The kitchen is one of the most important areas in a home, and keeping it clean is a must for the sake of everyone’s health. While most people would do a thorough wipedown of countertops and other surfaces after cooking or eating meals, there are some parts of the kitchen that are neglected for weeks or even months at a time. According to research, nearly 47% of people don’t remember the last time they cleaned their oven. Meanwhile, 41% can’t remember the last time they cleaned their refrigerator. Build-up of dust, grease, and food spills in appliances and surfaces can result in having a sticky, grimy, and unsanitary cooking space. In some cases, it may even lead to food contamination and illness.
Having an easy-to-clean kitchen design can make the cleaning process less of a burden. But there are some things that you can do to ensure that every part of your kitchen stays clean and hygienic for a long time. Here are some smart hacks to keep your kitchen perpetually clean.
Spot Clean as Soon as Possible
It’s easy to overlook tiny spills in the kitchen, especially when you’re busy or in a rush to get dinner on the table. But the longer you wait to clean them up, the harder it is to get rid of them. Any ingredient or food that contains sugar, for instance, will start to get sticky after an hour or so. Meanwhile, dark liquids like soy sauce or oyster sauce can leave stains on backsplashes and grout. To keep your kitchen clean, make sure to wipe spills immediately by spot cleaning with a damp cloth. If the stain is still there, try adding a bit of dishwashing liquid or baking soda on the cloth, then rub it over the stain.
The same should be done to keep the inside of your refrigerator clean. Not only is a sticky, smelly fridge a pain to deal with, but it can become a danger to your health if mold starts to grow on spills and certain foods. Although mold usually grows in hot and humid environments, such as a bathroom, it can also thrive in cold temperatures. According to the US Department of Agriculture, mold can tolerate salt and sugar better than other microorganisms, so it’s best to keep your fridge clean by diligently wiping spills as soon as possible. and using refrigerator liners to serve as a barrier between food and the fridge itself.
Protect Surfaces from Oil Splatter
If you use your kitchen everyday, chances are there’s a greasy or sticky film on some areas that never seem to go away, no matter how often you wipe them down. These areas include the backsplash, countertops, and the stove top, which usually get covered in debris, food bits, and grease splatters. To minimize the grease on the stove top and countertops, use your range hood while cooking since it helps to remove grease, odors, and smoke from the air as you cook. It also removes excess steam and heat, so it’s a great way to keep your kitchen well-ventilated, and it prevents the growth of mold and mildew in your space as well.
Another way to prevent oil splatter is by using a large pan with tall sides whenever you’re frying, deep frying, or stir-frying food. Doing so gives your food adequate space to cook and will keep your stove top grease free. You may also want to dry your ingredients thoroughly before putting them in hot oil, or use a splatter screen to protect yourself and surfaces from hot oil splatter.
Meanwhile, to keep your backsplash clean and oil-free, consider using kitchen wall protectors or kitchen stickers. These are self-adhesive and are available in transparent variants, so you can keep your beautiful backsplash and no one will notice the protective covering on it. To clean, simply wipe it with a soft cloth spritzed with all-purpose cleaner, then wipe it again with a damp cloth. Once it gets too dirty, simply peel the kitchen stickers off and replace with new ones. For added protection against oil splatter, use a splatter guard while cooking. Place it on the stove behind the pan while you’re cooking, and this will protect the backsplash, as well as anything that’s on the side of the pan.
Have a Place for Everything
Your kitchen can get messy pretty quickly if you don’t have a place for everything. So, start by organizing your kitchen items. Keep condiments and often-used ingredients in a basket or in a deep storage tray, and have it within reach while you’re cooking. Also, try not to put your cooking utensils on the counter while you’re cooking. Instead, place a small, shallow tray or a plate beside the stove and use that as a utensil rest. Even vegetable and fruit peels should have a place in the kitchen. Don’t just drop everything into the sink– instead, take an old bowl and peel fresh produce over it for easy cleanup, then dispose the contents of the bowl at the end of the day.
You should also have a separate bin for empty plastic bottles and containers. Wash them properly before putting them away, but don’t keep them in your kitchen for a long time. Instead, take them to a recycling center at the end of the month, and do the same in the following months to avoid clutter in your cooking space. Meanwhile, to keep reusable water bottles contained, get a magazine rack, then fill it with the water bottles and place it inside a cabinet or on the counter.
Food storage containers should also be properly organized since these cause the most chaos in kitchen cabinets and drawers. Without a storage plan, you end up having missing lids and containers falling out of your cabinets. To prevent this from happening, get an undershelf basket, then fill it with the containers and lids and keep the whole thing inside an easily accessible cabinet. You can also get dividers to create size-appropriate compartments in a deep drawer, then fill the compartments with containers and lids.
Clean the Kitchen Floor the Right Way
It’s normal to have crumbs, dust, and bits of food on the kitchen floor at the end of the day. But don’t use a broom to get rid of them. For a better way to clean, use a vacuum instead. It gets rid of food bits and dust particles in an instant, plus, it’s less labor intensive and it’s better at reaching dirt in cracks and corners. To keep your kitchen spic and span, vacuum once after lunch, and do another round of vacuuming after dinner time.
Keeping a kitchen clean is the best way to preserve its aesthetic and ensure the health of your family. Try these tips to preserve the cleanliness and hygiene of your cooking space, and don’t forget to deep clean once every two months for best results.