The Complete & Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning the Kitchen

clean fridge freezer

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A clean kitchen is an essential part of a home. Why is cleaning especially important in the kitchen? A clean kitchen keeps food safe to eat and also can make cooking an easier and more enjoyable experience.

There are tons of cleaning products out there, but what are the best cleaning products for the kitchen? Should you use all natural kitchen cleaning products? The debate rages on, so relevant recommendations for both natural and chemical based cleaning products will be presented.

​How to Clean the Kitchen Fast

​Life is busy, and lets face it - you don't normally have enough time to do a deep clean of your kitchen. If this is the situation you're facing, we've put together cleaning guides for two typical situations.

​Cleaning the Fridge in 20 Minutes

​The fridge can slowly get out of control, but cleaning it does not have to take hours and hours. Here is a quick checklist to get your fridge looking great in less time than your typical tv show:

  • Take EVERYTHING out of your fridge. This includes the shelves and drawers.
  • ​Soak the shelves and drawers in soapy water.
  • Spray 409 or a homemade mixture of 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar onto all surfaces in the fridge. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • While the spray sits in the fridge, go through all the food you pulled out. Throw away anything that has gone bad. Consolidate foods that are in storage containers. If necessary, make a short list of food you should eat soon before it spoils.
  • Check the food from the freezer for freezer burn. Get rid of this food, as its no longer safe to eat.
  • Go back and scrub the inside of the fridge with a microfiber cloth or paper towels.
  • Scrub and dry your shelves and drawers, and re-insert them into the fridge. Put the food back into the fridge, hopefully a little more organized than when it left!
  • Wipe down the outside of the fridge with 409, Windex, or a stainless steal cleaner.

You're done! Depending on how long its been since you cleaned the fridge, this quick process could take you anywhere from 15-30 minutes.

how to clean your kitchen fast under 30 minutes

Cleaning the Kitchen in 40 Minutes

​If you have a few extra minutes after cleaning the fridge, then its possible to do a quick clean of your entire kitchen. Start with the 20 minute fridge clean above, and then add on these steps:

  • Put everything away that is sitting out on counters, or gathered in corners.
  • Load the dishwasher, and wash any dishes that require hand-washing.
  • Wipe down all of the surfaces with a disinfectant, or a soapy washcloth.
  • Spray and wipe down appliances.
  • ​Clean the floor using a broom or stick vacuum.

When you read through this list, it can sound a little overwhelming to try and accomplish in such a short period of time. Keep in mind that this is a quick clean, and its meant to get the bulk of the cleaning accomplished.

For a detailed deep clean, we have a comprehensive guide. Follow along below to get your kitchen spick and span:

​The Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

​When you have more than a handful of minutes, then you'll be able to deep clean your kitchen. Its important to deep clean your kitchen every once in awhile, and we've put together a comprehensive checklist for you to follow: 

1. Clean the Kitchen Hood

The dirtiest, scariest place possible has to be the kitchen hood. You might be asking yourself, “What is that and why is it important to clean it?”

The kitchen hood is also known as the kitchen range hood and kitchen exhaust. It’s the big fan structure that goes over the stove that sucks up smoke and some grease droplets while cooking, which keeps the air in the kitchen fresh.

The gross underside of the kitchen exhaust usually goes unseen, but it’s important to clean it, and to clean it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more dust gets mixed in, the stiffer the grease becomes, and the harder it is to clean.

high traffic areas stick vacuum

Let’s start with something a bit less intimidating than the greasy bottom. Instead, start to wipe down the visible parts of the hood with soapy water as part of your standard cleaning. That will keep that area from getting out of hand.

As for the bottom side, start with the filter. It should pop right out. Clean the filter, or at least check on it, once a month.

When it’s time to clean the filter, take it off of the hood and put it in a bowl of hot, soapy water. Then, with a powerful stream, spray the debris free. Really shake the filter to get everything off.

Air dry the filter and replace it. Do not put it in the dishwasher. Now, for the remaining nastiness of the underside.

This is likely the grossest place on the hood, but it’s simple enough to clean. Hit it with some degreaser, wait a few minutes, and wipe away. You can easily make your own all natural degreaser, or you can check out this top rated degreaser.

2. Clean the Fridge and Freezer

Depending on the state of your refrigerator, this could be a breeze or a nightmare.

Throw out expired products. Organize things in a way that make sense but also promote the longevity of your food. To do this effectively, and to clean the shelves and drawers, you’re going to have to remove items from the refrigerator and the freezer.

clean fridge freezer

Re-make your mixture of soapy water and scrub down all surfaces, including the walls. Remove the racks (if your fridge and freezer allow) and soak them for a little while, before washing and putting them back.

Before putting everything back in the freezer, all nice and organized, take a minute and remove the ice buildup.

Don’t forget to clean where the door seals! If grime is preventing a good seal on the door, the appliance doesn’t work as well and wastes energy and money.

3. Clean the Stove and Oven

Hopefully, this is something you do fairly often. While the stove is completely different from the kitchen range, the way they are cleaned are fairly similar. The key difference is that people tend to be much more hesitant to use harsh chemicals where the food gets cooked (with good reason).

clean stove

Wiping the stove down daily is a good habit to get into. While it won’t prevent the occasional need for a deep clean, it will keep things from getting too out of hand.

As for the burners, what to do depends on whether you have a gas or electric stove. For gas burners, a simple method is to soak them in a plastic bag of ammonia over night. Another option, which works for both electric and gas burners, is to use an gentle all purpose cleaner.

That same all purpose cleaner can also be used in the oven. There are also commercial oven cleaners, which don’t contain hazardous materials. Another easy option for the oven is baking soda and vinegar.

4. Clean the Sink and Garbage Disposal

This shouldn’t be too tough, especially after what you’ve already gone through. The sink is another place that really benefits from a daily wipe down. When grease and grime have built up, hit them with some degreaser or all-purpose cleaner.

The tricky part is the garbage disposal—you might think. But once again, baking soda and vinegar come to the rescue. Before cleaning the garbage disposal, let it run for a few minutes to clear out any lingering food. Keep the water running while you run the disposal.


Then, pour in some vinegar and baking soda. Another option is to run the garbage disposal with some ice cubes and rock salt inside, maybe with a touch of vinegar. If the disposal is mostly clean, you can toss in a citrus peel to make it smell nice.

5. Clean the Floors

This one shouldn’t have many surprises. Vacuum or sweep up the dry, loose debris, mop up the remaining dirt and grime. But do you even know how to mop?

Let’s double check that. Fill a bucket with hot water, add some cleaning solution, such as dish soap and vinegar. Dip the mop in, but do not wring it out, let it drip a little bit and then plop it down on the ground.

Just clean one spot at a time—after one area is wet and the cleaners are doing their thing, wring out the mop. Use the now relatively dry mop to soak up the water, wring out, and repeat until the area is mostly dry and move on to the next section of floor.

Related: Save Time with our Hacks for a Clean and Tidy Home

There’s more than just the traditional rope-like mop, though. There are sponge mops, modern, flat mops with disposable pads, and good ol’ fashioned rags and sponges.

You can also pick up a really nice steam mop for floors and grout that you can use. These are powered and work wonders to get up stubbon stains and marks.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully deep cleaned the kitchen. Don’t forget to wash all the dishes and dust the top of the fridge and any other hard to reach places to ensure you’ve truly hit deep clean status.

About the Author Allen Michael

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.

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