Cleaning Kitchens

Clean From The Top, Down to the Bottom

In Jeff Campbell’s book “Speed Cleaning”, (see Book Shop page) he recommends dusting upper areas so the dust settles down on the floor, where it will be vacuumed or swept up.  Saves time.

Remove Dry Dirt & Cobwebs

First things first.

Dust surfaces,  high places first. 

  • Remove any cobwebs
  • Then wipe things to clean them with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth.  
  • Some things from your countertops can be put into dishwasher.

Microfiber Cloths


Microfiber  Cloths  ​are your essential tool.  They remove 99% of germs, and when you use water or diluted cleaners, and wring your cloth out well, they leave little or no streaks. 

When they are dry they make a great dust cloth and grab loads of dust.

BJ’s has a good deal in the car section, 25 in a pack for $10.00 last time I checked.  You can also find them at Walmart in a 5 pack.

Wipe 3 Times

A study showed that wiping 3 times removed more bacteria
Three Swipes Study

Cleaning the Surfaces


Clean/wipe counters using Windex.
Marble needs special care, do not use Windex. (see Cleaning Tips)

Spray and wipe the stove, top, pans, and front.  You can use Green Works or try Simple Green – my favorite – it comes concentrated.  Use it diluted only slightly for very greasy jobs, or use Dawn Dish detergent.  Many people keep Windex under their sinks for quick clean ups.

Stainless Steel

​There are Stainless Steel Cleaners out there but I prefer to use Murphy’s Oil Soap.  It leaves a film that looks good on your stainless steel surfaces and repels water.  

Or you can elect to clean with a dilution of Simple Green

Refrigerator Cleaning


Wipe out the inside of refrigerator quickly, front of shelves and door shelves, (schedule another time for a detail clean).  

For a thorough job, I like to use Scrubbing Bubbles foam for a thorough clean inside the refrigerator.  Be sure to rinse it.  (Dawn diluted is recommended) 

Remove shelves and items

  • Remove drawer bins and contents
  • Spray with cleaner of choice and wipe with sponge or use vegetable brush
  • Rinse in kitchen sink or in bathtub
  • Leave to drain
  • Line drawer bins with paper towels

Cleaning the Sink


Wash the kitchen sink last if you are going to dump the dirty bucket of water down it.  ( I prefer to dump it in the toilet, less clean up).  If you keep on top of things Windex or Green Works is all you need, though I now prefer Simple Green.  I use a Chore Boy Stainless Scrubbie on stainless, it doesn’t scratch. 

If you have “Lime build up” try some Kaboom. and an old toothbrush.  Comet or Scrub Free works in a Porcelain sink 

If you have a stainless Steel sink you may have to use Bon Ami to scrub it. This does not scratch but must be rinsed well. If you can’t find this use BarKeepers. Finish it with Murphy’s Oil Soap diluted in a bottle.

Louvered Doors


  Those Louvered doors or windows are a pain – all those little slats!  Many times these surfaces are not even properly sanded.  This makes it very difficult.

  • Brush the slats with a dust pan brush or vacuum them
  • Put towels down on floor and open doors
  • Spray doors with Murphy’s Oil Soap diluted 
  • Lift the center louvre bar (if there is one) to reverse the angle of the slats, so all of the spray seeps down the back
  • After 5 minutes –  drop the louvre bar back down
  • Use tooth brush or dust brush to agitate corners & edges
  • Use wet sponge and lightly scrub slats
  • Rinse your sponge as needed 

Maintain your doors by dusting with a dust pan brush weekly.

Cleaning a Microwave


Microwaves are often messy with splatters of food.  Soften the food first (steam it) This is how:

  • Fill a mug with water
  • Nuke it for 2 minutes
  • Take it out and put a tea bag into the water – let steep
  • Spray inside of microwave
  • Wipe out with a no scratch sponge or microfiber cloth
  • Sit down – put your feet up and drink your tea

Cleaning Cabinets


 Clean/wipe down cabinets.  It is a good idea to keep up with this because oils and dirt from hands can eat away a finish.

  I like to use Green Works from Clorox.  There is a stronger concentrate for tough jobs.

Also Pine Sol or Murphy’s oil soap works well to remove finger prints without harming the finish.  If you neglected the cabinets too long you may find that the finish is no longer there, in worn spots, from the oils on your hands.

Remove Dirt from Floor First

Remember to remove dry dirt before you add liquid because dirt + liquid = MUD!  

My Good Ol Mop


Yes I love this mop for every room.  You can use the strainer bucket, or the regular bucket or the sink to hand squeeze and rinse the mop.

First sweep. dust and vacuum.  It’s good to remove the dry dirt and hair before using liquids.

 I use a dash of Mr Clean and ammonia in a bucket of water and use a mop on vinyl and tile floors.  I use Murphys or Bona on a wood floor

First sweep. dust and vacuum.  It’s good to remove the dry dirt and hair before using liquids.

 I use a dash of Mr Clean and ammonia in a bucket of water and use a mop on vinyl and tile floors.  I use a splash of Murphys with water in your bucket or spray Bona on a wood floor.

Using Steamers for Cleaning

 If you are really concerned about germs – a good way to sanitize an area after you have cleaned, is to use a steamer.  The steam kills everything.  Think toilets!

There are some FLOOR steamers, one word of caution KEEP THEM MOVING!  They CAN MELT some vinyl floors


Use just water in these. Using Distilled is preferred so the is no lime build up.

There are also many floor machines that look like a vacuum, but they will clean a floor if you don’t like to mop.

Cleaning floors will be discussed in a separate article.

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