How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen

SpringCleaning Conquering the KitchenHopefully by now you are all enjoying the fruits of your Big Spring Clean labor and your home is now relatively dirt and clutter free.  Doesn’t it feel GOOD?

Of course if you are anything like me, there may be one room that looks tidy on the surface, but that is secretly haunting you behind closed cabinet doors.  It’s not that we don’t want to keep our kitchens neat and organized, but so often the hustle & bustle of every day life gets in the way.  We rush to put away groceries without bothering–or having time–to throw out the items no longer edible.  We open multiple packages of the same foods, then forget which one is still good.  In our haste to put the dishes away or get dinner on the table, we don’t spend quite as much time as we should putting things back in their proper place.

Before we know it, we are left with a mess!

kitchen cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Kitchen

The scariest part of conquering that kitchen chaos is not knowing where to begin.  There are just SO MANY areas that need attending to.  If we start, how will we ever finish?

Luckily today’s checklist breaks the whole process down for you, section by section, in a way that can be done all at once (if you really want to) or just a little at a time, without completely disrupting your life.  (And don’t worry, there is another darling printable checklist to keep you on track!)

Kitchen Deep Cleaning Checklist

Pre-Clean:

  • Wash, dry, & put away any dirty dishes
  • Quickly clear countertops and wipe clean
  • Clear any clutter that does not belong in the kitchen

Organize Pantry:

  • Take out all food & place on table or countertop
  • Check labels & toss items that are expired, stale, empty, inedible, etc.
  • Fill a bag or box for unopened donation items that you will not be able to eat before they expire, or items that you know your family won’t eat.
  • Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.
  • Put food back in cabinet. (You may want to do a pantry inventory before you put it back.)
  • Create a separate area for open items
  • Arrange like items together
  • Put oldest items in front; newest in back

organized baking cabinet

Clean & Organize Baking & Cooking Cupboards

  • Take out all items & place on table or countertop
  • Check labels & toss items that are expired, stale, empty, inedible, etc.
  • Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner
  • Use clean, well-labeled, airtight containers to store baking & cooking staples such as flour, sugar, bread crumbs, etc. (I have been using the OXO Good Grips Pop Top containers for about 6 years now & I love them.  They are definitely an investment, but well worth the money if you live in a warm or humid climate like Florida!)
  • Put items back in cabinet, making sure the most frequently used containers are easy accessible.

Clean & Organize Refrigerator & Freezer:

  • Take out all food & place on table or countertop
  • Check labels & toss items that are expired, moldy, empty, inedible, etc.
  • Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.
  • Remove produce drawers & wash well
  • Put food back in refrigerator
  • Arrange like items together
  • Remove excess magnets & unneeded papers.
  • Clean and/or polish exterior

organized kitchen cabinet

Clean & Organize Storage Cupboards

  • Remove all items from remaining storage cupboards or shelves and place on countertop or kitchen table.
  • As you remove items, toss or donate any items that are broken, unwanted, unnecessary, or that you haven’t used in over a year.
  • Set aside any seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year to be placed with other seasonal items in storage.
  • Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.
  • Determine whether you can rearrange any of your storage areas to make your kitchen more efficient.
  • Group like items together and place back in cupboards.
  • Put seasonal items in storage and bring donation items to local drop-off as soon as possible.

Clean & Organize Storage Drawers

  • Remove all items from drawers and place on countertop or kitchen table.
  • As you remove items, toss or donate any items that are broken, unwanted, unnecessary, or that you haven’t used in over a year.
  • Set aside any seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year to be placed with other seasonal items in storage.
  • Wipe down all drawers with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.
  • Wash any drawer organizers
  • Determine whether you can rearrange any of your storage areas to make your kitchen more efficient.
  • Group like items together and place back in drawers
  • Put seasonal items in storage and bring donation items to local drop-off as soon as possible.

Clean Other Appliances

  • Wipe down microwave inside and out
  • Clean and/or polish exterior of dishwasher
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to run self-cleaning cycle on oven
  • Clean & polish exterior of oven
  • Clean & polish stovetop
  • Clean & polish small countertop appliances

A Clean & Organized Kitchen {The Big Spring Clean, Part 4}

Clean Sink, Countertop, & Cabinets

  • Remove any remaining clutter from countertops; try to get them as clear as possible!
  • Remove countertop appliances
  • Spray countertop with kitchen cleaner; wipe clean and dry well.
  • Use glass cleaner to make granite shine.
  • Wipe down cabinet exteriors
  • Polish wood cabinet doors with furniture polish

Conquering the Kitchen {The Big Spring Clean, Part 4}

Clean Floors

  • Sweep entire floor well.  Be sure to remove any moveable furniture!
  • Spot clean any sticky or dirty areas or any stains.
  • Mop floor with heavy duty floor cleaner.
  • Wash throw rugs

