How to Make Your Kitchen Sparkle

Steps to a cleaner, brighter kitchen

Updated on June 23, 2017 20:06 pm

Samantha Echavez


The kitchen, the busiest part of the home, can also be the dirtiest. Grime and bacteria can fester on your countertops or chopping boards if you don't give them a good scrubbing. And who would want a germ-laden kitchen?

"More than any other room a just-cleaned kitchen brings a transformation. Just 45 minutes—an hour tops—and you get a room so good that you’ll feel like a child eager to break into the plastic wrap on that neatly boxed toy and get down to play," says Gill Chinton, author of Cleaning & Stain Removal for Dummies.

Transform your kitchen into a spotless space. Ready?

1. Keep clutter away. "The kitchen is a very difficult place to keep clutter-free because it’s filled with all the things you need for the smooth operation and functioning of your household. The more stuff you have, the more you need an adequate storage plan," says Brette Sember, author of The Organized Kitchen. Start by organising your pantry and maximising your kitchen storage.

2. Ready your disinfectant. "Ordinary cleaners are designed to dissolve grease or provide abrasive action, but not to disinfect. A disinfectant actually kills microscopic bacteria and virus-carrying organisms," says Chinton. "The simplest way to kill germs is to choose cleaners with built-in disinfectants. Use them on all the high-risk spots in the kitchen."

Make your own disinfectant:

To make a solution for worktops, sinks, and floors, add 60 ml (4 tablespoons) of bleach to 5 litres (1 gallon) of water. To make a soaking solution to disinfect dishcloths, mop heads, and so on, add 20ml (1 1/2 tablespoon) of bleach to 5 litres of water. If you’re soaking overnight, 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of bleach is sufficient.

Source: Gill Chinton, author of Cleaning & Stain Removal for Dummies.

3. Prepare the paper towels and hygienic dishcloths. Absorbent paper towels are perfect for kitchen cleanups, but "using them to dry everything is pricey," says Chinton. "So make colourfast cotton dishcloths sanitary in the hot wash cycle. Don’t keep using the same cleaning cloth over and over. Instead keep a stack in a drawer, and once the one you’re using becomes wet, throw it in the laundry and pick up a fresh cloth."

4. Spray stubborn spots on surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner and let them soak.

5. "Polish the stove top, knobs (make sure you don’t accidentally turn them on), and backsplash with all-purpose cleaner or window cleaner," says Margaret Dasso, co-author of Dirt Busters. "In emergencies, when there is a big spill, use a plastic spatula (but not whilst the surface is still hot) or a hob scraper," says Chinton.

6. Don't forget the spill tray. "Clean the spill tray underneath the stove burners by lifting the burners and reaching your hand into the holes with a cloth or sponge where the drip pans were, or lifting up the stove top. Scour the drip pans that have been soaking with a nylon scrubber or plastic brush. Dry them and place them back in the stove," adds Dasso.

7. Polish appliance surfaces with paper towels and glass cleaner.

8. Clean countertops. "Pull the items forward, clean behind them, and slide them back. Also, check cabinets for fingerprints and clean them off with an all-purpose cleaner," says Jeff Bredenberg, author of Clean it Fast, Clean It Right. Adds Chinton, "Use an antibacterial spray labelled safe for food-preparation areas on surfaces where you prepare food."


9. Scrub the sink and polish the sink fixtures with a toothbrush.

10. Make sure surfaces are always dry. "Because germs love water, thoroughly dry the surface of each of the following problem areas with a clean cloth or paper towel after you clean it," says Chinton.

11. Don't forget the chopping boards! Clean your chopping board with an antibacterial spray before and after using. If possible, keep one for raw meats.

12. Use hot water to clean eating and cooking utensils.


13. Wash the dishes right away if possible. Don't leave them for two hours—germs breed in stagnant water.

14. When cleaning laminate surfaces, use a non-abrasive multi-surface cleaner.

15. Clean the interior of the microwave using a cloth dampened in soapy water. You can also check out this trick.

16. Get into the habit of cleaning small appliances like toasters and kettles.

17. Empty kitchen waste bin every day. Chinton adds, "Wipe down with cleaning wipes. Before replacing a bin bag, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of the bin to absorb smells and moisture."

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Cover photo courtesy of Lido Quartz


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