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Your kitchen cleaning tips

I'm curious to hear how everyone goes about cleaning his/her kitchen. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.

Some of my regular kitchen cleaning routine include:

- Nuking the sponge in the microwave especially when it has that not properly dry smell
- Disinfecting and cleaning out fridge very regularly, but somehow not sure how to tackle the freezer
- Grinding lemons in the insinknerator (does not really "clean" but I really think this cleanse the odor in the kitchen)
- Choosing only Dawn dish soap as i don't feel that other soaps have the same grease-cutting strengths

What are your cleaning routine/tips/tricks? Do you make your own cleaning solution to disinfect your countertops (if so, how do you make it?)? Do you arrange or organize your kitchen a certain way? Do you use zip lock bags to seal everything or must you foil wrap everything to make sure the food is sealed properly? Basically, anything goes.. I am really curious and hoping to learn something new. Thank you!

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  1. I recently started using facecloths instead of a sponge and I change them frequently and wash them in the washing machine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ecclescake

      I gave up sponges years ago, couldn't trust DH not to odd things (like wipe dust off his shoes) with them.

      Now I use dish rags (4 to a pack from Target) and bar towels. Both are white and get changed out every day. Used ones get washed in a bleach load.

      1. re: cleobeach

        When I'm ready to swap out a sponge for a new one I boil the dirty one to kill germs (we don't have a microwave,) and cut a corner off. The man knows that sponges with the corners cut are no longer dish sponges and can be used for other things (and that they are never used for dishes!)

    2. Use natural dish detergents if you want to avoid that nasty sponge smell.

        1. My primary strategy is to volunteer to cook so that spouse and kids have to do cleanup.

          Other than that, cover stuff cooked in the microwave to avoid splatters, clean as I go to avoid dish pile-ups, use plastic containers to store leftovers, purge uneaten mystery foods from the fridge on Sundays for Mon garbage pickup, prohibit eating in other parts of the house to avoid dishes all over hell's halfacre (kids rooms).

          Dogs do a good job at gobbling food bits off the floor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tcamp

            People forgetting to cover food in the microwave is also one of my pet peeve. Back in college (and also now in the office), I couldn't stand looking at the inside without wanting to clean it (tried, no use).

          2. I have a grocery bag holder/dispenser I re-purposed to hold rags. It lives under the kitchen sink, attached to the inside of the cabinet door. As my wash cloths near the end of the usable life in the bathroom, I add them to the rag bin. I use them to wash dishes, wipe down surfaces, clean up spills... Then just toss in the washing machine and they get washed with my regular laundry.

            I'm not big on disinfecting everything. I wash my hand well after handling raw meat or poultry, and wash the cutting board and knife with the hottest water I can bear. Otherwise, I use a water/vinegar solution when cleaning most surfaces in the kitchen. I keep the water/vinegar in a spray bottle under the sink.

            I use mason jars with reusable/nonsealing lids to store most things in the fridge, and plastic bags for most things in the freezer.

            I organize things so I can fit as much stuff as possible in my tiny apartment kitchen, with things I use daily on the lowest shelves of overhead cabinets, and work up/down from there.

            The dishwasher in my apartment is awful. It desperately needs a rinse agent, but doesn't have a rinse agent dispenser. Instead, I fill the detergent well mostly with detergent, then top off with white vinegar. My dishes come out much cleaner/shinier then I do this.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mpjmph

              I'm moving towards natural cleaning products wherever possible. I clean the sink with vinegar and baking soda and put juiced lime and lemon wedges through the garburator. I have a natural degreaser product for heavier jobs. I only go to the toxic big guns if I feel a situation warrants it. A diluted vinegar-water solution maintains counter tops and table tops, cleans the floors and microwave, though I may go full strength to get the sticky stuff off. Baking soda and vinegar, along with a scrub sponge, leave my stainless steel sink shinier than Fantastic or Vim ever did. I use vinegar on my teapot, kettle, pots and pans to shine them up. I still use Windex to clean glass, but if I find a more eco-friendly product that does the job without leaving streaks, I'll promptly make the switch.

              I dislike using sponges, but I have them for their abrasive sides, which are preferable to SOS pads. They have short lives and get baths regularly. I use rags for everything else. They get washed regularly.

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                I need to try this vinegar solution. I don't know anyone who does this. Since I left home for school early in life, I didn't get to learn basic cleanings skills from them.

                1. re: chocomel

                  Vinegar is my primary cleaning liquid. My family was "green" long before it became trendy because being green in the sense of homemade cleaning products was frugal and frugal could have been the family name.

                  I was always taught that the acid is what killed the germs, something to do with destroying the cell walls. I use it full strength on the toilet seats and surrounding area - spray a good dose on and let it sit while I do the mirrors and such and then go back and wipe everything down.

                  For the kitchen, I have a spray bottle with a mix of water and vinegar (I never measure, I just eye-ball it) with a good squirt of dish detergent in it for the sink area, stove and counter tops.

                  I make my own window cleaner with rubbing alcohol. I know it can be made with vinegar but I just don't like the results from my attempts.

                  My husband HATES the smell of my beloved vinegar but I just ignore him. He is rarely around when I use it. The smell can be masked by adding essential oils such as orange or any citrus.

                  I scrub the sinks out with a baking soda/dish detergent paste. If I have borax on hand, I will use that instead of baking soda.