How to Clean Your Kitchen, Step by Step

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You know how to clean your kitchen, but are you doing it in the most efficient way possible? This kitchen cleaning guide will set you up with the right tools and the best cleaning practices for a space that sparkles!

When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your home, your kitchen should be a priority. After all, it’s the space where you prepare food. Plus, it’s often the hub of family gatherings, and who wants to hang out in a dirty kitchen? Follow our ultimate cleaning kitchen guide to keep every appliance and surface clean and tidy. We’ve even made a printable checklist so you can track your progress!

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Before you start cleaning the kitchen, set yourself up for success.

  • Keep your favorite cleaning products and essential tools under the kitchen sink at all times. When your cleaners are organized and easily accessible, you’re more likely to stay on top of cleaning.
  • Clear the clutter. The kitchen can be a dumping ground for mail, papers and all kinds of random belongings that can make it hard to clean. So grab a basket and do a quick sweep of the kitchen. This isn’t the time to walk around putting everything away. Simply gather items that don’t belong in the kitchen and put them into the basket, then set it aside for later.
  • Don’t forget the entertainment! Put on your favorite podcast or music, and cleaning your kitchen will be a lot more enjoyable.

Ready to scrub, wipe and shine until your kitchen sparkles? Let’s get to work!

Kitchen Cleaning Tools

We wouldn’t exactly call cleaning the kitchen “fun,” but the right products and tools make it a lot less miserable. We’ve gathered the essentials that should be in every kitchen cleaning tool kit. From stained dishes to greasy ovens and even stubborn scratches on your quartz countertop, you’ll find a solution in the list below.

  • Soft Cleanser: A miracle cleaning product like Bar Keepers Friend will have amazing results on your sink, counters and more.
  • Kitchen Degreaser: A degreaser such as Krud Kutter helps remove grease buildup on stovetops, counters, cabinets and walls.
  • Scrubber Sponge: Remove stubborn food stains without scratching your dishes.
  • Heavy-Duty Dish Soap: Dish soap cleans more than just dishes. I’m obsessed with Dawn Powerwash for its superior cleaning abilities!
  • Oven Cleaner: This heavy-duty cleaner works wonders on the inside of your oven.
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloths: These will shine up your kitchen surfaces without leaving any lint behind.
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner: Say goodbye to fingerprints.
  • All-Purpose Cleaner: I like a product that disinfects, too, like Lysol.
  • Glass Cleaner: Make your windows and oven door shine.

Weekly Kitchen-Cleaning Routine

Here’s a smart rule of thumb: Clean from top to bottom so you don’t have to fight against gravity. Start with the cabinets and work your way down, ending with the floor. That way, even if it ends up covered with drips and dust, you’ll only have to clean it once.

Clean the Cabinets

  • Use a microfiber cloth and soapy water to wipe down cabinets. Your cloth should be damp, but not dripping wet. Too much water can damage the paint finish of your cabinets; and if you have MDF cabinets, water can get trapped in the corners and cause warping.
  • Use degreaser for grease buildup.
  • If there’s open space above your cabinets, line the tops with sheets of waxed paper. Instead of sticking to the tops of cabinets, dust and grease will stick to the surface of the waxed paper. Then, all you have to do is carefully fold the sheet up, toss it and replace it with a fresh one.

Clean the Oven and Stovetop

  • If you have a gas stove, remove the burner grates and set them in the sink. Spray them with heavy-duty dish soap, then return to the range while the product works its magic.
  • Wipe down the entire exterior of the range, including the stovetop, with a damp cloth to get rid of crumbs and debris.
  • Spray oven cleaner on the interior of the oven, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. (If you prefer to use natural cleaning products, try this TikTok-famous oven-cleaning hack.)
  • Spray degreaser on the stovetop, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Use a sponge or cloth to wipe away cleaner and scrub stains.
  • Scrub grates that are soaking in dish soap with a soft bristle brush, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Spritz the range with glass cleaner and wipe with a microfiber cloth to polish and shine
  • Return dried grates to the stovetop if needed.

