Do NOT’s in the Kitchen
Any person raised by a Southern mama knows that cleaning the kitchen is just one of those things that must be done. Dirty dishes must be washed, crumbs cleaned, floors swept. But exactly how you go about cleaning is a bit of a personal choice. You can clean your kitchen in ten minutes a day or in a solid hour of work on the weekends. You can tidy up with five easy, natural ingredients, pull out the Lysol and bleach for a sanitizing scrub, both, or outsource the entire thing. However you decide to clean, just don’t make these mistakes while cleaning your kitchen.
Don’t Clean Your Kitchen Sponge
A dirty sponge or cloth will just spread bacteria. There’s no point in trying to clean your sponge in the dishwasher—and definitely don’t microwave it! Instead, replace regularly or swap them out for rags that can be washed daily.
Don’t Thoroughly Rinse Your Dishes Before Putting Them in the Dishwasher
Despite what you may have learned as a child, don’t rinse every speck of food off of your plates before loading them in the dishwasher. Thanks to advances in technology, modern dishwashers work better when you skip that step entirely.
Don’t Use Harsh Cleansers on Granite Counter tops
Citric acid-based cleaners, vinegar, bleach, or other abrasive products can damage your granite counter tops. Instead, follow our instructions on how to clean a granite countertop the right way.
Don’t Skip the Degreaser
If you’ve been making hushpuppies, whipping up spaghetti sauce, frying chicken, baking with butter, or cooking almost anything else, you undoubtedly have grease on your appliances, counters, and cabinets. Here’s how to get rid of the grime—and don’t forget to get under your removable stove burners!
Don’t Ignore the Inside of Your Dishwasher
Yes, you need to clean the inside of your dishwasher. Here’s how to do it.
This pantry staple will help deodorize the inside of the dishwasher and make it look shiny and new. Sprinkle about 1 cup of baking soda over the bottom, then run a hot water cycle as usual, but with no detergent.
Another pantry staple, distilled white vinegar, can clean and deodorize a dishwasher. Pour a cup of vinegar into a small dishwasher-safe bowl and place the bowl on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle without detergent.
Check the Drain
Under the bottom dish rack (in most dishwasher models), you’ll find a drain filter. This is often where bits of trapped food get stuck, causing unpleasant odors. Remove the filter and wash it with dish soap and hot water. If it requires a deeper clean, use a toothbrush.
Don’t Forget To Clean the Coffee Pot
Hard-water deposits, coffee residue, and other gunk can build up over time in your coffee maker. That crud can jam up the works of your coffee maker, slowing things down, and impacting the taste of your coffee. Here’s how to clean a coffee pot.
The removable parts of your coffeemaker (the carafe, filter basket, etc.), should be washed with warm, soapy water in order to remove coffee, grinds, and oil. These parts are usually dishwasher safe, as well. Wipe down the outside and the warming plate. Another good idea is to leave the reservoir lid open so it can dry out—germs love moisture!
Once a Month
Fill the water reservoir with a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar (this common household product sanitizes and removes mineral buildup) and water. Turn on the coffeemaker. Let several cups run through, then turn it off and let sit for an hour. Start the machine again to complete the cycle. Pour the vinegar mixture out and run plain water through the coffeemaker a few times until the vinegar odor disappears.
Don’t Clean the Kitchen Floor First
Instead, do the dishes, wipe down cabinets and appliances, clean the counters, and then clean up anything that has fallen onto the floor.
Don’t Forget the Kitchen Sink
Your sink may look spic-and-span, but looks can be deceiving. Kitchen sinks are the germiest place in your house and they need to be scrubbed and sanitized. Here’s how to clean your kitchen sink.
Staff recommends using a fresh towel or cloth to scrub your sink. You can also use a sponge, but fresh is the key word here. A dirty sponge or cloth will just spread bacteria all over your sink. “Use warm, soapy water, and baking soda to wash these areas,” says Stapf. “We recommend a mixture of three tablespoons baking soda, one-tablespoon dish soap, and one-fourth cup warm water. You can also sprinkle a little baking soda onto a damp soft cloth and buff out the sink for stainless steel surfaces.” Be sure to get the sides of the sink and the area around the drain. Rinse well to avoid leaving behind any streaks
Staff adds that you can also do minimal cleaning maintenance every other day with the quick swipe of a disinfectant wipe or cleaning spray, especially during flu season. This will help you keep those nasty germs at bay until you have time for a deeper cleaning.
How Do You Sanitize Your Sink?
According to Stapf, you should always sanitize your sink after handling raw meat or poultry. “Wiping or rinsing these areas is not enough to kill any bacteria that may have spread around your kitchen while you were preparing your food,” says Staff.
To sanitize your kitchen sink, Staff says you should start by filling your sink with warm water. Next, she says to add a small amount of bleach and allow it to sit for at least five minutes before draining. When you’re finished, be sure to wipe down the handles and faucet, too.
Don’t Just Clean—Disinfect
Cleaning is important, but so is disinfecting. That’s the important extra step that will kill germs, like bacteria and viruses. Here’s how to sanitize your kitchen sink.
Don’t Skip Knobs and Handles
You wash your hands in the kitchen, so be sure to also wash everything that your hands touch in the kitchen. The knobs on the stove, the refrigerator handles, and the sink faucet all need a good scrub and disinfecting.
Don’t Put Knives in the Dishwasher
If you want to keep your knives sharp and your handles in good shape, don’t put them in the dishwasher. Instead, hand wash and be sure to dry stainless or carbon steel right afterwards, as they need to be stored dry.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Vacuum Cleaner
Whether you’re cleaning your kitchen cabinets, getting crumbs out from under your stove, or tackling that spot behind the refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner, especially if it has a wand attachment for hard-to-reach spots, is a powerful tool.
Don’t Rely Solely on Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Function
That self-cleaning oven function seems easy enough, but you may want to skip it. Even if you do occasionally fire it up, you still need to clean your oven (and that greasy oven door) on occasion. Here’s how.