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The Definitive Guide to Deep-Cleaning Your Kitchen




This isn’t your standard Saturday morning wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am cleaning session. Oh no! The difference between that half-baked cleaning and a “deep cleaning” is basically the difference between your local high school baseball team and the Braves.  

The good news: if you do this deep clean 2-3 times a year, all of your weekly cleaning sessions will become drastically easier. Ok, here we go!

Before You Start

  • Clear an afternoon, because this is going to take a while. Remember, this isn’t your standard Saturday morning sesh.
  • Gather your tools and supplies. Here’s what you’ll need to successfully deep clean your kitchen:
  • Create a game plan. While you don’t have to stick to the order below, it helps to do tasks by “zone.” For example, do everything related to your refrigerator and freezer before moving on to your stove and oven.

Zone 1: Stove and Oven

Clean Your Oven 

Two options here! It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure (with your oven). Option One: Mix ½ cup of baking soda with a few drops of water. Option Two: Reach for a cold-oven storebought cleaner like Easy Off. We like Easy Off because it's fume and lye-free and powerful.

Once you've chosen your method, coat your oven walls with the paste or spray. Let the walls stay coated overnight. Tip: If you went the baking soda route and the mixture is too drippy, add more baking soda to thicken. Then next day, wipe away the paste (and the grime) with a damp cloth. If there is any remaining grime, spray or baking soda, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the oven. When the white vinegar hits the baking soda, it will foam. Do one last wipe down and admire your clean oven. Note: If you opt for a storebought cleaner, make sure to read the can directions carefully before proceeding. 

Clean the Stove

First, remove your drip pans and choose your favorite method to clean them. (We’re partial to the Plastic Bag Sauna.) Then while they’re off, spray down the stove top with your white vinegar-filled spray bottle . Let the white vinegar sit for a few minutes and then wipe it away. The white vinegar will take care of any greasy residue. Tip: If your stove hasn't been cleaned since Zack was at Bayside, white vinegar may not do the trick. In that case, we recommend Bar Keeper's Friend Cooktop Cleaner.

Degrease Your Vent Hood 

Greasy vent hoods are pretty disgusting. To degrease, first remove the filter. Then, fill a sink with boiling hot water and a few squirts of dish soap. Submerge the greasy filters in the water for ten minutes, and then scrub them with a sponge. Rinse and dry the filters, and return them to the vent hood.

Zone 2: Sink

Clean Your Sink 

Is your sink copper? Is it porcelain ? Maybe it’s stainless steel? Depending on your sink’s material, the cleaning process is going change quite a bit. Choose the step-by-step for you and get to it!

Erase Fingerprints from the Faucet 

Mix together a concoction of half white vinegar and half water. Then, using a toothbrush , scrub away the ugly fingerprints and soap scum spots. To keep the fingerprints away, rub the faucet with a piece of wax paper .

Zone 3: Refrigerator and Freezer

Inside the Fridge 

Toss any expired food and leftover takeout. Then, remove the drawers and shelves and wipe them down with an all-purpose cleaner like Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. (The Lemon Verbana Scent is amazing.) Use the same spray to wipe the inside walls of your fridge, too. Using a damp rag, wipe away the spray. Tip: If your fridge still smells funky, try one of these tricks .

On Top of the Fridge 

Remove the cereal boxes and everything else that’s hanging out on top of your fridge, and then grab a clean cloth and wipe the dust away. Once the dust is gone, spritz a second cloth with disinfectant spray or Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day and wipe down the now dust-free fridge.

Inside the Freezer 

Empty the freezer completely (put the food into a cooler) and then wipe it down with either a mixture of 50/50 baking soda and water or an all-purpose cleaner like Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. If you need to defrost the freezer , go ahead and do that now, too. Wipe away the cleaner of your choice with a damp cloth and then organize your food back into the freezer. Tip: If you went the baking soda route and it's sticky, follow up with a spray of white vinegar. The white vinegar will loosen the baking soda, so you can wipe it away.

Zone 4: The Floor

Clean the Floor 

Unless you have a dog, anything dropped on the kitchen floor is probably going to stay there. Take the time to sweep anything loose up from the floor with a broom and then use a mop to disinfect the floor with a mixture of ½ cup white vinegar and a gallon of warm water.

Clean the Trash Can 

If your trash can is smelling funky, bring it outside and hose it down. Then spritz down the inside of the can with white vinegar and let it dry completely before putting in a fresh bag. If possible, let it dry naturally outdoors, because sunlight will kill any remaining mold. Tip: To keep the trash can fresh, try this trick .

Zone 5: Appliances

In this zone, if you’re feeling up to it, you can also clean your blender and toaster . If you clean nothing else, make sure you focus on the dishwasher and the microwave.

Disinfect Your Dishwasher 

Pour one cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher when it’s empty and run a complete cycle on the hottest temperature setting.

Clean the Microwave 

Put 1-2 cups of water and a handful of lemon slices in a microwave-safe bowl . Place the bowl into the microwave and heat it for 3-5 minutes. Wait two minutes - don’t open the microwave – and then wipe the inside with a soft cloth . The heated lemon will have loosened any debris.

Zone 6: Countertops and Backsplash

Wipe Down Your Countertops (and Backsplash) 

Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of half white vinegar and half water or an all-purpose cleaner like Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, and spray down your countertop and backsplash. Using a soft cloth, wipe away the vinegar until it’s dry. If you have hard-to-fight gunk, use an old toothbrush to scrub it up. Then, repeat the vinegar spray process.

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