Clean the Refrigerator

  • Clear out all the food and put it on the counter. Throw away old leftovers and expired food.
  • Wipe down the glass shelves and interior of the fridge with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to wipe down the rubber seals, as well.
  • Dry the clean surfaces with a fresh cloth, and return the food. While you’re at it, organize your fridge.
  • Wipe the exterior of the fridge with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water.
  • Dry the exterior of the fridge, then spray and polish with stainless steel cleaner or window cleaner, if your refrigerator isn’t stainless.

Clean the Sink

  • Hand-wash your dishes or load the dishwasher. Then rinse out the sink so it’s clear of any debris.
  • If it’s stinky, freshen your garbage disposal by tossing some citrus peels down the drain and turning it on while the water runs.
  • Squirt soft cleanser all over the inside of the sink, and spread the product with a damp cloth. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Use a soft sponge to thoroughly scrub the soft cleanser on the entire surface of the sink. This cleanser is mildly abrasive and removes even stubborn sink stains. Then, rinse.
  • If you have a stainless steel sink, dry the sink with a cloth and do a final shine with the stainless steel cleaner.

Clean the Microwave

  • Pour a cup of vinegar and a cup of water into a microwave-safe bowl (add a squirt of lemon juice for extra cleaning power).
  • Heat the solution in your microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Then, leave it to sit for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl carefully. Dip a cloth into the solution and gently wipe the inside and outside of your microwave. For stubborn residue, use a sponge.
  • Do a final shine on the outside of the microwave with window cleaner.

Clean the Counters

  • Wipe down countertops with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water or your favorite all-purpose cleaner.
  • If you want to disinfect the counters, spray with Lysol. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then wipe.
  • If you have quartz countertops, scrub away stains and even minor scratches with soft cleanser. Just apply it to the stain, let sit for a few minutes and scrub with a soft sponge.

Clean the Floor

  • Sweep the entire floor or use a hard-surface vacuum. Don’t miss the corners under the cabinets where crumbs and dust like to gather.
  • Mop the floor (we like these mops, as well as the popular spin mop) with your favorite cleaner, following all manufacturer instructions, or make a natural solution by mixing a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water.
  • To clean grout, apply a paste made of water and baking soda, then pour equal parts warm water and vinegar into a spray bottle. Spritz the vinegar-water mix on the paste, then scrub the grout using an old toothbrush. Wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth.
  • For wood floors, here’s the best hardwood floor cleaner.

Daily Kitchen-Cleaning Routine

Now that you know how to clean every corner of your kitchen, how do you keep it clean? The easiest way is to do a little daily, so when it’s time for your weekly clean you’re not completely overwhelmed.

  • Use the one-minute rule to get little things done every day. If it only takes a minute, just get it done this minute. It’s a way of tricking yourself into doing all kinds of little things instead of putting them off until they pile up.
  • Keep a basket on the counter or above the refrigerator, and at the end of each day, throw in any lost items that need to be moved to other rooms.
  • Rinse and wash the dishes. Wipe down the sink and fixtures when you’re done.
  • Wipe off the counters and stovetop to catch any food-prep spills.
  • Spot clean the floors as needed with these microfiber mop pads.

Kitchen Deep-Cleaning Routine

On the other end of the spectrum are deep-cleaning tasks. These jobs are a little more involved, but they need only to be done once a month or even less frequently.

  • Clean the coffee maker once a month. Put a paper filter in place, then fill the water chamber with equal parts vinegar and water. Start the machine, then turn it off when it’s halfway through the brew cycle. Let the solution sit for half an hour, then finish the brew cycle. Replace the paper filter, then run the brew cycle with a full pot of water.
  • Clean your range hood each month. Remove filters, then wash them in a sink of hot, soapy water. Wipe the exterior and underside of the hood with a cloth dampened with soapy water. Use a degreaser for extra buildup. Dry and return the filters.
  • Disinfect your trash can monthly. Scrub the outside of your can with a soft sponge and a diluted bleach spray made from 1 tablespoon of bleach to 24 ounces of water.
  • Dust blinds and wash windows as needed, using microfiber cloths and glass cleaner for the windows.
  • Clean behind the fridge a few times a year. Have someone help you pull the fridge away from the wall. You’ll be surprised to see how dirty the flooring can get back there! Give it a good sweep and mop before putting the fridge back in place.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist Graphic 03Taste of Home

Follow these routines and you’ll be amazed by how much easier kitchen cleaning can be.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.