Cooktop Cove: 20 tips to clean a dirty kitchen that actually work
Cleaning the kitchen should not take forever, but with so many things to clean, it may feel like the list is endless. Hiring a cleaning service is the only way to avoid the work it takes to make a kitchen sparkle. For those who must clean their own cooking areas, however, there are ways to make the job a bit faster.
When using cleaning products, wear disposable gloves and air out the kitchen as much as possible. If bleach is involved, do not breathe it in, and be careful when pouring so it does not splash.
1. Clean while the oven is warm
Food hardens as it cools, so the best time to scrub off burned food in the oven is when the oven is lukewarm. To prevent burns, wait until it has cooled down enough, remove the racks and clean the inside.
2. Use baking soda paste for oven racks
Add water to baking soda to make a paste. Apply the paste to a clean washcloth or kitchen scrubber and clean the oven racks.
3. Clean inside the oven door
No need to stare in vexation at the oven's glass door. To access the door, open the oven and locate the screws. Unscrew them and take apart the door. Clean the glass as normal, and put everything back together.
4. Loosen dried food in the microwave
Microwave a bowl of water and a cut-up lemon on high until the water boils. Keep the microwave door closed. The steam should loosen the food particles. This also works with an equal mixture of water and white vinegar.
5. Remove dried food from countertops
Dried ketchup is no match for heat. Wet a thick cloth or washcloth with hot water and place it on dried food. Let it set for a few minutes. The heat will soften the food so it can be wiped away or scraped off.
6. Degrease the range hood filter
Soak the filter in diluted water-based degreaser, which auto parts stores carry. Fill the sink with hot water and degreaser and let the filter soak in it. When it is clean, rinse off the filter with fresh water.
7. Deodorize the garbage disposal
Running citrus peels through the garbage disposal helps eliminate any odors. Try lemon, lime or orange peels.
8. Deodorize the refrigerator
An open container of baking soda helps neutralize the leftover smell of food forgotten for too long. Place one or more open boxes or bowls of baking soda in various places in the fridge.
9. Clean behind the faucet
Use a toothbrush to get in the often narrow space behind a sink's faucet. If a damp brush doesn't work, apply a baking soda and water paste to the bristles.
10. Wipe off fingerprints on cabinets and the fridge
Use diluted vinegar to wipe of fingerprints on cabinets and stainless-steel appliances. Always wipe with the grain (that includes steel grain).
11. Remove scuff marks
Use a large eraser or a tennis ball to scrub away scuff marks on linoleum, tile or wood floors.
12. Prevent oven spills
That apple pie smells great – until it bubbles over and hits the oven burners. Before cooking something that might overflow, such as cheesy pizza, place a sheet of aluminum foil on the oven rack. To clean up, just toss the foil.
13. Dust crevices
Sometimes it is hard to reach crevices such as around stove knobs, which can get greasy. Slip an old sock on one hand and use it as a duster. If you want to apply a cleaning agent, wear a disposable glove inside the sock.
14. Remove burnt food in pots
Baking soda and vinegar to the rescue again. Empty the pot. Add baking soda and white vinegar to the inside of the pot. The chemical reaction will loosen burnt food.
15. Remove dry starches in pans
Accidentally left the rice or pasta pot out? Fill the pan with hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes. Continue refreshing the hot water. The water will soften the starch and make it easy to wipe out the pot or pan.
17. Clean the blender
Add hot water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to clean a dirty blender. Run the blender for a minute. Dump the soapy water and rinse out the blender.
18. Clean up spilled raw egg
Pour iodized salt on the egg. The salt absorbs the egg, which makes the egg easier to wipe up.
19. Vacuum under cabinets
Despite how hard you may have tried, sweeping and mopping won't thoroughly remove all the crumbs under the cabinets where they meet the floor. Use an angled attachment and vacuum underneath the cabinets.
20. Disinfect the sink
Hot water and a little bleach make an effective disinfectant for sinks. Fill the sink most of the way with hot water and add one to two cups of bleach. Let the water sit in the sink until it cools. Drain and rinse the sink. Wear gloves when handling bleach.
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