When your kitchen is dirty or you’re feeling uninspired because it’s so cluttered you can’t see the countertops It’s definitely time to clean. It’s an ongoing daily task, but it’s easy to get behind and to feel really overwhelmed. Follow my seven step method to a kitchen deep clean and you’ll have your space ready for cooking in no time.
If you’d like to listen to this post instead, check out episode 38 on The Kitchen Invitation podcast. While you’re there, make sure you subscribe so you continue to get fresh episodes every Thursday for all your cooking dilemmas and kitchen talks.
What’s Included in a Kitchen Deep Clean
From cleaning the fridge, I’m looking at you produce drawers! To reorganizing the pantry and scrubbing the inside of the dishwasher, deep cleaning the kitchen is well worth it. In this article I’ll highlight seven areas in your kitchen that are likely in need of some cleaning and why you should be doing this routinely.
Why You Should Do This
One of the main reasons people don’t cook at home is because their messy kitchen is not motivating! If you’re kitchen is way too cluttered, the dishes aren’t done, the trash can stinks…you’re not as likely to want to cook the food you bought. This ends up leading to food waste and money burned.
Another important reason is because kitchens can have a lot of bacteria in them that you do not want to get into your food. Pet hair is also really common to find in the kitchen so keeping up on cleaning it will help eliminate the chances of eating your dog’s hair at dinner.
Where do I start cleaning a filthy kitchen?
I usually recommend starting by standing in your kitchen and identifying the pain spots. Is the table unable to be eaten at? Are the cupboards exploding with Tupperware or food?
Figure out where in the kitchen you want to start and go from there. Some people like to clean a kitchen all in one day or weekend and for some that is too overwhelming. Follow the steps below in any order and in any amount of time that works for you.
Steps for a Kitchen Deep Clean
Step One: Cleaning the Fridge
Start by moving food that needs to stay in a cold temp to an alternative fridge or a cooler with ice if you think you’re going to leave your fridge doors open a long time. Alternatively, clean one shelf and drawer at a time, closing the fridge door in between.
Toss anything you find in the fridge that is moldy or expired. Now that everything is out it’s time to scrub each shelf with warm soapy water. Most fridge shelves are removable so take them to your sink, scrub with warm soapy water and dry with a towel.
Now that the fridge is clean you can re-organize it and set it up in a way that makes the most sense for you. We have a leftover shelf, a shelf for food that we’re about to cook, and a clear bin near the top for ingredients that need to be used up soon.
For example, my, “use up” bin might have bell peppers or half a can of pumpkin that needs to be used. When I’m meal planning I will look in that bin and make sure I plan a way to use or freeze those foods.
Step Two: Cupboards and Drawers
Stand back in your kitchen and ask yourself how you function in your kitchen. Are your spices so far away you don’t bother using them? Is the utensil drawer organized or complete chaos?
Time to empty them all out and start from scratch. Make sure to wipe them out because inevitably crumbs and loose ends find their way in no matter what we do.
Now that the cupboards are wiped clean you can showcase food and utensils in a more organized way.
Step Three: Forage in the Freezer
Start by gutting it and tossing out anything that has gone bad. Take warm water, soap, and a sponge and scrub the interior of the freezer. Dry it with a clean towel and read the next step to take before putting all of the food back in the freezer.
Write a list of all the food you have in your freezer(s). Use this list when you are meal planning so you start to use up more of what you already have.
If you want more help with concepts like that, join my Patreon Kitchen community! I encourage my community members to send me their freezer inventories and I provide feedback and ideas for meals.
Step Four: Clear the Table
This may seem obvious but tables end up being a giant catch all for things like mail, homework, glasses, bills, receipts and more. Take everything off of your table and wipe it down with an appropriate solution.
Consider crafting a fun centerpiece or grab a candle (I love Aldi’s candles, they’re cheap and smell great!) to bring in some new flare. Keep the table a space for eating if possible. If you need to use it for other work, try putting a basket on the end of the table to put the miscellaneous stuff there while you’re eating.
Step Five: Kitchen Filters
I encourage you to do a routine switch of the fridge filter to make sure everything stays in working order. You have a fridge filter to change if you have an ice or water dispenser from your fridge. If you use a water filter be sure to follow the user manual for the frequency of needing to change that too.
Did you know your stove range hood is a filter that needs to be cleaned and degreased? Follow the manual’s instructions to remove it and soak it in hot soapy water. Add a degreaser to the water and scrub it well.
I find an old toothbrush works well for this. If your microwave is over the oven it may also have a filter that needs to be cleaned in the same way. Stand-alone microwaves do not have a filter to clean but they generally need a good wipe down anyway!
Step Six: Scrub the Dishwasher
Whether or not your dishwasher smells when you run a cycle, it’s a good idea to take it apart and clean it. You can use your manual or do a search on Youtube to learn how to take your dishwasher apart.
Next, scrub all of the parts in hot soapy water using dish soap and a little dishwasher detergent. An old toothbrush works well to clean all of the tiny grooves and spaces.
Before you put the dishwasher back together, scrub the interior walls with soap and water as well. This helps remove any grime and helps it smell great too.
Lastly, put the parts back into the dishwasher and run a hot cycle with a glass of white vinegar on the top shelf. Dump the vinegar afterwards. Voila, your dishwasher is ready for another couple months of dishes!
Step Seven: Pantry Refresh
This is fairly similar to your cupboards or those may be the same things for you! If you have a separate pantry, chances are there’s a lot of food collecting dust. First take everything out of the pantry and toss out any expired food.
When you know how you want to organize your pantry, start putting food back in using a first in, first out method. For example, if you have three cans of green beans put the one with the closest expiration date in front so it gets used first.
Additionally, be sure to wipe down the cans or boxes collecting dust and add this food to your inventory list you made when you cleaned out the freezer. Meal planning gets a lot easier when you know exactly what you already have on hand.
How Often Should I do a Kitchen Deep Clean
Personally, I recommend that a kitchen deep clean happens once a quarter or every three months. It depends on how often you cook and how messy it gets. Start with one deep clean and work on maintaining it with a gentle spruce up every other week.
The Kitchen is Clean, It’s Time to Cook
In this article I shared with you how to clean a kitchen in seven steps. We went from the fridge, to the freezer, wiping the cupboards, changing the filters, and scrubbing the dishwasher. A kitchen deep clean is such a helpful way to ensure you start cooking more at home.
Because now that you’ve got a spic-and-span kitchen, it’s time to use it! Remember, kitchens are meant to get messy! Assign yourself a daily, weekly, and/or monthly kitchen chore list to keep it from getting overwhelmingly messy.
That way if (read, when) you make a mess while you’re learning to cook you will already have a proven method to stay on top of the cleanliness. Need some inspiration on what to cook first? I suggest my Dutch Oven Jambalaya or this Cheddar Ale Soup.
Still struggling to feel motivated to cook? Check out this article I wrote to give you some more inspiration.
So let me know, what step did you start with in your kitchen? I’d love to see some before and after photos or videos. Be sure to take them and share them with me on Instagram by tagging me @The.Kitchen.Invitation or #thekitcheninvitation.