Spring Cleaning Day 1 – Kitchen

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 Welcome to Day 1 of the Spring Cleaning Challenge!

 Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to Deep Clean the Kitchen.
Begin by printing off this checklist.
 

Before I can ever get to Deep Cleaning, I have to do the surface cleaning. Any towels and dishrags I toss in the washer, then I take all the dirty dishes (you know there are always some dirty dishes), and either hand wash, or stick them in the dishwasher.

Then clean off your table. You’ll use it for storage while you deep clean the rest of the kitchen. Move any appliances you keep on the counters to the table. Next is the real deep cleaning.

Cabinets and Cupboards
I suggest a ladder or tall step stool. Or if your kids are tall enough they can stand on the counters. Start with the very top of your cabinets. Of course if you’re lucky enough, your cabinets reach to the ceiling and there is no space up there to clean. If you’re like me, though, you’ve got some cleaning to do!  From there, you want to move down the cabinets. Start with one cabinet, and move everything out to the table, or another side of the counters. Start with the top shelf and wipe down, moving any crumbs from the top to the bottom. Finish one cabinet, and move to the next.  Once the cabinets are finished, wipe down the countertops and the walls behind them. Finally move to the cupboards. Do the same thing, pull everything out, wipe down top to bottom. Finish off the cabinets and cupboards by wiping down the doors.
Before putting items back in the cupboards and cabinets – check expiration dates.  Toss out any bad food. This is also a great time to go through your Tupperware. Any lids without bottoms toss. Bottoms without lids can be tossed or re-purposed for organization in the pantry.

Along with the counter tops, clean off the top of the stove. If you have a glass top, a product like Affresh Stove Cleaner is amazing! It’s made specifically for glass top stoves and cleans them beautifully!

The Oven
Now that the brunt of the work is done and the top of the stove is clean, go for the oven. If you have a self-cleaning option I suggest using it. Open up all the windows and turn your heaters down as well. It’s going to get hot!

In a disposable bowl, pour 1 cup of ammonia. Set it in the oven and let sit all day long (or overnight).  Then wipe the grime away. For hard burned on food, you can also try baking soda and vinegar. It’s an easy, safe way to clean (and works on virtually everything).

Fridge and Freezer
Now the fun part! Again let’s work top to bottom.  Start with the freezer. If you have a deep freeze or second freezer somewhere, move everything from your kitchen freezer to that one. If you don’t have that option – work fast.  Take everything out of the freezer, and set on the counter. Don’t bother going through it at this point.  Once everything is out, use some hot – very hot- soapy water to wipe the inside down. 
Once it’s wiped down begin putting the food back in.  As you do this, check for expiration dates, and freezer burn.  Toss anything out that is bad. 
Then move onto the fridge.  Once the food is out, wipe down the shelves.  Remove the cooler drawers and give them a good scrub. Don’t forget to wipe out the bottom of the fridge before putting the drawers back in. 
Next get a strong person or two, and move the fridge and oven from the wall. Sweep and mop behind them. Behind these two large appliances are some of your biggest fire hazards!  Don’t skip them!

Now, make tonight leftover night.  You want to start spring off with a fresh fridge full of fresh food.

Dishwasher
Now that you’ve emptied a bunch of dishes, you may have a full dishwasher. Run it! Once your dishwasher is empty of clean dishes, run another cycle with a cleaner. Since it’s deep cleaning time, I suggest using something like Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner.
Now that the counters and dirty dishes are all taken care of, move all the appliances back to the counter. Wipe them down as you go. My appliances tend to get pretty dirty on the outside, but don’t always get a good cleaning.

Floor and Garbage
We’re at the end of the day. Take out the trash, wipe down the inside and outside of the garbage can. Put in a new bag.
Last thing to do is clean the floor. Move out chairs, table, microwave stand – anything that moves. Sweep and mop.  My favorite way to mop is on my hands and knees, with a bucket of hot soapy water.  I add 1 capful of ammonia to 2 gallons of hot water.  On my knees, I can see every spot, reach every corner, and really get spotless.

You Did It!
 

I’m also going to suggest at this point, using paper products the rest of the week. We’ve got a lot more Spring Cleaning to do, and keeping the kitchen looking nice will keep your motivation up through it all.

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