Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

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When the spring cleaning bug hits, it’s easy to be overwhelmed before the actual cleaning begins.  We all have our list – mental or written – of tasks we do as part of our spring cleaning.  Here are a few areas you may want to add to your cleaning schedule.

Be prepared with the right tools and the right cleaning supplies for each job.  Read product labels before settling on the appropriate product for the surface and the task.  Safe food preparation in a clean kitchen is our goal, and proper use of cleaning chemicals is a part of that.

When was the last time you cleaned . . .

The inside bottom of the dishwasher door?  Let’s be honest, if the dishwasher cleans the dishes, then doesn’t it also clean the inside of the dishwasher itself?  Not necessarily.  The gasket surrounding the dishwasher door can collect all sorts of food debris as the dishes are loaded.  Clean this area by spraying a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner directly on the gasket, then sponge clean it.  You’ll be amazed at what you pick up.

The interior walls and shelves of the refrigerator?  Of course you always remember to wipe up spills immediately . . . don’t you?  But when did you last take everything out of the refrigerator and clean it top to bottom? Use a solution of baking soda and water or a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner. Don’t forget to pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum under and behind it, as well as the clean the coils. These two things keep your refrigerator working great, looking its best, and help prevent the growth of bacteria.

The oven? Certainly not my favorite job, but it has to be done!  Cleaning spills as you go will make this tough job easier.  First, allow surfaces to cool before cleaning.  If your oven is self-cleaning, lucky you!  Set it to clean and move on to the next task. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, allow the oven to cool and wipe down the oven walls with a damp cloth to remove any ash. In non-self-cleaning models, use an oven cleaner.  Always read the product label directions before using. Don’t forget that some self-cleaning ovens and oven cleaners can create some unpleasant fumes, so be prepared to open a window for some fresh air.  Once the oven is clean, consider installing a liner in the bottom to make future clean-ups a breeze!

Happy spring everyone! Let’s get cleaning!

Author: Kate Shumaker , Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Reviewed by:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Sources:

Cleaning Matters.  May/June 2001. Soap and Detergent Association.

Cleaning Matters.  March/April 2002. Soap and Detergent Association.

Cleaning Matters.  January/February 2004. Soap and Detergent Association.

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3 Responses to Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

  1. Sarah Fuller says:

    Eurgh it’s that time of the year again! Cleaning the oven is my next big task so I’ve been looking for helpful hints, have you ever used a baking soda and vinegar or water solution? I’m trying not to use unnecessary chemicals where I can help it.

    ALSO did you know that if you spill something on or in the oven and you can’t clean it up because the oven is still hot, you can just sprinkle a little bit of salt on the spillage and then when it’s cooled it’s much easier to get off. Doing little bits can make the job seem much less daunting =)

    • shumaker68 says:

      Sarah – Thanks for your comment! Baking soda and water make a great mild abrasive cleaner. I didn’t know about the salt clean-up trick. Will certainly try that.

  2. linnettegoard says:

    Thanks Sarah! Yes baking soda and water can be a good cleaner for your oven. If you have a self-cleaning oven make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

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