Whip out those sponges!
It's that time of year again: spring cleaning. And while it's often a dreaded project, we're with you every step of the way with our ultimate spring cleaning guide.
Whether you have 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour, Molly Maid president Meg Roberts is breaking down every room so you can make the most of your time by cleaning the kitchen efficiently and then get back to more enjoyable things (basically anything else).
First up: the kitchen.
If you have 15 minutes, choose one of the following to clean the kitchen fast:
- Burners: Place stove burners in a sink of hot, soapy water. Soak while cleaning counter tops. After 10 minutes, scrub with scrubby sponge. Rinse and dry.
- Countertops and appliances: Spray all countertops and appliances, both large and small, with half vinegar/half water solution, then wipe with a microfiber cloth. While you're at it, clean crumbs from toaster.
- Trash can: Remove the bag and sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the can. Add about two inches of warm water. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then swish it around. Wipe down the sides. Empty container into the toilet. Rinse with clean water inside the bathtub or outside with a garden hose. Use an old towel to dry or let it air dry upside down.
If you have 30 minutes, choose one from above and one of the following:
- Dishwasher: Dishwashers are heavily used and often neglected. To clean, remove any baskets and racks. Wipe debris from the bottom of the machine. Spray the interior of the dishwasher with a half water and half vinegar solution. Wipe down door, sides and bottom using a clean cloth or sponge. Replace racks and baskets. For a thorough rinse, run the empty machine on its highest temperature setting without detergent.
- Garbage disposal: Clean the garbage disposal by running about 12 ice cubes through it. Remember to turn on the cold water while doing this. Next, run a cut up lemon through the disposal. To clean the underside of the rubber lip, wash with the scrubbing side of a vinegar-soaked scrubby sponge. Lots of germs down there, so be sure to wear gloves. Rinse.
- Microwave: Place four ounces of water and four ounces of white vinegar or lemon juice into a quart-sized microwave-safe bow. Microwave on high for several minutes to a rolling boil. Allow oven to cool, wipe away grime with a sponge. Wipe keypad with a disinfectant wipe or a cloth and warm, soapy water.
If you have 60 minutes or more, choose two from above and one of the following:
- Cabinets and drawers: Clear out cabinets and drawers one at a time. Use a handheld vacuum to remove debris and then disinfect with either a good cleaner or a combination of half vinegar with half water and a microfiber cloth.
- Food pantry: Remove all food from pantry, throwing out expired items as you go. Spray all surfaces, including doors and shelves, with diluted vinegar, then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Restock items on shelves, organizing like items together with the oldest goods in the front and newest in the back. Place dry foods like pasta and breakfast cereal in clear, airtight containers. This will keep foods fresher longer and give you easy access to your inventory. Your pantry will have a streamlined look when all your containers are uniform.
- Refrigerator: Clear shelves and drawers, discarding out-of-date and spoiled food. Wipe shelves with half vinegar and half water mixture or use solution of 1/2 baking soda to a quart of water. Replace items, grouping similar products together. Wash drawer in lukewarm, soapy water. Rinse, dray and return to refrigerator. Place produce in proper bins, keeping fruits and veggies separate. Remove items from doors, discarding those that are out of date or spoiled. Using a sponge or cloth, wipe shelves with vinegar/water solution. Dry. Replace items, grouping like items together. Wipe gasket grooves, using an old toothbrush to remove stubborn particles. Wipe outside of door with damp microfiber cloth. Vacuum refrigerator coils.
- Floors: Mop the floors or vacuum rugs. Check out these tips though before you get started.
- Appliances: Pull any appliances you can away from the wall, then sweep behind. Push back and sweep remaining floor area.
Check out our kitchen cleaning checklist.