The busiest room in the house, the kitchen, can also be the most germ-rich, with bacteria on chopping boards and sponges, and knowing what’s on the floor under the refrigerator.
Here are simple, general cleaning tips from experts, cleaning book authors, and consumer reports (read the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website first):
Grease: Use dish soap or safety glasses and add eight parts water to one part ammonia to wipe off the grease. See branded grease remover
Powdery mildew: Clean with bactericidal bleach (never mix with ammonia or any other detergent). See Brand Name Mold Remover
Structure of baking utensils: Use a scraper with a plastic edge. Wipe with a damp sponge, rinse with water, or soak in water to loosen any build-up.
Part of a series
Coffee machine: wash the carafe and brew basket, then rinse and dry. Run water and white vinegar through the machine, then run clean water. Or use a coffee machine cleaning solution. Keurig sells a special descaling solution.
Dishwasher: First remove food, bones, toothpicks and other hard objects from the dishes. Do not use sharp knives, brass, bronze, cast iron, pewter, silver, wood, fine china, or anything with gold leaf. Use a dishwasher like Affresh. Remove and rinse a manual filter to prevent food buildup and create odors. When washing hands, air drying is the most hygienic method. Towel dry to avoid staining.
Garbage Disposal: Run cold water and garbage disposal until all of the trash has been ground and washed away. Grind ice cubes to break up fat deposits. Shake in baking soda, which is slightly abrasive and counteracts smelly acids that are poured down the drain.
Microwave: Wipe the walls and floor of the oven with a hot, damp cloth. Wash the removable turntable in hot water and washing-up liquid. If there is a smell, heat a bowl of water with a quarter cup of lemon juice in the microwave for a minute. Take out the bowl and wipe off the condensation and sides. Use warm soapy water to microwave grease from a filter over the area.
Oven and Stove: Remove cast iron grids and burner covers on a gas hob, and wipe spilled material with hot, soapy water (steel wool and abrasives can scratch). If the flame is not even, use a toothbrush to clean the burner slots. Clean the range controls in the sink with hot, soapy water.
Turn off the self-cleaning cycle, which lasts hours and leaves a burning smell, and then wipe the oven down with hot soapy water and a plastic scrub pad. Clean the oven door with a sponge or a damp cloth. For the outside, apply a stainless steel cleaner with a soft cloth in the direction of the metal grain. Use soapy water and a sponge on black or white surfaces.
Fridge and freezer: with a damp sponge dipped in water, wipe with a quarter of baking soda and dry with a cloth to keep the devices hygienic and clean. Wash removable shelves in hot water and liquid detergent. An open container of baking soda picks up odors.
Trash can: Remove the liner and wipe the bucket with mild detergent and water.
Closets: Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove dust in the closets. Remove dirt and grease inside and out with a mild solution of detergent and clean, warm water. Wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth and dry it with another clean, soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth to avoid scratching laminate and glossy furniture, according to MasterBrand Cabinets.
Counter: Use a clean, soft cotton cloth with water and a mild, non-chemical liquid detergent to wipe the Formica laminate. Do not let water get into the seams, as this can cause the substrate to swell. Do not use cleaning agents with acid, alkali or sodium hypochlorite, which damage, etch, corrode and permanently discolor the laminate surface, according to Formica.
Cutting board: clean after each use. Non-porous cutting boards made of plastic, marble or glass are easier to clean with hot soapy water than wood, especially when preparing raw meat. Wooden cutting boards should be thoroughly scrubbed with a brush and dish soap in hot water, followed by a rinse with hot water and air dry.
Floor: Microfiber mops are most effective at removing dirt and bacteria, according to experts.
Windows: Dilute ammonia-based window cleaner and wipe it off with a streak-free microfiber cloth.
Use a soap dispenser pump disinfectant wipe. Wash the cleaning rags, shake out dusters and brooms, and place the kitchen sponge in the microwave for two minutes a day. Then replace it every two weeks.
– Compiled by Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
[email protected] | @janeteastman
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