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Who keeps your kitchen clean, and just how clean? [moved from Cookware board]

I just spent half the day cleaning every exterior surface in my kitchen and I was shocked by how filthy some of it was. Not the counter or sinks, but the bottom edge of appliances, open shelves, top of frig--not to mention the microwave--and I haven't even touched the inside of the over or frig. Neither my husband or I are great housekeepers, but I had no idea how much hadn't been cleaned in awhile. So how clean do you keep your kitchen or do you have hired help?

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  1. Open shelves get filthy, there are no two ways about it. If the surfaces and top of refrig are caked on grease, well, you'd be amazed at what a good ventilation system will solve. I know this because at the moment we don't have one. It's sort of a losing battle there, but I do try to de-grease the place every other month.

    The inside of the oven gets cleaned at least twice a year, it's a self-cleaning oven. The fridge, once a year for Passover. Thank goodness for Pesach, otherwise I fear the kitchen would never be cleaned.

    Also, this is one reason why I really like small kitchens. It doesn't take a long time to scrub down. I've seen some kitchens where, well...it does take half a day. Or a whole day. Yes, if I had a large kitchen I would bite the bullet and have someone come in and help on a weekly basis.

    1. The kitchen gets a complete and thorough cleaning once a week. Surfaces, inside of microwave, inside of fridge, floor and inside/outside of garbage can all washed down and/or cleaned using disinfectant spray. Same goes for the sink. On a daily basis, whatever is used ( stovetop, coffee maker, microwave) and the counters are wiped down with disinfectant. Sink is sprayed out w/hot water and soap. If something is especially dirtied, I attack the spill ASAP. The inside of the oven is cleaned on self-cleaning once every 2 to 3 weeks. Stove burners can be soaked in the sink as you clean everything else, and then do the sink last of course.

      7 Replies
      1. re: MRS

        I clean the kitchen, but my husband often does the dishes. I have certain cupboards that get wipes each day and clean one appliance thoroughly per week on a rotation. Obviously, if there are spills or splatters they get wiped whether it's that part of the kitchen's turn or not.

        1. re: MRS

          I do the same, and I also make sure not to leave dishes out - they get washed essentially immediately (whether that's while something is cooking or directly after the meal).

          1. re: MRS

            I forgot to mention that I'm the primary cool *and* cleaner for this place, and I live with my partner and two others.

            1. re: MRS

              I'm just curious as to why your oven is so soiled you need to clean it so often. I make use of baking sheets under pies, potatoes, to avoid spills. I'm reluctant to use a disinfectant spray in the microwave, as the food is so exposed in there. I use soap and water to wipe it out. Why would you need to disinfect a coffeemaker?

              I consider myself pretty neat and tidy. I keep up with the inside of the fridge, and take it apart every once in a while to thoroughly clean it. I wash the sponges in the dishwasher, and zap them on high in the microwave for 1 minute.
              I do have outside help, but I also use a swiffer a couple of times a week.

              On the other hand, I have a friend whose kitchen is pretty grimy. No one in her house is ever sick. Perhaps we're all over doing it?

              1. re: CookieLee

                Of course we're overdoing it! Somehow the human race managed to survive and thrive for millennia without disinfecting everything. The more you disinfect, the more you (a) create superbugs, and (b) lower your own natural resistance. It's pretty well established now that a lot of allergies in children are caused by their immune system not being exposed to enough benign pathogens. Plus, you're putting all those nasty chemicals around your food -- much worse than a few germs IMHO. Why would you need to disinfect an oven that heats to temperatures high enough to kill germs anyway?

                I'm not saying we should live in pigsties, but there's no need to try to keep your kitchen as sterile as an operating room!

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Makes me think of Sam's Magic Kitchen. :)

            2. A lot of the greasy, dusty buildup has to do with actually cooking in your kitchen. Anything near the cooktop is in danger of getting greasy residue. I have a beautiful, large, open plan kitchen, but I have never actually hung the pot rack I have always wanted, because the hooks for it are over my cooktop, which is in the center island. I have always assumed that anything I hang from it would be full of grease and dust in no time, so I just didn't buy one. Same with backspashes and counters.

