Spring Cleaning: The Kitchen Edition
Maybe you’ve finished organizing your closets, decluttering your living room, and deep cleaning your pillows, but have you given your kitchen a spring refresher yet? Cleaning the kitchen is probably the most intimidating and time consuming room to tackle when it comes to spring cleaning, but once you’ve done it, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Our step-by-step kitchen cleaning guide will help you conquer and clean every part of the room – from disorganized pantries and caked-on grease, to grimy sinks and messy drawers – we’ve got you covered.
You’ll need a few cleaning materials and at least 90 minutes to get the job done. The kitchen has so many messy areas that might seem overwhelming, but nothing beats a pristine kitchen. So gather your supplies, put on your favorite upbeat music, and power through this one. You’ll be so glad you did!
- Vital Oxide
- Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent
- HEPA Vacuum
- Microfiber cloths
- Microfiber mop
- 2 buckets
- Old toothbrush or another small brush for scrubbing
- Step stool
Note: Vital Oxide comes full-strength, ready-to-use (RTU) right out of the bottle, but can be diluted for certain uses. For deep cleaning and sanitization, you can dilute 1 part Vital Oxide to 9 parts water. For actions like disinfecting, odor eliminating, and mold removal, Vital Oxide must always be used full-strength.
Clean the Ceiling & Walls
A good rule of thumb when you’re spring cleaning (or deep cleaning in general) is to always start at the top and work your way down. Grab your step stool and HEPA vacuum. Start by vacuuming the ceiling and work your way down the walls and to the floor. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum all surfaces (ceilings, walls, trim, fans, cabinets, tops of large appliances, and anything else in the room), and make at least two passes over each surface.
Note: It’s recommended that you wear a protective mask during this step, things are going to get a little dusty!
Next, you’ll need to prepare two buckets: In the first bucket, dilute 1 part Vital Oxide to 9 parts water. The second bucket will be your rinse bucket, simply fill it with clean warm water. As you’re cleaning, you’ll want to swap the water in the rinse bucket as soon as you notice it getting dirty. When you’re ready, grab your mop and dip it into the Vital Oxide bucket. Squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible, and then thoroughly wipe all hard surfaces, starting with the ceiling then working your way down to the walls, then the floors. Keep in mind that the surface should look slightly damp after wiping, but not soaking wet. Make at least two passes over each surface. As you need more Vital Oxide solution, first rinse your mop in the clean water bucket, wring it out, then dip it again in the Vital Oxide solution. Don’t forget to empty out your rinse bucket and fill it with clean water when you notice it getting dirty.
After you’ve washed the ceilings, walls, and floors, use the same two bucket method but with microfiber cloths. Wipe down ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, trim, tops of cabinets and cabinet doors, shelves, and furniture. While it may be tempting, resist the urge to skip over any surfaces during this step. Your hard work will be worth it in the end, we promise!
Wash Window Treatments
Take down drapes, curtains, and blinds and wash with an Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent or have cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions. Thoroughly vacuum and clean window sills and corners with the 9:1 Vital Oxide solution. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Remove the screens, rinse, and replace.
Clean Out the Fridge
Refrigerators tend to build up lots of stains, sticky residue, and grime. Put a little elbow grease into making your fridge feel like new again with these easy steps:
- Empty all food and condiments from the fridge and toss any expired food.
- Remove the fruit and veggie drawers and wash them in the sink with mild soapy water to remove residue and grime. Spray with Vital Oxide (full-strength) and let air dry before replacing.
- Wipe down the fridge shelves, walls, rubber door gaskets, and outside (including the top, doors, and handles) with 9:1 diluted Vital Oxide solution. Use a small scrub brush and water on any stubborn sticky spots before wiping clean.
- While you’re returning items back to the fridge, run them under the sink or wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any sticky residue.
You probably launder your dish towels and cloth napkins on a regular basis, but other kitchen textiles rarely see the washing machine. Start by thoroughly vacuuming your kitchen rugs and follow the care tag for how to best clean. Most kitchen rugs are machine-washable, simply toss them into the washer with an eco-friendly detergent. Now’s a great time to also wash other kitchen linens like aprons and oven mitts.
If you use sponges to clean, run them through the dishwasher and then spray them with Vital Oxide to sanitize.
