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The Ultimate Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

A clean, tidy kitchen is every home cook’s dream. Keeping your kitchen clean not only makes cooking more enjoyable, it also helps prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Having a kitchen cleaning routine is key to maintaining order amidst the chaos of everyday cooking. This ultimate kitchen cleaning checklist breaks down daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks so you can keep your kitchen in tip-top shape. With a regular cleaning checklist in hand and some helpful cleaning tools, you’ll keep your kitchen sparkling from the oven to the refrigerator.

Table of Contents

If you’re planning to hire a cleaning company, you can ask them for a cleaning checklist, but since this is your own property and know things a lot better, here how to make your own checklist.

Must-Have Kitchen Cleaning Supplies and Tools

Based on advice from Consumer Reports, using the right cleaning tools makes kitchen cleaning faster and more effective. They recommend having a variety of cleaning cloths and cooking tools on hand like:

Cleaning Cloths

  • Microfiber cloths are lint-free, durable, and absorbent – perfect for cleaning kitchen surfaces. Have plenty on hand so you always have a clean one ready.

  • Dish towels made of thin cotton easily handle wet tasks like drying dishes and hands. Upgrade to ones with hilarious kitchen puns for some fun.

  • Sponges with abrasive backs scrub tough gunk. Just don’t use them on nonstick or delicate surfaces.

  • Old toothbrushes are perfect for scrubbing in crevasses like faucet handles and tile grout.

Cleaning Solutions

  • Dish soap, especially those made for handwashing, cut through grease and sanitize dishes and surfaces.

  • All-purpose cleaners dissolve oil, grease, food, and more. Great for appliances, countertops, cabinets, and floors.

  • Disinfecting sprays kill germs fast on surfaces and cutting boards. Just avoid harsh chemicals.

  • Baking soda deodorizes and shines stainless steel. Make a paste to scrub appliances clean.

  • Distilled white vinegar cuts grease, kills germs and neutralizes odors in drains.

Other Helpful Tools

  • Durable mops easily clean floors with just warm water or cleaner. Choose microfiber or reusable cotton pads.

  • Broom and dustpan quickly sweep up dirt, crumbs, and messes on floors.

  • Plenty of clean rags, so you always have one when you need it.

  • Brushes for scrubbing vegetables as well as bottle and straw cleaners.

  • Drain catchers keep large debris from clogging pipes.

  • Step stool provides much-needed access for cleaning tops of fridges and cabinets.

Having the right gear makes quick work out of daily cleaning tasks and provides the elbow grease needed for deeper scrubbing. Maintain your cleaning toolkit to ensure you have what you need when it’s time to tidy up.

Daily Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Daily cleaning tasks take just a few minutes but make a big difference in keeping messes under control. Follow this checklist each evening or morning to stay on top of light kitchen cleaning.

Wipe Down Countertops

Use a multi-surface cleaner or mix together warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Dip a clean, damp microfiber cloth, and wipe down all countertops, backsplashes, and island surfaces. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas like around the sink and prep spaces.

Clean Appliance Exteriors

Wipe away fingerprints, smears, grease spots, and food spatters on the front panels of appliances like the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and microwave. Use an all-purpose cleaner for stubborn gunk then polish with a dry soft cloth.

Wash Dishes and Clean Sink

Either hand wash dishes just after use or load dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher throughout the day. At the end of the day, finish by handwashing any remaining dishes, pans, cups, or utensils and clearing the sink. Give the empty sink a quick scrub with dish soap.

Take Out Trash and Recycling

Empty any waste bins and take the trash and recycling out to curbside bins to manage odors and clutter in the kitchen. Replace trash bags as needed.

Dry and Put Away Clean Dishware

Unload clean dishes from the dishwasher and hand dry any moisture before putting them away in cabinets. Check for stray dishes left in the sink and wash them by hand or load them into a clean dishwasher for the next cycle.

Sweep Floors

Use a broom and dustpan (or vacuum) to sweep all floor areas to quickly pick up loose debris, dirt, and crumbs. Pay extra attention to the floor sweep in corners and underneath movable appliances and furniture.

Spot Mop Floor

For any exceptionally dirty floor spots like muddy footprints or spills, spot mop using just warm water or a small amount of all-purpose floor cleaner diluted with water.

Weekly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Set aside time each week for a few things these slightly more involved cleaning tasks.

Clean Interior Appliances

  • Refrigerator – Check expiration dates and toss expired food. Remove shelves and drawers and wash with baking soda paste then disinfect with vinegar spray. Wipe down interior surfaces with a microfiber cloth and wash removable parts in the sink.

  • Oven – Remove racks and soak in hot water with dish soap. Use oven cleaner to dissolve baked-on grease inside oven then scrub with non-scratch sponge. Carefully clean the oven door avoiding any oven window gasket.

  • Range Hood – Remove metal filters and soak in degreaser solution then scrub clean. Wipe down the exterior surfaces of the range hood with an all-purpose cleaner and microfiber cloth.

Scrub Sinks and Surrounding Areas

Combine baking soda and dish soap into a wet paste and use an old toothbrush or brush to scrub the whole kitchen floor and sink basin. Carefully scrub where the sink and countertop meet to dissolve sticky gunk. Rinse the sink and counters thoroughly afterward.

