Cleaning Hacks for your Kitchen

The days are longer and the pollen is falling from the sky by the handful, which means one thing: spring is here. It’s time for Spring Cleaning!

We’ve all been in our homes this year more than we ever had hoped to be, so chances are a little extra TLC this time around may be needed – especially in the kitchen. Cranking out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole family results in a little wear and tear. Which is where we come in!

Read on for 6 helpful tips that go above and beyond to have every nook and cranny of your kitchen sparkling, without too much elbow grease!

Cleaning Hacks for your Kitchen

Steam Clean Your Microwave

Baked on grime in your microwave can be a challenge to scrape off. Which is why we're loving this steam-trick! Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and the zest of 1 lemon. Microwave for five minutes.

Carefully remove the bowl from the oven (it will be piping hot!) and discard the contents. Remove the turning plate (if your microwave has one) and put it in the dishwasher during a regular cycle. Use a sponge to wipe down the microwave and it should be squeaky clean!

Clean Your Dishwasher

Step 1:

Did you know your dishwasher likely has a filter? And, that you’re supposed to clean it? Yep, news to us too. Look up your dishwasher model online to find specific directions to remove your dishwasher’s filter. Once removed, use warm soapy water to rinse the filter clean. Avoid using scouring pads or brushes to clean your filter as it may damage it. Once your dishwasher filter has been cleaned, re-install the filter.

Step 2:

Now it’s time to actually clean the entire dishwashing unit’s interior! Wipe down any visible grime. Fill a dishwasher safe cup with white vinegar on the top shelf of your empty dishwasher. Run your dishwasher on the hottest cycle available. Once complete, remove the cup. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and repeat with the hottest cycle once more.

De-frost Your Freezer

Has the ice lining your freezer slowly started to take over? You aren’t alone. This year, incorporate this easy defrost hack to your spring-cleaning routine.

First, unplug your freezer and empty it. Be sure to have coolers with ice ready to keep foods at a safe temperature while you’re cleaning. Line the bottom of the freezer with old towels (or paper towels). Fill one bowl (or two if it’s a large freezer) with boiling hot water and place them on top of the towels. Close the freezer door.

The steam from the bowls will melt the frost, and the towels underneath the bowl will absorb the extra water. Check on the freezer after 30 minutes, then wipe down the freezer with a sponge and some all-purpose cleaner before reloading it.

Refresh Your Pots and Pans

We’ve heard it before…. “The dishes just need to soak!” a.k.a “I’d rather not do the dishes right now!” Sorry, that doesn’t apply anymore!

Burnt residue or baked-on grime is easy to remove with this simple hack. In a small bowl, combine an even amount of salt and baking soda. Wet the pot or pan, and then sprinkle it with a thick layer of the baking soda/salt blend. Wad up some aluminum foil and use it to scour the pan clean. Rinse with soap and water, dry, and your pan will be looking brand new!

De-Gunk Your Baking Sheets

Don’t throw away unsightly baking sheets. Instead, use this simple tip to clean grimy aluminum baking sheets.

NOTE: Don’t use this tip for non-stick sheets, as it will mess up the non-stick coating.

Sprinkle the pan with baking soda to form an even layer. Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray enough hydrogen peroxide to wet the baking soda. Let the ingredients sit on the baking sheet for a few hours, then use a sponge to scrub the baking sheet.

The baking soda mixture should quickly darken from all of the loosened grease. Rinse the baking soda mixture off of the baking sheet and check your progress on the stains. If it’s not clean, repeat the cleaning process again to remove remaining stains.

Degrease Your Kitchen Cabinets

High-use cabinets tend to get gunky over time. Especially ones by the cooktop or those accessible to little ones. So try this Coconut Oil – Baking Soda trick to bring back their luster.

Mix two parts coconut oil to one part baking soda in a small bowl. Apply the mixture with a cloth to gunky cabinets and use an old toothbrush to work it into small grooves. Buff until shiny then use a dry towel to wipe clean.

Katie Harding is the publisher of Forks and Folly. A self-taught cook and die-hard foodie, Katie lives in Charlotte with her husband and three boys. Besides cooking and eating, she loves craft beers, running, and napping.