The kitchen is the heart of any house, but it is also the area that gets grubby the fastest, and when neglected, it can spiral out of control in no time. However, when you spend hours cooking a fresh, warm dinner for your family, cleaning up after can seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming task.
If this scenario is something that sounds familiar to you, here is a compilation of the top tips to make your cooking routine more comfortable.
Begin with a deep clean
Deep cleaning your kitchen is no easy task, but it is always easier to start with a clean slate rather than trying to clean a kitchen that has underlying cleanliness issues.
- Start by clearing any items that do not have any business being in the kitchen.
- After that, move on to your pantry and cupboards and take out everything present.
- Check the labels of any edible products and discard items that are expired or inedible.
- Clean out the insides of the cupboard and restock the items back with similar items together and the oldest items towards the front.
- Follow the same procedure with the refrigerator; you are sure to have old groceries, empty ketchup bottles and more lying around and taking up space in the fridge.
Wipe down the outsides of the refrigerator and other home appliances including the microwave and the oven. Cleaning down the insides of the oven and microwave might be a trickier job as old dried food do not remove easily. A quick remedy for this is to use the services of a professional cleaning company that specializes in Oven Cleaning. These companies can clean out every bit of food lodged inside over the years and deliver a hygienic and clean oven.
Keep it minimal
Most people line up the bench-top with all the appliances and utensils. While you might argue that this makes it easier to do your cooking, clearing the benches will give you more room and space for your prep work and most importantly, makes it easier to wipe the bench-top after cooking as you will not have to move multiple items around.
Keeping your things in the cupboard also makes your kitchen look neater and less cluttered. Make an exception for appliances that are used daily such as a blender or stand mixer. Consider getting a hanging rack for your cooking utensils – spoons, spatula and the like. Now when you are done cooking, all you need is a wet cloth to wipe down the bar counter and you are done!
Make use of a utensil soak
A common technique in restaurants, a utensil soak is ideal for utensils that get used multiple times over during your food preparation. It involves filling up a sink or big bowl with hot water and a bit of dishwasher liquid. When you are done using the spoon or whichever item, just drop it into the bowl. If you need to use it later on, just pick it out and wash it. Towards the end of your cooking, make use of any downtime to refill the bowl with clean water and quickly rinse the utensils for the last time.
A utensil soak is excellent for situations such as a party where you might need to reuse the salad forks for dessert. However, make sure to keep utensils used for meat in a separate bowl and avoid dropping knives into the bowl as you can end up cutting your hands when trying to pull out something.
Clean up spills as soon as they occur
This is something we all inherently know, but choose to ignore, especially when we are preoccupied with something else. The truth is, if you clean a spill, we soon as it happens, you make your life easier. The spilled liquid is much harder to remove after it has hardened itself onto the surface. You might have to soak it, scrap it off or buy a cleaning formula; all for something that could have wiped off in a few seconds with a wet cloth.
On the same vein, it is better to clean as you go. Keep away spoons, jars and other items away as soon as you are done instead of littering the counter.
Keep a trash bowl at hand
Rather than throwing trash around the counter, keep a trash bowl close to where you are cooking. By using a trash bowl, you will not have to deal with food juice dripping everywhere, and you could even peel fruits and vegetables directly into the bowl to save time. You will have to make only one trip to the garbage bin and makes you less likely to forget any trash.
You could also cut short your cleaning time by placing paper on the benchtop. This way, you will not even have to bother with wiping the countertop; all you need to do is wrap up the paper and throw it away!
Set down days and times for chores
Forgetfulness is a common reason for not completing household tasks. Whether it is cleaning the stove or washing the dishes, we are all guilty of it. When you set down days for specific chores and get into a routine, it is harder to forget them. For instance, you can set the task of unloading the dishwasher to after breakfast, and once you get into a routine, you will be less likely to forget about it.
Few other handy little tips
- Make use of the space above the refrigerator which is a dust magnet. By keeping a few items there, you can cut down the dust that gets accumulated.
- Splatter screens are great at preventing oil splashes on the surrounding walls and utensils. Use it while frying and drop it into the dishwasher at the end of the day. You can also find splatter screens for microwaves to keep the insides food free.
- Use coasters for things like honey jars and other liquids that can drip down and cause a mess.
Prerna Jain from Ministry Of Cleaning has contributed these tips for the article. She runs a cleaning services business that offers Carpet Cleaning, End Of Lease Cleaning, Tile and Grout Cleaning services, Window Cleaning services to the residential and commercial clients across various cities across Australia.