Spring is upon us and that means that SPRING CLEANING must be done soon! We’ve got the home improvement tips to make the annual chore a breeze! From prep to finishing, we list all the steps to help you get done ASAP!
1. Don’t start the new season without a spotless & fresh kitchen!
It’s easy to neglect our kitchen. Outside of surface cleaning we tend to get lazy. Who cares about the inside of the microwave? Nobody looks in there anyway. Sure, we can see the dust collecting on the floor below the oven, but it’s not an immediate concern. Yes, there are inexplicable marks and streaks on the front of the refrigerator, but who will bother to stare long enough to notice when they just need to get something from within?
All reasonable points, but to be fair, they are designed to justify being lazy. There’s no way around it – now is the time for the annual tradition known as “spring cleaning”. If you fail to recognize the importance of it, you’ll just let the gunk and grime continue to grow until it becomes unmanageable and hazardous. Don’t make that choice. Spring is a time to start fresh. Going into the new season with a clean kitchen is like taking on a new life, full of exciting possibilities. Who doesn’t want that? So during the process, be proactive and look for things that need to be replenished – anything from cleaners to cooking supplies. Restock things you haven’t thought of but you should have on hand – make a list so you can get plenty for the upcoming season.
2. Preparing for Battle
Let’s take a look at your pots and pans. For your cast-iron items, take a soft sponge and scrub them with coarse salt. When finished, rinse them with water until no salt remains. Be mindful of the fact that stainless steel may be stained by heat and hot water. If this occurs, don’t panic – such discolorations can be removed using a smooth cloth and a bit of vinegar (of the white variety). Finally, dry with a clean towel. It is important to never soak stainless steel pots and pans – that will result in the surfaces becoming pitted.
The sink is a hotbed of germs, even if you keep it clean in a general sense. Now is the time to really scrub it and make it spotless. You’ll be surprised – people are more inclined to do the dishes when there’s a spic and span kitchen sink to work with. More hands are better than two, and you’re less likely to see piles of dishes. So let’s get to it – fill up the sink with water and add a cup of bleach. The process of disinfecting begins. Scrub the interior and use baking soda so that no stains are left behind. Use a shining spray or a disinfecting wipe to finish after rinsing. Voilà – a sparkling sink!
Now let’s move onto the cupboard and drawers. First, empty them completely, sweep out any debris, and dust the interior. Wipe away any and all stains with a mild cleaner. For an extra touch of neatness add fresh and decorative contact paper to the bottoms.
3. Contact paper adds elegance
As you empty both the drawers and cabinets be aware that there might be broken and sharp materials within. You may want to wear work gloves as you certainly don’t want to handle broken china or glass with your bare hands. Toss the remnants and add the items that need to be replaced as noted by your spring stock list. When you’re finished with the interiors give the exteriors a good wipe down, removing any fingerprints or foreign substances that may have accumulated over who-knows-how long.
Hopefully you already keep your pantry somewhat organized. Everything’s probably in some sort of general arrangement, all you need to do is tighten it up. Look through it all and toss anything past their freshness’ due date. This should include can goods and even herbs and spices that you know have been there for way too long. Frankly anything you believe that has occupied a spot in the pantry for over a year can safely be discarded.
The next logical step in our process is of course to clean your refrigerator and freezer. You must be thorough; you don’t want to revisit the task prematurely. Remove the shelves (if applicable) and put them in the dishwasher or hand wash them in the sink. Soak a cloth in soapy water and scrub the fridge’s interior with it. Obviously you need to throw away any foods past their expiration date just as you did in the pantry. Wipe everything else down (yup, that means that sticky jar of jelly) with a damp cloth. Be certain everything remaining is neat and orderly.
4. Cleaning the microwave
Prepare to face the most demanding task so far – have you seen the inside of your microwave? Yikes. It’s likely there are remnants of a burrito from the days of Y2K. There’s an easy way to get it clean. First, fill a microwave safe bowl with water and cook on ‘HI’ for a few minutes. The steam will loosen the caked-on residue. Unplug the device and wipe the interior down completely using a soapy rag. Finally, rinse and wipe dry.
While we’re having fun with gross stuff, let’s wash the inside of our trash cans, shall we? You may need to go with a powerful bleach and water solution. Rinse them out and leave them outside until they are completely dry. This should lead you to a related matter, the garbage disposal. Put a lemon or cup of vinegar through the unit and let it run for thirty seconds. This should be effective in quashing unpleasant odors and removing age old debris.
We can’t forget the oven while we’re at it. It probably needs a good scrubbing. In case it is not of the self-cleaning variety, use a homemade paste of baking soda and water and lather the areas that need to be cleaned. Allow time for drying before removing the remaining gunk with ease.
5. Final touches for a victorious spring cleaning!
A few other things to make your spring cleaning complete should include: sharpening your knives, washing your windows (inside and outside), and sweeping and mopping the floors meticulously. The walls could most likely use a good dusting and wiping down (do the top of the fridge, too). Finally, run a cycle of your dishwasher while it is empty. Add a little vinegar first. You’ll be left with a spotless and odorless machine that is ready to start the new spring season like the rest of your kitchen – with a (literally) clean slate!