Here's How to Clean Your Kitchen From Top to Bottom

Think about it. You are cooking, hosting, and moving dishes and plates around.  You are touching everything… countertops, fridge handles, faucets, and more. With the non-stop activity your kitchen endures, when was the last time that you really cleaned your kitchen well? We are not just talking washing dishes and wiping off the countertops here.  As one of the most highly trafficked areas of the home, the kitchen is a huge culprit for building up bacteria, dirt, and grease.


With the current emphasis on keeping each and every surface in your home germ-free, there has never been a better time to learn how to clean your kitchen inside out and top to bottom. Especially if  you have been staying at home a lot lately, this is a project that should shoot to the top of your list. 

Create Your Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Every great cleaning starts with a plan.  Create a checklist of all the areas in your kitchen that you really want to deep clean. This is not just a surface clean either, so be sure your list is detailed inside and out.  Cabinets and the fridge need your attention on the outside and inside, where your drawers have accumulated who knows what.  Having a list equals having a plan, and having a plan gives you a sense of direction and accomplishment, as you check each section off as you finish that part of your cleaning. 

Clear the Area

Nothing makes cleaning a kitchen more difficult than having stuff out everywhere. When you are preparing to clean your kitchen from top to bottom, the first step is to remove objects that might get in the way or are not in their proper place.  A good kitchen cleaning starts with clearing off the countertops and along the way you might just find a space for some of those items you just don’t use anymore. Once you’ve cleared the countertops for cleaning, focus on your shelves and the tops of cabinets where the knick-nacks, decorations and other items rest. Maybe you will put them back or maybe you will decide to do something else with them… especially when you see how much dust and grime they have accumulated.  Now that all of your surfaces are all clear, you’re ready to move on.

Cleaning Your Kitchen Cabinets 101

Your cabinets are one of the most contacted surfaces in your entire kitchen, making them one of the most important areas to focus your cleaning efforts. 

Your kitchen cabinets should normally be wiped down about once a week. Any more than that, and you risk damaging them. Avoid these cleaners in particular to prevent stripping your cabinets of their factory finish or causing irreversible harm to the wood:

  • Glass cleaners
  • Comet
  • Spic and Span
  • Ammonia
  • Tilex
  • Pledge or furniture polish
  • Hand washing liquid

Instead, clean your cabinets with:

  • Detergent: Any laundry or dish washing detergent will be able to cut through grease and oil that has built up on your cabinets. Be careful that you don’t over-wet the cabinets, which can potentially damage the finish. Wipe your cabinets down with a damp cloth, and then finish it off with a dry cloth.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is another way to get your cabinets sparkling clean. If you have particularly tough stains, vinegar might be a better option to cut through grease caused by cooking or other build-up. 
  • Baking Soda: Very difficult stains can be treated with baking soda. Combine baking soda and water together to create a paste, and allow it to sit for a few minutes on your stain. Wipe with a wet cloth, and your stains should melt away.

For even more in-depth detail on how to clean your kitchen cabinets, click here.  And do not forget the occasional wipe down of the interiors. It not only keeps them clean, it also forces you to evaluate what is in there and keep them organized before they become the dreaded junk drawer. 

Counter Service

Your countertop is the runway of the kitchen.  Things are constantly landing and taking off from this space.  Many have multiple runways of countertops, on kitchen islands or peninsulas.  It is where it all happens in the kitchen.  With all the surfaces to choose from in the kitchen, here are some quick cleaning tips for the big 4:

  • Granite – being porous, using a mild sensitive cleaner is important. Stick to your dish soap and water mixture, along with a clean cloth.  For a deeper clean, evenly mix water and isopropyl alcohol in a solution to disinfect and restore some luster. Spray, let it sit 2-4 minutes and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. 
  • Quartz – an engineered surface, its’ non-porous nature can be easily cleaned and maintained using mild detergent or soap with water.
  • Marble – avoid acidic (think vinegar, or lemon juice) and abrasive cleaners that can harm the surface.  Warm water, a little dish soap and some clean towels gets the job done.
  • Laminate – wipe down with non-abrasive cleaners does the job on this durable surface. 

In all of the examples above, a proper wipe off offers good for day-to-day maintenance and cleaning. The deeper clean often comes when your plan involves clearing off all your countertops so that you can address all of your landing space and not just the busiest landing spaces.   

Work the Oven and the Fridge

Your oven and fridge might often be forgotten when it comes to deep cleaning. Go deep into the back of your refrigerator and through all of your food and see what you really want. Is there a jar of sauce that’s been in the side for a year that you tell yourself you’re going to use one day? You’re not. Throw it out!

Remove all your items from your drawers, and wipe down the shelves and drawers of your fridge with a cleaning solution - your detergent, vinegar, baking soda, or safe, store-bought alternative.  To really do a deep clean, unplug your fridge and remove the dirt that’s been building up on the coils.

While you’re cleaning your fridge, you can apply a cleaning solution to your stove that can go to work breaking up any deep stains. Next, remove knobs, spill catchers, burner covers, and any other dials on your stove that you haven’t touched in a long time. This way you’ll have access to cleaning your cooktop, and get into the nitty gritty of the knobs and dials. Treat your sink with the same attention to detail that you did your oven, as well as your microwave.

Don’t Forget the Fabrics

Drapes, curtains, and blinds are all items that often go unnoticed. Make your kitchen the freshest it has been in years by taking down the drapes and washing them according to the directions on the tag. Curtains should also get a nice washing. Even the screens in your windows can be removed and washed from all the cooking that’s been accumulating over the years.

While your screens and curtains are removed, go to work washing out your windowsills. If you have any rugs in your kitchen, like at the sink, don’t forget to wash this as well.

Go From Wall to Wall

When’s the last time you cleaned your kitchen walls? Now is the time! Go through your kitchen and use a dust mop for the hard to reach places that you have been neglecting over time. There are probably some high spots that are difficult for you to clean on a regular basis that you’ll be able to tackle.

From there, you can spot wash the areas of your walls that you might not have noticed have small stains on them from whatever blender or mixer you might have been using. Go through and spot wash doorknobs, air vents, doors, and light switches as well. Once you’re done, give the entire area a nice vacuuming.

No kitchen cleanup is complete without sweeping and mopping the floors. This is a great time to check your baseboards for any dirt that might have been starting to build. Because this job usually requires you to have to get onto your hands and knees, use a knee pad or rags underneath you so that you’re cushioned against the hard ground. 

At Reico Kitchen & Bath, we are here for you. When you are planning a brighter future for your kitchen or bathroom, we want to be right alongside you. Let us set your mind at ease by providing you all the information you need to get the kitchen remodel you have been wanting. We are open! Request a consultation in store or online to finally bring your design ideas to life.


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