Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Cleaning: Room by Room Series; The Kitchen, part 2

Hello all! Today has been a busy day (already, and it's only 830ish), but I wanted to make sure I got in today's post about cleaning. Last week, I started the series by explaining how the process goes, and then jumped in with the kitchen. If you missed it, here's the link.

Don't forget I get my information from the wonderful Melissa Ringstaff (here's her blog and her website that I LOVE). Go to her page on The Household Notebook (a MUST for really any mom) to download her information that I am going to share with you today. As I highlight a few of the suggestions she gives, I will include the direct link to the download.

So what's on the menu today? The refrigerator and the stove. I know what you're thinking: hasn't she covered the refrigerator like 20 times already? Yes. Yes, I have. But I really want to stress how important keeping the fridge clean can be. So we are going to touch on it today as well as the stove. So here goes....

Cleaning the Refrigerator: (Downloadable link here)
Cleaning the kitchen weekly (highlights)

  • Unplug the fridge. Uh, duh. For serious, though. For a deep clean, this would be something I would forget. You would think I would learn after being shocked a few times. (Childhood friends, no jokes, please!) :) 
  • Work from top to bottom. You would think this would be something I would think of, but I'm really just a jump in there type of girl, and I would end up doing twice the work since the dirty water would run to the bottom. So it's a good reminder to start at the top and work your way down. 
  • Really hot water may crack glass shelves. Yeah, that would totally stink, so just be careful. 
The download only covers the weekly, hence the reason I am doing the fridge and the stove. There were about 10 things she suggested doing, so make sure you check it out. It's a good idea to print the page and make a notebook of a checklist when you decide to do your weekly (or bi-weekly, in my case) cleaning. 

Cleaning the Stove and Oven: (Downloadable link here
Cleaning the Stove Daily (highlights): 
  • Begin cooking with a clean stove. I know this makes sense, but seriously, it's a MUST. There are so many little nasty bacteria that hover around your stove, that you really need to make sure you don't start off a meal with old germs floating around. I HATE cooking in a dirty kitchen, so if you clean as you go, you really won't have that much of a problem cleaning up afterwards (or make it an easy chore for your husband or older children to do after dinner). 
  • Cooking at high temperatures will cause food to spill and splatter more frequently. Good tip, really. Cooking faster does not mean better food or a cleaner kitchen. So turn it down, not only for better food, but also an easier clean up later. 
Cleaning the Stove Weekly (highlights)
  • Use a mild abrasive to clean up baked on grease. I talked about this a little when I covered cleaning with baking soda. It's a miracle worker and will help get that nasty grease up. 
  • Wipe down the entire outside of the stove, as well as under the knobs. The KNOBS!! That is something I always seem to forget. Then when I do it, I'm like "ewww! How did THAT get there?!" So it's a good idea to just remove the knobs and swipe them once a week. 
  • Wipe the walls and cabinets around the stove. Uh, yeah. Things splatter, even if you DON'T cook with a high temperature. Check out the area all around your stove. The counters, the walls, the back splash, and even the area under the hood. 
Cleaning the OVEN weekly (highlights): 
  • Use the self-cleaning oven. I don't do this every week, because, frankly, I'm not too comfortable with my oven heating itself up to, what, ?900 degrees?, once a week. That's a LOT of energy being used, AND it makes my kitchen VERY, very hot. So this is a monthly thing for me, and usually in the evenings. 
  • Wear a dust mask. This is a great idea. If you use a fume free cleaner for your oven, that's fine, but just be safe and wear a mask. I would hate that 30 years down the road, they come out with a study on how people who didn't wear a mask grew a third hand or something. 
Photo credit: http://finedesign-aura.blogspot.com/2011/01/retro-stoves.html

Okay, that's it for this week. Next week I'm going to finish the kitchen with tips on Mealtime Cleanup and Pantry Organization. 

Happy cleaning, everyone! 

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