Inspect Pantry & Food Storage Cupboards
Struggling to find the brown sugar or realizing there’s not enough flour left for the recipe you’ve already started can be very frustrating! It’s time to take everything out of your pantry and cupboards, purge, clean, and reorganize.
Here’s how to tackle this tedious task with ease:
- Pull all dried goods, spices, cans, and bottles out of the pantry and cabinets where they’re stored.
- Vacuum the shelves to remove any crumbs, dead insects, and cobwebs.
- Wipe down shelves and cupboard doors with a damp cloth. If shelves are extra grimy, spray down with Vital Oxide and let sit for a few minutes before wiping clean.
- Take inventory of what you have, checking for expiration dates (and chucking the items that have expired). Donate any non-perishables that you know you won’t use.
- Transfer items into containers that are similar sizes and shapes (upcycled glass jars work well) so you can maximize your shelf space.
- Label the outside of the container with what is inside.
- As you put things back in your pantry and cabinets, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove dust.
- Place items you use most frequently on lower, easy-to-access shelves, and items you use less often higher up.
- Consider investing in a turntable for items like spices, vinegars, and oils to keep them a spin away.
Clean Dish & Cookware Cupboards
Empty cupboards of dishes, pots and pans, and appliances. Don't forget your silverware and gadget drawers. Vacuum and then wipe the inside with 9:1 diluted Vital Oxide. Don’t forget to clean silverware holders or other organizational tools that tend to get really dirty over time.
Wash Dishes, Utensils, Pots & Pans
We all have our favorite dishes, utensils, and cookware that get the most attention, leaving stacks and piles of unused dishes, silverware, and pots and pans to collect dust and debris. Spring is the perfect time to run all of your dishes and silverware through the dishwasher to remove any grime before neatly returning to the clean cupboards.
Deep Clean the Microwave
If you’ve put off cleaning your microwave for a while, you’re not alone! But take heart, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
- Fill a glass bowl with about a cup of water and microwave it for three to four minutes until it’s boiling. The steam will help soften caked-on food inside so you can wipe it away with less scrubbing.
- Remove the turntable and wash it in the sink with mild soap.
- Wipe down the inside, outside and handles with the 9:1 diluted Vital Oxide solution.
Tackle Cluttered Countertops
Remember that less is more for countertops. If there are appliances you don’t use daily (or at least weekly), store them away. If you’re a coffee drinker and keep a brewer or grinder on the countertop, make sure to vacuum and wipe down the counter and underneath – ground coffee is like the glitter of the kitchen – it always finds a way to get everywhere. For other small appliances you keep out, like toasters and microwaves, lift them up and clean under them.
Give the Sink a Good Scrub
Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to give your kitchen sink some much needed TLC and to make it a daily habit. Start by emptying the sink completely of food scraps and particles, then scrub the entire sink basin, including the walls, with soap and hot water, to remove any food residue. Scrub the drain with an old toothbrush and hot, soapy water. Rinse. Spray Vital Oxide full-strength, covering the sink walls and base. Do not rinse, simply let it air dry to disinfect and deodorize.
Clean the Oven
You’re almost done! Ovens are probably the most neglected kitchen appliance when it comes to cleaning, but oftentimes, it’s the thought of cleaning that’s worse than the chore itself. Here’s how to tackle it:
- Remove oven knobs and soak them in a bowl of warm, soapy water. Let them soak while you move onto the next steps.
- If you have a gas stove, remove the stovetop grates, and spray Vital Oxide, full-strength, on the rangehood, stovetop, and backspace. Use a scrub brush to scrub away all baked-on food, grease, and mystery splatters. If you need an extra bit of scrubbing power, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it stubborn baked on crud. Let sit for about 20 minutes before wiping up.
- Wipe down the cooktop surface, oven handle, and the outside of the door with the 9:1 Vital Oxide solution, making at least two passes.
- After your oven knobs have been soaking for a few minutes, give them a good scrub with a small scrub brush, rinse, and then spray with Vital Oxide to disinfect and allow to air dry before replacing them.
- Check your oven to make sure it’s empty then set it to self-clean mode.
That’s it! You’ve officially spring cleaned your kitchen! How does it feel?Have questions about deep cleaning, disinfecting, or reducing allergens? We have answers! The Ecology Works has been helping people with allergies and asthma since 1993. We can help you select the products you need to live a better, allergen-free life. Please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We’re here to help.