10 Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen Without *Actually* Cleaning Your Kitchen

published Aug 16, 2021
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Finding ways to get your kitchen clean without making a super-long to-do list seems too good to be true. But it can be done! Meaning, you can clean your kitchen without actually having to clean it. (Because we know you have better things to do.) Here are 10 tips to get your kitchen clean without breaking a sweat — or, in some cases, even having to be awake!

Credit: Lauren Volo

1. Steam a lemon in your microwave.

If your microwave interior is covered in dried splatters, you don’t need to scrub the inside. Instead, cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into half a cup of water in a bowl, drop the lemon slices into the water, and then microwave for three minutes. Let the bowl sit in the microwave for another five minutes to allow the steam to penetrate caked-on messes. Then, wipe it all down with a rag. Easy!

Read more: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally with Just a Lemon

2. Use a cleaning tablet to clean your dishwasher.

Every one to three months, use a cleaning tablet to sanitize your dishwasher and address detergent and food particle buildup that can damage your machine. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Soak your faucet head in vinegar.

If it’s been a minute since you looked underneath the kitchen faucet, there could be buildup of calcium deposits from hard water — or even mold or mildew. Luckily, this is a super-easy fix — with minimal effort! Grab a plastic bag, fill it halfway with distilled white vinegar, and pull the baggie up and over the faucet head (it should be fully immersed in the vinegar). Then, secure the bag with a rubber band so that the faucet can soak for 30 minutes. Once the time is up, use a dish brush and water to remove any remaining gunk, and presto! Your faucet will be ready to go. Repeat every six weeks.

Credit: Diana Yen

4. Set up your oven to clean itself while you sleep.

Don’t want to spend endless hours scrubbing baked-on grease from inside your oven? Here’s a much better solution: Mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water until you have a spreadable paste. Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of your oven (especially those stubborn greasy areas!) and steer clear of heating elements. Then, while you relax (or better yet, sleep!), allow the baking soda mixture to do its thing. Afterwards, take a damp cloth and wipe out as much of the dried paste as you can before spraying the oven with a little vinegar. Do a final wipe until your oven is shiny and clean.

Read more: How To Clean an Oven with Baking Soda and Vinegar

5. Ditto for your oven racks.

It’s time to draw a nice, long bath — for your oven racks! Soak them in the tub overnight with some dishwasher detergent and, in the morning, the grimy gunk will be much easier to clean off with a brush or sponge.

Read more: How To Clean Oven Racks in the Bathtub

Credit: Cat Meschia

6. Simmer pots with burnt-on food.

Don’t waste precious time scrubbing pots and pans that have stubborn, cooked-on messes. Instead, put on a little soap and water and simmer your pots gently while you’re washing the rest of the dishes. You’ll be surprised at how easily the mess releases from the pan, and you’ll have saved so much time and energy. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. Squirt a little dish soap down the drain.

Want a quick and easy way to keep your sink drain draining? Add a squirt or two of dish soap to keep grease buildup to a minimum. Wait 30 seconds for the soap to run down the drain, and then follow with hot water for 60 seconds. Bonus: It’ll curb stinky drain smells, too!

Read more: Why You Should Start Squirting a Little Bit of Dish Soap Down the Drain

8. Add a steamer to your cleaning caddy.

It turns out a fabric steamer is an ideal addition to any cleaning caddy. To spend less time scrubbing, use a steamer to loosen grease and grime and make things a whole lot easier. You can use it on just about anything, including your backsplash, the stovetop, and appliances. Magically, the steam helps break down gunk with hardly any scrubbing involved. All you have to do is turn the steamer on and point.

Read more: I Added a Clothing Steamer to My Kitchen Cleaning Kit — And Cleaning Will Never Be the Same

Credit: Joe Lingeman

9. Line the top of your fridge with wax paper.

The top of your fridge can be a hard-to-reach zone that’s a magnet for sticky kitchen grime. Once you’ve worked hard to thoroughly clean that area, line wax paper on the top of your fridge. The wax paper collects the grease and dust, allowing you to simply remove the paper, throw it away, and replace a few times a year. It’ll make cleaning the top of your fridge a cinch from now on!

10. Invest in a robot vacuum.

A robot vacuum can clean better than a human. Seriously. It does such a good job of getting hard-to-reach crumbs around chair legs, under the table, and near the toe-kick areas of cabinets! Plus, it’s one thing you can take off your chore list.

How do you get your kitchen clean without actually cleaning it? Tell us in the comments below!