Welcome to Day 2 of the Clean My Kitchen Challenge. If you missed Day One (cleaning surfaces), you can read that before heading onto day two: cleaning large appliances.
This is probably one of the most important parts of our kitchen because it can make your day run smoothly or make it stop in its tracks.
Let me explain:
The dishwasher is empty: Everyone eats, puts their dishes away and moves on. Smooth sailing.
The dishwasher is full: They put their dirty dishes into the sink. The sink is full, so they start to put them onto the counter. This is a mess. We can’t unload our clean dishes onto the counter like we normally would, so we move everything to one side of the island and unload the clean dishes on the other side. Now things are getting wet (papers that are out, lunch boxes that are ready to go, etc…) and it is just a mess.
Yesterday, I spoke about how to clean the outside of the dishwasher (when we talked about cleaning surfaces), today we will talk about the inside. To keep the inside of your dishwasher clean, use baking soda to scrub stains. I just use a washcloth that I dip in a paste made of baking soda and water (just a few tablespoons of baking soda with a little
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bit of water to make a paste the consistency of toothpaste or a just a little thinner).
ONCE A MONTH: After you empty your dishwasher, run a “rinse” load with just bleach. Dump about 1/3 cup of bleach into the bottom of the dishwasher, before running to load. This will get rid of any odors. If you have strong odors, run a full cycle. If you don’t want to use bleach, you could always use vinegar in place of bleach. You could follow up by sprinkling about two to three Tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom. Just let it sit there and the next time that you run a load of dishes, it will wash away and clean your dishwasher at the same time. (No need to rinse it out before you load your dishwasher).
Spray the front of your dishwasher with cleaner. (I like to use Windex or Pine Sol). You could use vinegar here, too.
The worst part about a stove is that the spills can become harder to remove the longer that they sit on your stove, especially with the heat setting them in place (“baking them in”). If you can clean them after each use, you will really eliminate having to work hard to get them off.
If you have a flat cook-top, just use a razor blade (I used to use my husband’s razor knife blades because he always had extra. Use the flat, sharp part.) to scrap away the food. Use soapy water to clean the rest.
We now have a gas stove and I have to wash the grates in the sink every week or two. I just use soap and water and a wash cloth (dishwasher soap, not hand soap). I have to use a scrubbing pad to clean the part where the food spills. I use a soapy washcloth to wash the top part.
TIP: REMOVE KNOBS and clean below them. We have child-proof safety protectors on our knobs, to keep them kid-proof, but we take those off and remove the knobs to clean below them. Food can spill and end up underneath these knobs and just sit there until you ‘discover it’. I leave them off overnight to dry.
I run our self-cleaning oven mode on days where I can be home with the windows open (I really dislike the smell!) When it is finished and cool, I just scrape the bottom part off with a spatula. It is easy and comes clean. I can then use an oven-cleaner to finish the job.
I clean the inside door with warm soapy water and a wash cloth.
I take the rotating glass plate/bottom out and put it into the dishwasher right before I run the dishwasher. I clean the door with Windex. (DO NOT USE OVEN CLEANER)
I often have spills that will not clean, so I put in a large glass measuring cup (use any sort of cup/bowl that is microwave safe) that contains 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Cook this for two or three minutes. Clean the inside of the microwave immediately with a washcloth or sponge. The splatters in the microwave will now wipe away easily. (Clean the hood below the microwave/above the stove with a warm soapy washcloth- REMEMBER TO TAKE THE FILTER OUT AND CLEAN THIS, AS WELL. I just soak ours in the sink with hot, soapy water. I scrub it after about 20 minutes and then let it dry overnight on a towel.)
I did an entire post specifically on this topic: cleaning and organizing your refrigerator. Check it out for specifics on how to do this to have a great looking refrigerator (clean & organized!)
My quick tips for this (since you will probably read that post for the detailed list) is to clean it out weekly or bi-weekly. Get rid of old food, wipe up spills, use a cleaner to clean the inside. You may want to stick with 3 T. baking soda mixed in with 5 cups of water. Use this to clean the shelves, doors, drawers with a washcloth or sponge. I do this because I don’t want the kids to have a chance of having cleaner on their food.
My Mom takes the shelves out and washes them (she did this at our house with our extra refrigerator that we keep in the garage) and it really makes a difference.
I also take out the drawers and fill them with hot soapy water. I soak them and then clean them. (Remember to let them go back to room temperature before putting them back into the refrigerator- to avoid cracks.)
To deodorize, remember the age-old tip of keeping an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator.
Clean the outside and try to declutter it. I try to keep all of our things on the side of the refrigerator instead of on the front. I just keep a few pictures on the front of our kids- all other pictures/memos go on the side. It just makes me feel better to look at it and see a clean un-cluttered surface (this is just my preference, of course!) When the side fills up, I go through and throw away or put away old things like receipts, pictures, notes, memos.. that I do not need displayed anymore.
If you are looking for ways to organize your kitchen, here are some of my past posts about organizing the kitchen.
Organize the refrigerator
Organize your cabinets and drawers
Organize your pantry
Make a home-command Center
CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR DAY THREE!
Image Source for this picture: This beautiful kitchen can be found in Veranda Magazine! Isn’t it beautiful?