Your kitchen is often the heart of your home, a central hub where you make your favourite food and gather together with friends and family.
But when your kitchen gets a lot of use, day in and day out, it can quickly become dirty if you don’t clean it regularly. And sometimes when we’re all so busy we can forget some of the basics to keeping it germ free and let’s face it, cleaning is not usually at the top of the ‘to do’ list!
Here are ten quick and thrifty cleaning tips and tricks to keep your kitchen and the things inside it squeaky clean, and most of them avoid using environmentally unfriendly products – a double win.
Steam clean your microwave
Splat! You were cooking something in your microwave and now the interior is covered in food.
But if the grime is too stubborn to wipe off with a cloth, not to worry, as there is an easy and cheap way of getting the inside of your microwave clean again. Simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with about half a cup of water and add one or two tablespoons of baking soda. Put it in the microwave on high heat for five minutes and it will help remove stains and bad smells.
Don’t forget cabinet doors
You’re probably in the habit of regularly giving kitchen surfaces a regular wipe down.
But it’s easy to overlook cabinet doors, which can also get grimy. Simply give the doors - and handles - the occasional wipe down with a soft cloth, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Bin your toaster crumbs
It can be easy to over-complicate simple tasks, such as cleaning a toaster. There are all sorts of videos available online, showing methods like using a hairdryer to blow crumbs out of a toaster! But let’s not get too silly, take if from a professional cleaner – simply unplug it, take out the crumb tray and turn your toaster upside down over a bin, and let gravity do the job for you.
If your toaster’s anything like mine, it starts to blow the fuse box when the crumb tray is too full – so this is a top tip.
Citrus-clean chopping boards
Given wooden chopping boards can’t go in the dishwasher, sometimes you might want to give them a deeper clean than usual.
Try using lemon and salt. You just sprinkle salt on your cutting board, to serve as an abrasive, and then rub the board with half a lemon. Leave it a few minutes and then come back and rinse off the lemony-salty dregs with a clean sponge.
Clean your oven while you sleep
Now we all love to multi-task and this is multi-tasking at it's best!
Your oven can be cleaned with home-made, natural remedies too. This time, make a mixture using equal measures of water, white vinegar, and baking soda and use it to coat the inside of your (cold) oven. Then simply, leave it overnight to work its magic. The next morning, just use soapy water to give it a wipe down.
Use Bar Keepers Friend to clean pots and pans
Many parts of your kitchen can be cleaned effortlessly without even forking out for an array of cleaning products. But one particularly useful cleaning product to have handy is Bar Keepers Friend.
This powder, which you mix into a super-cleaning paste by adding a little water, comes into its own when used on pans with baked on food that you can’t otherwise budge. It’s also great for cleaning stainless steel sinks.
Just be sure that you check the label to make sure you only use it on the right kitchen items so you don’t cause any damage.
Change kitchen cloths and sponges regularly
Are you cleaning the dishes with a cloth that could itself benefit from some TLC?
It’s wise to change kitchen cloths at least twice a week. Better still, keep separate cloths for washing dishes and wiping up spills on surfaces to avoid cross contamination.
Also, kitchen sponges can be disinfected by microwaving them on high power for a minute or so. Be sure to leave them to cool off a little afterwards before touching them. Lose the germs and help the environment!
Remove teacup stains
Is your favourite mug or cup ruined by tea stains? It may seem like the stubborn brown marks are stuck there permanently. But by simply using a mixture of water and bicarbonate of soda, you should be able to wipe these stains off easily with a sponge or cloth. White vinegar can also be used to the same effect.
Clean your kitchen bin
This another easily forgotten kitchen cleaning job. So why not make a quick clean of your kitchen bin a job that you do every time you take the bins out to be collected?
You can use an anti-bacterial cleaner, disinfectant or bicarbonate of soda.
There we go, job done! You’re ready to enjoy your clean, fresh kitchen.