Contributed by: Joanne and Adam Gallagher www.inspiredtaste.net
We seem to be in the kitchen more than any other room in our home, so making sure it is kept clean is a big deal.
We love to cook and try out new recipes and absolutely hate taking time away from that to clean dishes, the sink, the countertops or anything else that needs to sparkle.
So, we’ve instituted a few things to keep the cleaning to a minimum and to make sure we have as much time as possible doing what we really want to do.
1. Clean counters. Wipe the counters down before and after you do anything in the kitchen. We’re talking a quick swipe, here—no need for scrubbing. Then, when you’re done, wipe it down again.
2. Sparkling sink. Did you just find a dirty glass in the living room? Don’t just place it into the sink! Put it in the dishwasher or quickly wash and put it away. It’s much easier to clean one plate, cup or glass than it is to clean six or seven that have been piling up over time.
Make sure your sink is not harboring any germs or yucky odors. We like to throw a few tablespoons of baking soda into the sink and down the drain to freshen things up a bit. You could also use your favorite cleaner, but we usually stick to the more natural solutions.
3. Fast fridge fix. Every week, wipe down the walls and shelves of your refrigerator.You don’t need to empty the whole thing out...that takes too long for our liking. Just grab a sponge with cleaner and give everything a quick wipe. This also gives you a chance to double check anything that looks suspect. Try as we might, we always seem to find a forgotten yogurt, apple or bag of lettuce that needs to be eaten immediately or thrown away.
Speaking of the fridge, try this. Empty out the fruit and veggie drawers, and then place a sheet of waxed paper down before refilling. This will create a barrier between the produce and the bottom of the drawer, helping you stay on top of a clean fridge. Every two weeks or so, replace the paper.
4. Care for wood cutting boards. There isn’t a day that goes by when we do not cut something on our boards. So, we take care of them. First, we use a halved lemon with salt to rub away odors or particles that have gotten stuck. Then, we clean the boards with soap and water; dry well. Take a paper towel moistened with a little vegetable oil and glide it over the boards. This helps prevent them from splitting down the road.
5. Natural microwave cleaner. The other commonly used item in our kitchen is the microwave. Since we use it so much, we like to freshen it up every week. Fill a small bowl with water and a few lemon slices (slice the lemon used to clean your cutting boards). Put the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. The microwave gets all steamy, allowing us to easily wipe the inside down with a paper towel.
Keeping your kitchen clean doesn’t have to be a cumbersome job. All you need to do is clean as you go, don’t let anything pile up and stay ahead of it. Do that, and you’re kitchen will sparkle!