19 Pro Tips on How To Clean A Kitchen

September 20, 2016
19 Pro Tips on How To Clean A Kitchen

Wouldn't you love to clean your kitchen better in less time?

You aren't alone.  The kitchen is one of the most time consuming places to clean in the home.  Many homeowners don't quite know how to start cleaning a kitchen. No room in the house gets as messy.

Lucky for you, TIDY Homekeepers have cleaned millions of kitchens and experts.  Here is one set of tips collected from interviews from our top Homekeepers.  This is a series of blog posts, so stay tuned for more as we walk through each room in the house.

Here are some kitchen cleaning tips from the experts:


First, make a kitchen cleaning checklist.  Have you ever read The Checklist Manifesto?  In it, the author explains why even seeming experts need checklists to be productive.  This includes airplane pilots and doctors.  

Many TIDY Homekeepers recommend creating a checklist for yourself.  This way you can know exactly what to do as you move through the kitchen.

Don't know how to clean a kitchen?  Here is an example to do list of items to get you started.

1.  Gather your equipment.  Cleaning kitchens (or any room) go faster if you have things close at hand.  Here is one homekeeper's list:

  • A flat-headed mop with terry cloth or microfiber towels
  • A spray bottle of all purpose liquid cleaner
  • A spray bottle of glass cleaner
  • A can of powdered cleaner
  • At least two scouring pads
  • A pad of steel wool
  • A whisk broom
  • A lambswool duster
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A bottle of floor cleaner
  • At least a dozen folded white cleaning cloths
  • A bunch of old toothbrushes
  • A scraper
  • Two large trash can bags

2. Put on an apron with roomy pockets or use a carrying tray.  This allows you to carry all your supplies in one spot.  Most TIDY Homekeepers prefer a carrying tray, as they have found it to be faster to use.

3. Map out your kitchen so that you don’t have to backtrack.  TIDY Homekeepers generally recommend moving through the home in a pattern.  Many choose to come through the door, and move clockwise. At the end, you’re back where you started.

4. Set up the room.  Generally, TIDY Homekeepers recommend moving any mats outside the kitchen.  This allows you to easily clean the floors.

5. Clean high to low.  Many homekeepers clean kitchens from the high point to the low point.  If you have a window in your kitchen, start there.  Lightly spray glass cleaner around the window, then wipe with a cloth until it’s dry. If the glass is not dry, the cleaner will leave streaks. This is especially true if it’s a sunny day.

Remember: a rookie mistake is to use too much product.  Less is more :)

6. As you move around the kitchen, knock down cobwebs with the duster. If the cobwebs are too high to reach, stick the duster in the vacuum cleaner extension and reach them.

7. Next, clean the wall cabinets and wipe away the fingerprints. Give them a spritz with all-purpose cleaner then wipe the area with a cleaning cloth.  Give the surface a wipe with a dry cloth afterwards.  

Tip:  Keep your cleaning cloths clean.  When your cloth gets dirty, go ahead an put it in a trash bag liner.  Clean cloths help you don't spread dirt between rooms or areas.

8.  What is one easy way to clean a kitchen faster?  Skip what doesn't need cleaning.  Kitchen surfaces must be cleaned for hygiene.  So most Homekeepers recommend cleaning these even if they look clean.  But cabinets aren't quite that way.  If the doors of cabinets don’t look dirty, you can skip them.

9. Clean above the stove. Start with the vent hood and work from back to front. Sometimes, you may need to put vent filters into the sink to soak.  Some parts of the hoods may even be able to be washed in the dishwasher.  If they can be pulled out, pull them out after wiping them, wipe the places behind them, then replace them. Clean the burners, using the scouring pads and scrapers if necessary. If the knobs are below the burners, clean them. Toothbrushes come in handy here, and they are bound to get very grotty. Toss them into the trash can bags if they become unusable.

10. Don't skip the counters.  You should clean counters every time to maximize good hygiene.  Spray the countertop with the all-purpose cleaner, working from front back. If there’s stuff on the counter, just move it forward or put it on the floor. Then, dust it and replace it. If there's a hanging shelf or a spice rack, dust behind it.

11. Deep clean gunk on the countertop.  First, spray it with all purpose cleaner.  Let is sit for a while.  Then, scour it with a pad. If that doesn’t work, use a scraper or razor blade. Make sure that the scraper is at a low, flat angle so that it doesn’t damage the countertop.

12. Get low.  Move down to clean the floor cabinets. Wipe away fingerprints and grime around the knobs or handles. If they’re a bit grungy in hard-to-get-into places, try using a toothbrush.
12. Wipe the top of the fridge, then move downward and wipe off the fingerprints. Use the toothbrushes to get rid of grunge. Open the door and clean the rubber gasket and any wipe off any other areas that need wiping. While the door’s open, clean the air vent.

13. Clean the front of the stove, then open the door and spray with the all-purpose cleaner. To get off deep crusty grime, try using a razor blade.

14. Work your way around the kitchen island.  Clean small appliances such as the toaster on the counter.  Make sure to unplug the appliances before you use cleaner on them.  Never spritz directly on to the appliance.  

15. Finally, you’ll reach the sink. The sink should be free of dishes. Clean around the rim, and use the toothbrush around the faucets and the handles. Then, use the powdered cleaner in the bowl of the sink. Use a scouring pad to spread it around and then rinse. Make sure to rinse all cleaner from the sink before you move on.

16. Put your counter cleaners & dust cloths away, and place them in another room.  Get your floor cleaner, mop, & vacuum out.

17. Most TIDY Homekeepers recommend cleaning the floors last in any room.  This is because as you clean high, dirt falls low.  You also don't want to step on your clean floors as you clean other things.

18.  Sweep or vacuum the floor first. This picks up large dirt particles so you can more effectively mop.

19.  Mop your floors.  Pay attention to the specific type of flooring.  If you want specific guides on how to clean a floor, learn more online.  Here are our guides on:

  • How to clean hardwood floors
  • How to clean tile floors
  • How to clean vinyl or laminate floors
  • How to clean stone floors

Every floor is unique, so make sure to care for it appropriately.

Need help figuring out how to mop?  One approach is to use ammonia.  Close the sink drain and quarter-fill it with warm water. Add a bit of ammonia, dip in a terry cloth or microfiber cloth, wring it out, and slip it on the mop head.

Start mopping in the corder farthest from the door. When the cloth becomes dirty, take it off and slip on a new one. Put dirty cloths into the wash immediately or the dirt will be tough to get out. Drain the sink, rinse it, and mop your way out of the room.

You've cleaned the kitchen!

Cleaning a kitchen is hard work, but it can be pretty quick and easy if you follow the steps above.  Use a checklist and work top to bottom, and make sure to use the right tool for the  job.  

What have you found to be effective ways to clean the kitchen?

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