Clean Appliance Exteriors

Inspect fronts, handles, and control panels on appliances and treat any sustained grime, grease, or food spots by scrubbing with baking soda paste. Buffered stainless steel appliance surfaces using microfiber cloths and stainless steel spray cleaner.

Dust Lights and Top Surfaces

Reach ceiling lights, hanging bulbs, and track lighting using a microfiber duster or damp cloth attached to an extender pole. Carefully dust the tops of hanging cabinets and the top rack refrigerators.

Shake Out Mats and Rugs

Take any removable floor mats and rugs outdoors and shake them out over a porch or balcony. For heavier rugs, hang them over a clothesline and beat out debris with a carpet beater or broom.

Sweep and Mop Floors

After clearing any moveable items, thoroughly sweep and then mop kitchen floors using a cleaning solution drain cleaner of your choice. Let air dry and replace any floor rugs or mats.

Empty and Clean Trash Can

Empty kitchen garbage can completely and wash the interior with soapy water. Disinfect with bleach cleaner and rinse with a clean rag thoroughly before replacing the trash bag.

Monthly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Monthly cleaning lets you tackle the nitty-gritty jobs that keep your kitchen operating at peak performance.

Wash Used Cleaning Rags

Toss heavily used dishes, paper towels, reusable wipes, and cleaning rags into the washing machine for a hot water sanitizing cycle. Tumble dry on medium heat then neatly fold and store for next use. Replace excessively stained or worn-out clothes.

Scrub Walls and Light Switches

Mix all-purpose cleaner or bleach solution in a bucket. Dip cleaning cloth, wring out then wipe clean walls using wide circular motions from top to bottom. Pay special attention to vent hoods and appliances prone to splatter. Scrub visibly dirty light switches the same way.

Descale Coffee and Tea Appliances

Follow manufacturer’s instructions to regularly descale and sanitize coffee maker, electric kettle, and single-cup dispensers. Run rinse cycles afterward then brew fresh water to eliminate any lingering taste or odor.

Clean Cabinet Interiors

Take everything out of cabinets and drawers then wipe down the inside surfaces with a soft cloth to remove crumbs and spills. Use Murphy’s oil soap wood cleaner to condition unfinished wood shelving. Avoid getting cabinet doors and exteriors wet.

Scrub Tile Grout

Mix equal parts baking soda and dish soap with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply to tile grout lines using an old toothbrush and let sit for 5 minutes. Scrub then rinse clean. Use a grout pen on discolored grout.

Clean Garbage Disposal

Grind a mixture of ice cubes and lemon wedges to freshen the garbage disposal and pipes. Follow up by pouring 1⁄2 cup baking soda down the drain then flushing with hot water.

Dust Light Fixtures

Use a microfiber duster or lint-free cloth wrapped around the extender pole to gently dust light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. For pendant lights or track lighting, carefully wipe with a damp cloth.

Additional Monthly Tasks

  • Wash window treatments

  • Vacuum refrigerator coils

  • Move appliances to clean underneath and behind

  • Inspect food storage containers and organize cabinets

  • Replace spices, condiments, or food past expiration

  • Deep clean the dishwasher by running an empty cycle with vinegar

  • Inspect cabinets for needed repairs like hinge tightening

Tips for Sticking to Your Kitchen Cleaning Schedule

According to Good Housekeeping, having a comprehensive kitchen cleaning checklist that covers daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks is essential to maintaining order and sanitation in your kitchen.

Consistency is key when adopting a kitchen cleaning routine. Follow these tips to stay motivated and on track.

Break Bigger Jobs Into Smaller Tasks
Tackling one small cleaning task a day helps prevent feeling overwhelmed. Spreading big jobs out over the entire month also makes them feel more manageable.

Build Cleaning Into Your Routine
Pair cleaning tasks with existing habits, like wiping the stove while the morning coffee brews or rinsing dishes while dinner simmers on the stove.

Use Checklists or Reminders
Mark days on your calendar or set reminders on your phone for bigger cleaning jobs. Post written checklists somewhere visible in the kitchen to guide daily and weekly tasks.

Do Light Cleaning During Down Time
Get your family involved by sweeping while chatting over coffee or having kids help put away clean dishes from the dishwasher. Listening to music can make cleaning more fun too!

Declutter First For Easier Cleaning
Having an organized, clutter-free kitchen cuts down cleaning time substantially. Do a quick 10-minute tidy-up before deep cleaning to make the job faster and easier.

With the right tools, routine, and attitude, keeping your kitchen clean does not need to feel like an endless chore. Refer back to this checklist whenever things start getting out of hand, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a fresh kitchen organized, tidy kitchen day in and day out.

Bottomline

A clean, fresh kitchen makes preparing meals a delightful experience rather than a messy hassle. By sticking to routine cleaning, your kitchen stays organized and germ-free for healthy, home-cooked meals. Frequent deep cleaning keeps appliances looking their best while extending their lifespan. Just tackle one small task at a time rather than taking an overwhelming all-at-once approach. Before you know it, you will have a spotless kitchen anyone would be happy to cook in!

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