When you break it down into sections like that, doesn’t  it seem more doable?  Happy cleaning!  May your kitchens–and your homes–always sparkle! :-)

Kitchen Deep Cleaning Checklist{Get Printable Kitchen Deep Cleaning Checklist Here}

The Big Spring Clean {Spring Cleaning Series}

Miss something?  Check out the entire Big Spring Clean series:

Part 1: Clearing the Clutter
Part 2: Green & Thrifty Cleaning Products
Part 3: Cleaning from Top to Bottom
Part 4: Conquering the Kitchen 

*   *   *

What Spring Cleaning projects did you attempt to tackle this year?  What have you accomplished so far?  Where are you struggling?  What more are you planning to do?  

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Lindsey March 27,

    This series has been SOOOOOOOOO helpful for me this year! Thank you so much for all the motivation. I especially love the printable checklists!

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup March 29,

      I’m so glad to hear that Lindsey! Thanks for letting me know!

      Reply
  • Denise March 27,

    Yay! This is awesome! Your kitchen is so beautiful!

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup March 29,

      Thanks Denise!

      Reply
  • Carolee March 27,

    I’m still struggling with finding the time or motivation to get started but I have really enjoyed this series. I have managed to get rid of some of the clutter, but it is so hard when we have so much other stuff going on. Hopefully April will be a better month for cleaning and organizing.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup March 29,

      I know what you mean Carolee! Good luck with everything!

      Reply
  • Carol March 27,

    I run my own housekeeping business, and this series is very helpful. I have some recommendations if you are interested on different products to use. I have been doing this for years, and after much trial and error there are some things that are must haves on my cleaning product list. For cleaning the microwave, I take the glass tray out, spray the inside with windex and run the microwave for 30 seconds. It heats up the stuck on spots and makes for an easy wipe down. Plain old windex is the safest thing to use in your microwave to do this with because it contains no metals. To polish stainless steel appliances I use liquid gold furniture polish on a microfiber cloth. Pledge also makes a good oil based pump spray polish. Rub along the grain, and it will shine up your appliances like new. If you have stuck on food, wash with a soapy sponge first to remove food particles. For wood floors, mix equal amounts of white vinegar, denatured alcohol (ace hardware), and water. spray directly on the floor and mop up with a microfiber mop. It dries quickly, kills bacteria, and leaves your floor looking showroom new. You can also use this on bathroom wall tile to remove water spots, and for shining up granite countertops. For limescale in the shower put a cup of vinegar in the microwave for about a minute. Pour it into a spray bottle that can handle the heat, and pour in a cup of plain blue dawn dish liquid. stir it around to mix it, and while it is still hot spray it on shower doors, and fixtures, anywhere really that there is hard to clean limescale or hard water spots. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and wipe with a magic eraser and finally rinse. Voila it’s sparkling clean with minimal scrubbing.
    These are just some of the tricks of the trade, I have many, many more, so if you’re curious, or have questions email me :)

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup March 29,

      Those are awesome tips Carol! Thanks so much!

      Reply
  • kate@katemarrin March 27,

    Just came across OXO containers and I am sold, hook, line and sinker! No more dollar store cheap-o, flimsy storages containers. What a difference these make! And I am also sold on spring cleaning my disaster of a kitchen, thank you for the inspiration!

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup March 29,

      You’re welcome Kate! I LOVE the OXO containers. They really are worth the money! Good luck with the cleaning! :-)

      Reply
  • Mommypage March 28,

    Spring cleaning is definitely necessary!! Your kitchen looks so clean and pretty. Those containers are very helpful for storage. We keep lots of those containers in our home as well. :)

    Reply
  • Heather August 13,

    I used this article as an inspiration for my blog post, thank you so much! I linked to you don’t worry ;-) I started a 7 days of purging/organizing my house! Today was the first day and I did the kitchen. You are amazing!

    Reply
  • Aly August 14,

    Out of curiosity, in the pantry wouldn’t you want the older items in front so they get used before going bad, rather than the newer items? I understand that it would be a little difficult to stock the shelves after grocery shopping, but as an accountant I’ve always preferred first in-first out over last in-first out.

    Reply
  • Taya December 27,

    Doesn’t Windex strip granite of its sealant (usage over time)? Or am I just way overpaying for specialized granite products?

    Reply
    • Kim March 24,

      I wouldn’t use Windex on my granite either, though I’m sure it would sparkle. I would rather use something expensive rather than ruin it.

      Reply
  • Dawn February 7,

    I love that your crockpot has a spot on the counter. I think I may have to find a place for mine. I have so little countertop space it is difficult to dedicate a spot even though I use it frequently!

    Reply

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