5 Things Pro Cleaner Vanesa Amaro Wishes You Knew About Cleaning Your Kitchen

published Mar 26, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Courtesy of Clorox

If there’s one influencer I trust to share game-changing tips, it’s Texas-based professional cleaner Vanesa Amaro. Plenty of other people trust her, too: In the last few years, Amaro has amassed more than five-million followers on TikTok and collaborated with big-name cleaning brands, including Clorox

So, when I had the chance to speak with her about her best kitchen-cleaning tips, I was all ears to hear her advice. Here are five things TikTok’s Queen of Clean wishes we all knew about cleaning our kitchens.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

1. You might be using your cleaning products incorrectly. 

When you’re using a product to clean your kitchen, Amaro says the most important thing is to make sure you’re actually using it correctly. “I wish people would read and follow the instructions on cleaning supplies,” she says. “We think we know how to clean, but everything has a learning curve, and reading the product labels can make your cleaners more effective.” 

Take disinfectants, for example. If you don’t allow them to sit on a surface for the right amount of time, they won’t be able to get the job done. Worse, if you mix products with certain chemicals (like bleach or ammonia), you could put your health and safety at risk. The take-home message: Every time you clean, spend a few minutes reading the product label and instructions to make sure you stay safe and get the most out of the cleaner.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

2. You probably need fewer cleaning products.

Less is more, even when cleaning. Amaro says you should be choosier about the items you keep around. “You don’t need a lot of products to keep a clean kitchen. It’s better to have a few that can help in several different areas,” says Amaro. 

It’s always a great idea to keep an all-purpose cleaner you love in your rotation — Amaro says you can use one on your counters, cabinets, floors, and more. You’ll also need a disinfecting product (Amaro suggests Clorox’s Scentiva line) and a cleaner for glass and other special surfaces. Whittle down your cleaning supplies and the chore will be a lot less overwhelming, and you’ll probably wind up with some extra storage space.

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3. You should clean as you cook.

Keeping a clean kitchen isn’t just about the right products — you also need the right routines. That’s why Amaro always recommends cleaning your space when you’re cooking. “It becomes so much easier because if you wait until the end, it’s more of a mess,” she says. 

For example, you could wash dishes while you’re baking, or wipe down the counters while you wait for your pasta water to boil. Note: Make sure you’re not using any chemicals near your food. Amaro loves using compostable cleaning wipes, because they’re safe to use around food (plus, you can drop them in your compost bin when you’re done). 

4. Always start cooking with a clean kitchen.

Another routine Amaro recommends: Always start with a clean kitchen when you cook. For one thing, it’ll be easier to prepare food when you don’t have to work around clutter. More importantly, cooking in a dirty kitchen could increase the risk of cross-contamination. 

To ensure food safety, Amaro says she always disinfects her stove and countertops before cooking. It’s also a good idea to double check that you’re using clean dishes and utensils when you’re preparing food. That way, you can reduce the risk of spreading potentially harmful germs — and, Amaro says, your guests can feel more comfortable when you bring food to the table. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

5. You might not be cleaning your appliances often enough. 

According to Amaro, there’s one area in your kitchen that’s dirtier than you think: your appliances, especially your fridge. Most people, she says, clean their refrigerators every few months. “In reality, this is something that houses your food, so you want to keep it as clean as possible,” she says. 

You could plan to clean your fridge once a week or whenever you notice it’s dirty, but Amaro likes to clean hers every time she brings home a load of groceries. “It’s a good reminder to take everything out, give the fridge a wipe-down, and restock it when it’s super clean,” she says. 

For the inside of the fridge, you’ll want to clean the shelves and then use a disinfecting product to fend off germs from food. Afterward, Amaro suggests going in with a clean and wet microfiber towel to remove any lingering smells from the cleaner.

One tip: When you’re cleaning the fridge, make sure to turn off the sensor that beeps when the door is open. Every appliance is different, so you should consult your product manual, but Amaro says hers has an on/off button on the top.

And don’t forget to pull out the fridge and clean under it every few months, too! “You’d be surprised what you find under there,” Amaro says. 

What do you think of Vanesa’s cleaning list? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.