The best way to keep a kitchen clean is through daily maintenance — spending a few minutes at night washing up and a few more in the morning putting things away — but even if you're diligent, there are some things that get dirty little by little and have to be addressed every once in a while. The good news is that a lot of those built-up tasks can be addressed in 10 minutes or less.
Working in short bursts is an easy and satisfying way to cross something off your to-do list. It's not hard to get started, because you know it'll be over quickly. And these quickie tasks are just as fun to cross off your to-do list as other, bigger ones. So next time you find yourself with a bit of time, why not try one of these tiny cleaning tasks you can do in 10 minutes or less?
1. Wipe down the counters.
Take everything off your counters (yes, even your canisters and your stand mixer) and give them a nice wipe-down. If you're ahead of the clock, you could even wipe things down as you put them back.
2. Wash a window or two.
After a few months of neglect, kitchen windows can get a light coat of grease and dust that will block the sunlight. But if you can cut through it, they'll be crystal clear and the whole room will look lighter and brighter. And unless your kitchen is enormous, this is a quickie task.
As in, the blender that's just a little grimy, the mixer that still has dried cupcake batter on it from a few months ago, or your coffee machine whose insides have never seen the light of day. Clean them inside and out so they'll look better and work better, too.
Some Appliances to Clean
4. Clean out under the sink.
Another spot that gets cluttered over time? Underneath the kitchen sink. It's probably jammed with half-full bottles of cleanser. If there's only a teeny-tiny bit left, use it or dump it down the drain. Just never combine different cleansers, which could be deadly!
Those lesser-used items on the upper shelves of your cabinets get dusty without you realizing it! Take them down, wash with soap and water, and dry and put them back.
6. Clean the baseboards.
Oh, this is so satisfying! You can use your favorite all-purpose cleaner, a Magic Eraser, or a dry microfiber cloth, but you'll be amazed how much brighter the space looks without a little layer of dust in the molding.
7. Scrub the sink.
While we recommend daily sink maintenance, there are parts of the sink — like around the drain and under the lip where it meets the counter — that get gross build-up over time. Gather tools like a toothbrush and butter knife to chip away at the grime.
No, you don't have to do a deep-clean involving taking everything off the shelves (unless you want to — but that'll take more than 10 minutes). But do shift everything you've got, see what can be combined, what can be tossed, or what you want to move toward the front to use ASAP.
9. Wipe down large appliances.
While most of us clean our countertops and sweep our floors daily, built-in appliances like the stove, refrigerator, and microwave get daily use without daily cleaning. Give them a scrub to remove spots and disinfect bacteria-prone areas like the door handles.
10. Clean your kitchen chairs.
You probably don't think your kitchen chairs or counter stools are dirty, but when you start to clean them, you'll find residue from little spills that has built up over time. If your chairs are wood or plastic, you should be able use a slightly damp cloth; upholstered chairs will need fabric cleaner.
What are some other 10-minute cleaning chores you like to do when you're short on time?