This article, first appeared on the Housewife Bliss website in October 2011. Reprinted with permission by Coryanne Ettienne.
The holidays are now behind us and for the most part we'll slow down on our entertaining and cooking for large groups. Our pantries are leaner; our refrigerators are no longer jam-packed andas the cold, dark days of winter remain with us for a while there is no better time to really go through your kitchen and give it a top to bottom scrub. Sooner than we can imagine, the weather will be warmer, the days will be longer and we will want to spend our time outdoors on our decks or in our gardens.
Kitchen deep-cleaning guide
The kitchen is, now more than ever, the heart of the home, and with that lofty title comes the heavy foot traffic and mess that hides behind corners slowly building up into a shocking sight that would send even the cleanest of home owners running from shame. It might seem like a huge task but deep cleaning your kitchen is good for your health and for your soul.
Roll up your shirt sleeves, put on your cleaning gloves and spend the day (gasp, yes probably a day) making your kitchen sparkle and shine just in time for the holiday season to arrive and messy it up again.
Scrub your walls, skirting boards, back boards and floors. Start from the top and work your way down, the daily dirt that has been piling up is no longer noticeable to you, but the difference you will see from a light scrubbing will make your kitchen brighter and more inviting. Don’t forget to move all large appliances and large furniture away from the walls to ensure that even those hidden areas are given a deep clean.
Clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Frozen food diminishes after 6 months, and odours can penetrate the surface of even the cleanest fridge, so take the time to follow my guide to loving your refrigerator and freezer.
Clean your dishwasher. One would think that an appliance that cleans for us would not need cleaning itself, but alas, that is not the case. If your glasses have ever carried a musty or sour smell, washing your dishwasher will put a stop it by following this simple 30 minute deep clean routine: use 1 part vinegar, 3 parts warm water to wash the inside of your unit, clean out the filter (usually located at the bottom of the unit), wash the racks in warm soapy water and then place a 1/2 lemon on the top rack and run a high temperature wash.
Wipe down your cupboards and drawers. Any number of undesirable elements can collect in your drawers and cupboards, vacuuming them and then washing them down with a damp cloth can turn a drab storage area in to a sparkling clean one.
De-clutter your pantry. Spices, if stored well should last up to 6 months in your pantry. Your pulses, grains, rices and pasta that have not been stored in air tight containers may be ready for replacement, and those condiment jars that you had to have 3 years ago, if not yet used are just taking up space. Check the expiration dates on everything and only keep items that are usable. Once done, make a list of what you need to replace and restock your pantry using this pantry guide.
Examine your cookware. Warped baking pans, scratched non-stick pans, mismatched lids and chipped serving platters, no matter how well loved, have lived a good life and need to be replaced.
Sharpen your knives. A dull knife not only wastes time in the kitchen, it is dangerous. Your knives should be sharpened every 6 months.
For more fabulous household tips please visit Coryanne Ettienne at her blog HousewifeBliss