Clean Your Kitchen
Cleaning up the kitchen is part of
cooking. Not only is it easier to cook and bake in a clean
kitchen, but clean surfaces and storage containers will keep
your family healthier and safer. Take some time to learn these
easy tips and preventative measures and before you know it
your kitchen will be automatically cleaner and less cluttered.
Make cleaning second nature and you'll save time and
1. Have a place for everything.
It's much easier to use a utensil or appliance, clean it and
put it away when it has a home. I use foil as an example in my
kitchen. I have a special drawer that is used just for foil,
plastic wrap and parchment paper. Those items are always easy
to find, and are put away after each use because they have a
2. Don't mix ammonia and bleach because it
will create toxic fumes.
3. Identify spots in your kitchen that accumulate
clutter and take a few minutes every day to clear
those spots and place objects in their correct homes.
4. Try to end each day with a clean, empty kitchen
sink. Run the dishwasher before you go to bed and
unload it first thing in the morning.
5. A sponge is actually a great way to spread
germs. I prefer using paper towels, discarding them
after cleaning each surface, to totally prevent
1. To quickly clean burned food on a pan,
add some dish soap and 1/2" of water. Bring to a boil, then
let the liquid cool in the pan. The burned food will be easy
2. When food spills over and burns on the oven
floor, sprinkle a handful of salt on the mess. The
smoke will be reduced and the spill easier to clean after the
oven cools. You can add some cinnamon to the salt to help
3. To clean your microwave oven, mix
together 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar and 2 cups of water
in a 4 cup glass microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for
two to three minutes. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the
microwave with paper towels. Repeat as necessary.
4. To clean sluggish drains, pour 1/2 cup
baking soda down the drain. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and
cover the drain. Let this mixture foam for a few minutes, then
pour 8 cups of boiling water down the drain-- to flush it. Do
not use this combination after using any commercial drain
opener or cleaner.
5. I like to put lemon or lime pieces through the
garbage disposal every few days for a clean fresh
smell. To freshen the garbage disposal, sprinkle a
couple of tablespoons of baking soda down the drain, drop in
two ice cubes and turn it on. Then run the hot water for a few
minutes while the disposal is working.
6. If plastic from the bread wrapper melts onto your
toaster, use a little nail polish remover to get it
off. Let the toaster cool before you try this.
7. Clean your coffee maker every few weeks
by filling the water reservoir with equal parts white vinegar
and water and putting it through the brew cycle. Then use
clean fresh water and repeat the brew cycle to rinse the
machine. Repeat with fresh water two more times.
8. If you don't have a self-cleaning oven,
scrape up any large spills, then spray cleaner inside the
oven, close the door and let it sit overnight so the cleaner
has time to work.
9. To clean a blender, squirt a few drops
of liquid soap into it, fill halfway with warm water, cover
and blend away the mess. Rinse and repeat if necessary. You
can also use this method for food processors.
10. For lime and mineral deposits on your kitchen
sink faucet, wrap vinegar-soaked paper towels around
faucets for about an hour. This breaks down the mineral scale,
and the chrome will be clean and shiny after buffing with a
dry paper towel.
11. If you don't have a self-cleaning oven,
place racks in the bathtub with about 1/2 cup dishwasher
detergent and cover them with several inches of warm water.
Let the racks soak for 45 minutes, then rinse and dry.
MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANERS
1. For your own window washing solution,
mix 1/3 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol in a 1 quart
spray bottle. Fill up with water.
2. Dry baking soda cleans chrome perfectly.
3. Cream of tartar and water mixed to a paste will
4. A paste of baking soda and water will clean
5. Plain liquid Ivory soap mixed with water is one
of the best all-purpose cleaners. You can keep this
solution in a spray bottle, but only use a bit of soap or the
mixture may become too foamy to spray.
6. Dissolve 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm
water for a good general cleaner.
1. Clean up spills as they occur so you
won't be faced with one huge cleaning session.
2. Did you know that you use 20% of your utensils
80% of the time? Any tool or appliance which doesn't
get used during a week of cooking should be cleaned and stored
to save counter and cupboard space and cleaning time.
3. It's easier to clean a grill if you do it after
each use. Also oil the grill rack before each use to
make cleanup easier.
4. Wash as you go. Fill one half of a
double sink or a separate waterproof tub with hot soapy water
and drop in utensils as you use them. Food won't dry on the
utensils and cleanup will be a breeze.
5. Once every 7-10 days, remove all the food from
your refrigerator, wipe down the inside with warm
soapy water, clean all the shelves and trays, then replace the
6. As you work, check expiration dates and discard
food past those dates. Place an open box of baking
soda in the back of the fridge.
7. Once a month, remove all the food from your
pantry, wipe down with a clean damp cloth, check for
spoilage and expiration dates, then replace items in their
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *