Ah, summer — it finally arrives this week! While you may picture a whole season of grilling out, your kitchen will still end up working just as hard as usual — maybe even harder.
Before you change your cooking habits for the next few months, give your kitchen a once-over to keep it performing at its best. Here's a quick checklist of what you should do.
1. Deep-clean around and behind your appliances.
Degrease your stove's crevices, scrub the mildew out of your dishwasher, and vacuum your fridge's coils. "Your appliances work extra hard when it's hot outside, so you want them as clean as possible," says Melissa Maker, author of Clean My Space.
Give Your Appliances a Hand
2. Empty the cabinets.
Insect activity spikes in warm weather, and any spills or unsealed containers are magnets for pests. Take everything out of your upper and lower cabinets and off the pantry shelves. Then wipe down all the shelves and replace the items.
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3. Clean your windows.
Once that strong summer sun starts shining through them, you're going to see just how dirty your windows really are! Make a plan to do it on a cloudy day so that the cleaner doesn't dry before you have a chance to wipe it up, which leaves streaks.
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4. Deep-clean your cutting boards.
With all the fresh fruits and veggies you'll be eating this summer, your cutting boards are about to see a lot of use — get them ready and maintain them every month or so. All you need? A bit of salt and half of lemon.
See the steps: How To Clean a Wooden Cutting Board with Lemon and Salt
5. Rotate your gadgets.
Maybe you know you tend to use your blender more than your slow cooker during the summer. Ditto for your ice cream maker versus your pasta maker. Pull out your seasonal gadgets — or at least move them to the front of the cabinets — and put the other stuff away. Hint: Make sure whatever you're putting away is clean before you ditch it for season. And if you're pulling out summer-y stuff, dust if off so it's ready when you need it.
6. Swap glass for plastic.
It's time to unearth your melamine dishes and acrylic cups. You're going to want these items — especially when food is being transported in and out of the house, or when you have a bunch of friends running around the yard (pool?). Safety first!
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7. Stock up!
Go through the fridge and pantry first, then hit the store to get this year's supply of foil, wooden skewers, ketchup, mustard, and wine. "I also like to keep a supply of hot dogs and buns in my freezer," says Toni Hammersley, author of The Complete Book of Clean.
8. Clean your trash can.
We get not wanting to do this outside in the winter, but you don't really have any excuse now that it's warmer. Give your trash can a deep clean. And when you're done and back inside, consider tossing food scraps into a smaller bag that you can take outside nightly to avoid stinky garbage.