Spring Cleaning the Kitchen Part 2

washing dishes

washing dishes

On with the Spring Cleaning show.

It’s now on to the oven. When was the last time you cleaned it? If you have a self cleaning oven do it at night when you won’t be cleaning or do anything else in the kitchen since it heats so high. For cleaning a non-self cleaning oven (don’t do this to self-cleaning ovens) instead of buying the can of oven cleaner at the store try leaving a cup ammonia in the cold oven overnight. In the morning wipe off the gunk. Don’t use ammonia if you have asthma or breathing problems. Instead make a thick paste of baking soda and water, spread this over baked on gunk and grease in your cold oven. Let it sit overnight. In the morning scrub off with a plastic scrubber and rinse with water. Take care of this separately then you can move on to the other cleaning chores.

 

It’s time to work on the kitchen cabinets. This time you are cleaning inside. Pull out everything and vacuum or wipe it out. Sometimes it’s nice to wipe down the shelves with a simple cleaner that includes lavender essential oil. One of the many of the natural all purpose cleaners or something you mix up will do. This is also an ideal time to declutter excess dishes, cookware etc. But we’ll get to that. In  part one you wiped the tops of the cabinets now you will wipe down the fronts, or doors of the cabinets to remove dust and drips from spills.

 

Now back to the decluttering. While you were cleaning out the cabinets, you will probably come across storage containers and lids that have become separated from their other halves. Start gathering these strays off to the side, until your cleanup is complete. If you have finished cleaning and there is still no match for some of your food storage pieces, throw them away. Really. Just let go now. It’s all for the better.

 

Once your cabinets are all nice and cleaned sort your dishes, glasses, and cookware by how much they are used. Replace the cabinet liners if necessary. Put the things that are used most often on easily accessible and/or lower shelves. Things that are used less often can be placed on the top shelves, toward the back of your lower cabinets, or even off kitchen stored somewhere else until they are needed.

 

Since you already cleaned your oven let’s clean the stove. Remove the burners on your range, if possible, and clean the stovetop and drip pans thoroughly. People have all sorts of hints to clean these. I have soaked them in dishwashing detergent, put them in a bag with ammonia for several hours (stinky and not recommended if you have asthma or breathing issues), and boiled them in a baking soda bath on the stove for about 30 minutes. The baking soda and ammonia worked very well but the ammonia was very very strong and the baking soda splashed a bit but I think I just needed a bigger pot. I use only stainless steel pots. If your stovetop lifts up, wipe underneath to get all of the bits of food that have fallen through. It can get disgusting under there.  Check the manufacturers directions before removing parts of the stove to be on the safe side.

 

Next get your garbage can and head to the pantry. Oh wait! Maybe it’s right there in the kitchen like mine. Sort through the boxes and cans, checking for expired food, opened jar and boxes that may not be fresh any longer, and items that you will not likely ever use. Throw away the outdated food and opened, expired items and box up the things you won’t use to send to the local food bank. Sealed stuff that is still good but you probably won’t use go ahead and donate so you can fill up with food you will use.  Wipe down the shelves and replace things neatly by kind so that finding everything is a breeze. Fill out your pantry list while you are doing this and start a grocery list while you’re at it, by making notes on things that you are out of or had to throw away.

 

p.s. Pick up a free Spring Cleaning Checklist

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