As the spot for preparing meals and enjoying informal family time, the kitchen is one of the busiest areas of the home – and often, one of the hardest areas to keep clean. To help your kitchen recapture its sparkle – from the refrigerator door to the far corners of the microwave – try these time-tested techniques, provided by the pros Merry Maids.
Go for the Fridge
On the inside
• Daily, before placing containers in the refrigerator, wipe container exterior and securely cover before placing in the refrigerator to avoid spills and reduce odors.
• Weekly, dispose of leftover items that have not been eaten or have expired. This allows room for new items. Save yourself this step by not refrigerating leftovers that anyone is likely to eat.
• Monthly, clean each shelf/bin one at a time starting from top to bottom – remove items and wash shelf/bin with warm soapy water as well as walls of refrigerator. Dry thoroughly.
On the outside
• For exterior cleaning, all-purpose cleaners are safe for most surfaces in the kitchen, including stainless steel appliance exteriors. However a stainless steel polish can be applied about three or four times a year.
• Use glass cleaner followed by buffing with a dry cloth to remove finger prints from stainless steel refrigerators. Whenever a product is used on stainless steel, the surface should be rinsed with plain, warm water and then dried to prevent streaking and water marks.
• Clean other refrigerator surfaces with a soap and water solution.
Rid Your Sink of the Dirt and Grime
• For stainless steel or ceramic sinks, rinse the sink after each use and wipe with a clean dry cloth. Drying the sink will prevent mineral deposits from building up on the surface.
• Each week, scour the sink rubbing with the grain of the sink. When scouring, use a non-abrasive cleaner, such as an all-purpose cleanser or glass and surface cleaner. Do not use steel wool, wire brushes or abrasive sponges.
• Use a stainless steel cleaner or a small amount of olive oil when looking to add a shine to a stainless steel sink.
Don’t Forget Your Small Appliances
• To freshen up your disposal, fill it with ice cubes and slices of lime or lemon. Then, run cold water while the disposal is on for about 30 seconds. The ice will sharpen and clean the blades, and the citrus will release a fresh scent.
• If you have stuck-on foods in the microwave, fill a two-cup glass measuring cup with a cup of water and the juice from one lemon. Microwave for about 30 seconds or until the water boils. This should create steam in the microwave that will loosen stuck-on foods, so you can wipe the microwave clean. The lemon juice will provide a fresh scent.
Make Your Wooden Cabinets Look New Again
• For stubborn dirt, wash around all handles and any other grease zones with hand dishwashing detergent. Then wash the entire cabinet, including the handle areas, with an oil soap solution, such as Murphy® Oil Soap. Just wipe lightly with the solution and buff dry immediately with a terry cleaning cloth. Always wipe dry with any grain or pattern.
• If cabinets are dull from wear or age, spray furniture polish lightly across the exterior once a year to fill in the pores and restore the life of the wood.
• Do not use acids or powdered cleansers on cabinets. A good overall washing once a year should be enough. In the interim, use an all-purpose cleaner to spot-clean after heavy kitchen use.
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