I’m a big believer in keeping a clean house; in fact, my wife would argue that I’m a bit compulsive about cleaning, but hey it’s mindless work and it gives me great satisfaction when I see clean hardwood floors, a shiny stainless steel fridge, or crystal clear windows!
I take special pride in cleaning our kitchen, but it does present some challenges because of the varying materials and the amount of use the room gets from a day-to-day perspective. In turn, here’s a quick tips list for cleaning your kitchen, especially if you’re a day to day cook like we are here at Scordo.
Cleaning your wood cabinets (painted or stained) is a two step process and given that we have white cabinets I like to clean them every 1 – 1.5 weeks:
Dust all cabinet surfaces. By dusting I don’t mean using a feather duster which merely moves dust from one place to another, rather use a product that captures dust such as the Swiffer Sweeper Dry Cloths. Swiffer cloths are a bit expensive, but they do an outstanding job of capturing dust.
Mix a solution of 1 gallon of warm water with a ¼ cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap. Grab a clean micro fiber cloth and submerge into your Murphy’s solution. Ring the cloth well and begin cleaning your cabinet’s surfaces. I like to work in sections and thoroughly dry the cabinets with a second micro fiber cloth.
Stainless Steel Appliances:
Stainless steel is a pain in the butt to keep clean, however it does look great when polished and is a great material to have in the kitchen from a durability perspective. I wipe down the stainless steel in our kitchen once a week via the following process:
Grab a clean micro fiber cloth, wet it thoroughly, and add a bit of dish soap. Next wipe the stainless steel in the direction of the grain (never go against the grain). Dry the stainless steel with a second, damp, micro fiber cloth. Dry with paper towels.
Apply a high quality stainless steal polish to a clean micro fiber cloth and rub with the direction of the grain. Let the polish sit for 30-50 seconds and remove with a clean micro fiber cloth. I use Signature Polish and it works great (I also find that a creamy polish works better than a thin, water-like, stainless steel cleaner)
Porcelain or Ceramic Tile:
In my view tile is the ideal surface for any kitchen and it hould be cleaned, at the least, once per week. I’ve experimented with a white vinegar/water solution, dish soap and water, dedicated tile soap, etc., but I’ve found that a generic pine oil/isopropanol cleaner works best. I mix a ¼ cup of pint oil all purpose cleaner with about a gallon of hot water. Before cleaning tile, it’s key that you sweep your floor very well. I like using a sponge mop for tile, as it gives you precise control over how much cleaning solution you apply to the floor. Casabella makes a nice mop, but you can purchase cheaper alternative at your local supermarket.
We choose to purchase a large commercial-type oven/range at home given that we cook each and every day. And I clean my black stovetop once a day because regardless of how careful I try to be during the cooking process, there’s always some liquid or piece of food that makes it’s way to black enamel surface or stainless steel parts. Here’s my process for cleaning the stove:
Mix a solution of hot water and regular dish soap and wipe down both your block stove top and stainless steel sections of your stove.
Next, with a clean micro fiber cloth, place some of the same pine oil based cleaner on your cloth towel and wipe down the black stovetop area (do not use this cleaner on your stainless steel).
Dry the surface with a clean micro fiber cloth.
Granite is a wonderful material for kitchens (it’s heat resistant, tough, and retards most stains). Most granite types should be sealed, at the least, once per year (I think the Dupont Stonetech Professional Sealer / products are great. My nightly ritual for cleaning granite consists of:
Removing any dirt/debris from the granite with a paper towel.
Add a bit of dish soap (without any bleach additives) to a new clean microfiber cloth and work up a good lather. Clean the granite with the soapy cloth towel and rinse the surface with a clean, wet, cloth. Dry with paper towels.
That’s it! You don’t need to buy any fancy granite cleaners or desanitize your countertops with some intense, anti-bacterial, formula (unless of course you’re butchering a large farm animal in your suburban kitchen). I do advise, however, that you quickly wipe down water, wine, juice, acidic liquids, etc. before they have a chance to sit on your granite, this will make cleaning your countertops much easier and require less work during your nightly clean up.
I’m a big believer in not using or purchasing many household cleaners (both for financial and environmental reasons). In turn, my overall house cleaning arsenal includes:
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