Deep Cleaning: The Kitchen

Deep Cleaning: The Kitchen

Aside from the kitchen, I’m sure you have other rooms in your home in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned so far this week (the master bedroom, bathroom, and living room). But, you can use those rooms as a template for others. More bedrooms? Use the master bedroom page. Additional rooms like a dining room or family room? Use the living room page.

The kitchen is the last room in our home that has specialized cleaning needs to consider. The oils we use in cooking can cause a light film over surfaces that, when combined with dust, creates a sticky film that is difficult to clean. (For removing that and a host of other hard-to-clean things, I’ve found Krud Kutter to be pretty effective. You should be able to find it at your local hardware store/Home Depot in the cleaning supplies.) For most people, it’s also in competition with the bathroom as the most-used room in our house. It’s a room that very quickly spirals out of control if you don’t keep on top of it, so let’s tackle deep cleaning the kitchen.

Start by retrieving dishes from around the house – that bowl that was left out from someone’s snack, the stray glass that snuck into someone’s bedroom. Take a quick tour and make sure you have everything. If you have one, empty the dishwasher (if its contents are clean), fill with dishes that are dishwasher safe, and run it (if it’s now full). If you have items that need to be hand washed, go ahead and wash them now. Dry them too, so they’re not hanging out on the countertop.

Put away any food out on the countertop. Throw away any trash. (Again with the trash left out. I’m not sure why bits and bobs are just left on the counter instead of being thrown away in the trash can that is just five steps away: tear strips from food backs, paper towels, paper napkins, empty bags and boxes…)

Wipe off the top of the refrigerator and all countertops and work surfaces that are in need of cleaning. Do you have things in the way? Go ahead and set them to the side, wipe down, and then put back. Dry damp work surfaces.

Take out the trash; put in a clean garbage bag or liner.

Dust any kitchen light fixtures. Wash any removable parts (globes, glass covers, etc.). If you have washable curtains, go ahead and take them down and wash them.

Refill the sink to prepare for washing. Remove all foods from refrigerator (or take it one shelf at a time – your preference) and wash the interior. You may need to remove shelves and drawers and wash them in soapy water if you have stuck-on stuff from food that has spilled. Don’t forget to wash the shelves in the door. Return food to the refrigerator. Go ahead and wipe down the handles too.

Clean your stovetop and oven.

  • We have a glass-top stove, so I use a special cleaner on it. If you have a gas range, wash the burners and clean the top. For electric ranges, you can remove the coils and wash (or replace if they’re really bad) the drip pans. Many times you can also lift the top and clean underneath where crumbs and old food tend to fall and hide.
  • For the oven, use the self-cleaning feature if you have it. It will take a while, so do this on a day when you don’t need your oven for about 4-6 hours. Also, it really heats up the kitchen, so I would advise against it at midday on the hottest day of the year. When the self-cleaning is done, you will still need to open the oven after it’s cooled and wipe out the ash that is left behind. If you don’t have a self-cleaning feature on your oven, remove the charred bits, then scrub with mild scouring powder or a special oven cleaner.

Wash walls behind sink, stove and work surfaces to catch any splatters that might be there. We have a back door that opens next to the stove and catches all manner of things. If you have that or a wall near the stove, wipe that down too.

Wipe down cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

Go ahead and clean out a couple of drawers or a cabinet. Go ahead and pull everything out. Look for things you no longer need or, if it’s the pantry (and you haven’t decluttered it) use the pantry decluttering checklist. Wipe out the drawer or cabinet, put down new liner if needed, and then return everything back.

Clean your sink. I find that on my stainless steel sink, either mild scrubbing powder (Bon Ami, Barkeeper’s Friend) or baking soda work really well to shine the sink back up. When the renovation is done, I’ll have a white ceramic/fire clay sink, and then I’ll have some research to do on how to clean without scratching. (Do you have one? Leave me a comment below with how you take care of yours!) Wipe down any metal fixtures.

Put any towels or dishcloths aside to be washed. Put out fresh towels. Re-hang clean curtains.

Yes, this is a big job. It can (and will) eat up an entire day, so if you need to spread the tasks out over a few days please do so. Also, remember to take breaks. Every 45-90 minutes, sit down for about 10-15 minutes and rest with a glass of water or tea. I find that if I don’t do that, my back and feet hurt by the end of the day, and I’m less likely to tack this again until the kitchen is desperately bad.

To recap:

  • Gather dishes and wash them.
  • Put away food. Throw away trash.
  • Wipe off the top of the refrigerator, countertops, and work surfaces.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Dust kitchen light fixtures. Wash removable parts.
  • Take down curtains to wash.
  • Wash inside of refrigerator.
  • Clean your stovetop and oven.
  • Wash walls behind sink, stove, and work surfaces.
  • Wipe down cabinet and drawer fronts.
  • Clean out a cabinet or drawer or two.
  • Clean your sink.
  • Put out fresh towels and re-hang curtains.

Deep Cleaning: The Kitchen | Modern Home Economics


31 Days 2016 - Reset Your Home

This post is a part of the series 31 Days to Reset Your Home, part of the 31 Days challenge. Please join me during the month of October. Each day I’ll be posting what I’m working on, challenges so you can join in, and update my progress (and hopefully hear about yours!). The 31 Days challenge is a writing challenge to pick a topic and write a post on it every day in October.

This entry is post 15 of 21 in the series 31 Days 2016 - Reset Your Home

Sewist, knitter, reader, dancer. Wife. Lover of things vintage and retro.


  1. Ok, you’re inspiring me! As soon as this 31 days is over…Thanks for posting!

    • I know – I’m counting down the days until my kitchen is done so I can tackle my living room and kitchen. Both of them have a fine layer of drywall dust!

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