              I am the cook and the cleaner. To me, the most important things to keep clean involve surfaces that come into contact with food. Sinks are a big bacteria draw, so I work on those constantly.

              Countertops are next. I have all closed shelves because Texas is a dusty place. No point making more work and having more to dust. The other place I focus on is the meat drawer in the fridge. That is the bottom drawer, and I line it with paper towels so that I can easily spot any leaking from meat packages. At the first sign of chicken "juice" -- it gets cleaned immediately. The veggie drawer is next.

              I give the place a once over after every meal, because I don't want any food or crumbs on surfaces. It goes fast after you get used to doing it. Most importantly, the cooktop needs to get wiped down after cooking. I don't know how everyone else cooks, but mine gets greasy and dirty pretty quickly.

              My floors are wood and hide dirt well, but they need a Swiffer and damp mop at least a couple of times a week.

              1. Agreed, anything out on the counter or an open shelf is fair game for dirt and grease. I put everything I possibly can in cabinets and the pantry. Counters and sinks are cleaned daily, the refrigerator monthly, and the floors, appliances, etc. are all cleaned weekly. I do a quick sweep of the kitchen floor at the end of the day, and a steam mop every week.

                1. wow, another add for my cowering in fear thread. I try to clean the things i use as soon as I use them, and I try not to let the dishes sit in the sink for more than a day. Washing dishes includes cleaning the sink. I usually wipe down the whole counter once a week (if I have been cooking) and I clean the cooktop as needed, usually a quick wipe down when used, a more thorough cleaning every month or so. The fridge gets an interior wipe down once a year whether it needs it or not, the drawers are pulled out and rinsed on an occasional basis more often, especially when i notice that a piece of produce has gone bad or meat juices have been leaking. I rarely acknowledge that there is a top surface on my fridge, nor do I pull it out of it's niche to clean under or behind it. The shelves in my kitchen were wiped down when I moved in, and again after they fumigated the building about 3 years ago. I believe that disinfectant sprays are destroying our immune systems and they should only be used when you know you have a problem somewhere - yes, I'm serious about that. If i were in some way immune compromised I would no doubt change some habits. So I guess a bunch of you aren't coming to my house for dinner, but I'm in the Sam Fujisaka's magic house society.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    I don't use disinfectant sprays - biodegradable soap and hot water does it for me. If something's really stubborn salt is a great scrubber.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      I'm with you. I don't see the need -- and see potential harm -- in keeping my kitchen ultra clean. I have a house cleaner who cleans the kitchen (stove, cabinets, floors, counters) every other week. I clean the counters after (and sometimes before, depending on who else has been in the kitchen) I use them, and the sink every day or two (again, depending on usage). Basically, if a food-prep surface looks like it needs cleaning, I clean it. If I spill something, I or the dog clean it up. Dirty dishes don't sit around because there isn't room for them to do so (although my new roommate has the amusing habit of making herself tea and not drinking it -- at any given time there are an average of two partially consumed beverages and two tea pots on the counter, plus she makes rice several times a week and half the time it boils over -- I'm going to invest in a rice cooker simply to cut down on cleaning the stove). The fridge was completely emptied and cleaned a couple of months ago, and every year or so I pull it out and clean behind it. The next "deep clean" project is the blades on the ceiling fan, which haven't been cleaned since I painted about eight years ago and are incredibly grimy.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Those fan blades are a terrible problem for me, since the fan is in the dining area of the kitchen. Combine cooking grease, black cat hair and dust from outside and it is a prime spot for gunk. Unfortunately, the blade are wood and painted white poorly so some of the paint comes off each time I clean it. Husband took Brillo pad to it last week so now down to bare wood in some spots. Will have to take the fan apart to remove blades which I then want to spray paint gloss white so they'll be easier to keep clean........husband thinks it looks fine now because he's the one that has to take it apart and reassemble....when they're spinning you can't see it so maybe that's the answer for now.

                        1. re: escondido123

                          You really do have to take the blades off (take the screws out of the mounting brackets) to clean them. Then you can use really hot water and detergent and you don't have to scrub and ruin the finish. But yeah, I repainted the blades, too -- I already had the paint out so why not?