Cooking in a clean kitchen is a lot like painting on a fresh canvas. What’s more inspiring than a fridge full of fresh, healthy ingredients, a spotless stove, and a pantry and freezer free of food staples that have gone stale? The end goal is amazing but getting there can be daunting, so we’ve put together a handy list of kitchen cleaning tips (with a little inspiration from culinary superstar Martha Stewart) to help simplify the process.
9 simple kitchen cleaning tips
3 Tips for Cleaning Your Pantry
1. Start from top to bottom, moving from shelf to shelf.
This can be done a little at a time or take the day—whatever works best for you! Look carefully at all the items on each shelf. While you're moving things around, wash each item, and each shelf, with a damp cloth.
2. Set out a donation box and a trash bag
As you organize, be sure to check expiry dates. If you spot something that’s still good, but you bought six months ago and haven’t used (like canned goods), consider donating it to your local food bank. Anything expired should head straight into the trash bag.
3. Check and Use Up or Replace: Sauces, Spices, Cooking Oils, and Baking Ingredients
Pay particular attention to sauces, spices, cooking oils, and baking ingredients. You might be surprised to learn that many spices should be used up within a year of opening! Also, keep an eye out for oils that may have gone bad because they were accidentally tucked out of sight.
3 Tips for Cleaning Your Refrigerator and Freezer
Maximizing space is the name of the game here. Start by taking a look at what is about to expire or on the brink of becoming freezer burnt and move that to the front of your fridge or freezer. This will remind you what to eat first. It will also help you to quickly assess what to keep and what to toss.
2. To keep it or not to keep it
We will take the guesswork out of it for you. In general—if it's expired, moldy, clearly too old to eat, or freezer burnt— toss it out. If the thought, 'Oh, I will eat it this week' creeps in, don't let it distract you. Toss. It. Out.
A simple dish soap and warm water mixture or a baking soda mixture with a cloth is all you need to wipe down the shelves. Wash and dry each shelf one at a time, until you're satisfied. Don't forget to pop out those ice cube trays in the freezer and give them a wash as well.
3 Tips for Cleaning Your Oven
1. Clean as you go
When it comes to the oven, small spills that aren’t cleaned up as they happen can quickly turn into big stuck-on messes that require a huge effort to remove.
2. Skip the chemicals, if you want to
If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven and want to avoid the fumes that result from using traditional oven cleaner, consider a natural alternative like water and lemons, or vinegar. Check out this Real Simple article to learn more about those methods, and five more natural ways to clean your oven. Note that the self-cleaning option really only works for a moderately dirty oven.
3. Use your vacuum
It can be difficult to wipe up little crumbs that fall in your oven, on your stovetop, or even underneath the appliance—so use your vacuum cleaner instead (just let things cool down first, of course 😉)!
How Swich can help
If you're looking for additional kitchen cleaning tips, check out this super helpful Swich exercise (included with your FREE Swich membership):
If you're looking for more helpful ways to further build upon your cooking practice:
- 5 cooking exercises you can do if you have 20 mins (or less) to spare
- The science of repetition: Why does doing something repeatedly help you make it a permanent lifestyle change?
- 6 ways to make cooking part of your daily life
- 8 cooking and cleaning tips to save you time in the kitchen
- The Joy of the Process: How to organize your kitchen for cooking
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