a dishwasher, decide which pieces of crockery and cutlery can be safely washed by the machine and load the dishwasher. Certain very heavily-soiled or very large items may need to be washed by hand, as will anything that is not made of a material that is ‘dishwasher-safe’.
You may also not wish to use a dishwasher or not have one – in this case, try to get help from other family members and form an assembly line for washing, rinsing, drying and putting away the crockery and cutlery. This will speed things up significantly. If you don’t have someone to help you dry up, you can place washed items on a draining board or a clean, dry tea towel spread out on the counter, to drip dry.
Using moistened sponges or cleaning cloths, wipe down the countertops and appliances. You may need to use a kitchen cleaner or some hot, soapy water to help you if there are stubborn stains. Rinse your cloths and wipe again, until all traces of detergent or cleaner have been removed. Do the sink last – rinse it clear of any food and detergent and wipe over with a sponge.
For a more thorough clean, you may like to tackle the oven at this point – follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your oven cleaner for the best results. If you do not have a commercial oven cleaner, using some baking soda and water will be just as effective and will not involve any chemicals. If you have a microwave, wipe the insides and wash out any stains on the rotating dish. Check your toaster and remove any crumbs collecting at the bottom.
Depending on the type of flooring you have, vacuum or sweep away any debris and then follow with a wet mop, using the right kind of cleaning solution for your floor type (in many cases, just mild detergent and hot water).
Finally, if the bin is full or contains food with particularly strong odours, take the rubbish outside and reline the bin with a fresh bag.
Obviously, the more people in a household, the longer the cleaning process is likely to take but there should be more helpers too! Dividing the different tasks and delegating can really speed things up as well as teaching family members the importance of individual responsibility in a group situation.
In addition, getting every member of the household to clear and rinse out their own plates and bowls immediately after each meal (even if they don’t do the whole washing up) will help to speed up the cleaning process and prevent you having to spend ages fighting congealed, dry food stuck onto crockery.
For more cleaning advice from the experts or to find your nearest Merry Maids find your local or call 0800 021 3072.