The Tried-and-True Cleaning Habits That Help Keep My Kitchen Spotless

published Jan 17, 2023
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White Kitchen
Credit: Margaret Rajic | Stocksy

After my family and I realized we needed to move, we didn’t know when or how it was going to happen for nine months. After that, it took another six months to make the move from Florida to Tennessee — which was followed by flooding and a six-week kitchen renovation (which felt like six months). So you better believe I am extremely grateful to be able to use the brand-new kitchen in our new home.

I appreciate this kitchen and being able to finally cook in it — and this appreciation finds expression in how I’ve been caring for it. Maintaining my kitchen feels like gratitude in action in addition to the more down-to-earth necessity of just needing to keep it clean

My new-start energy has extended to my kitchen-cleaning habits, and in addition to my classic practices like shutting down the kitchen and scouring the sink every night, I’ve added a few must-do cleaning tasks into my routine.

Here are some tried-and-true habits that are keeping my new kitchen sparkling clean.

Hand-drying dishes. I used to smugly think that hand-drying dishes was a waste of time. Why not let time do the work of drying for you? Well, as I’ve discovered, there are a few reasons. First, hand-drying and putting dishes away immediately keep the counter cleared off, lending a tidy appearance to the entire kitchen. Second, hand-drying the dishes keeps water spots from forming on cookware and other hand-washed items, which makes them look significantly cleaner. Hand-drying actually doesn’t take much longer than simply putting items away and I’ve found that I enjoy the ritual as well as not having the task of putting things away hanging over me. 

Putting parchment paper on my baking sheets. Again, this habit has a two-fold benefit. It keeps my new baking sheets in tip-top shape and it also makes cleanup a snap. I love wrapping up the parchment and tossing it rather than spending a bunch of time scrubbing my pans and eventually resigning myself to permanently baked-on grease stains. 

Cleaning my cookware with Bar Keepers Friend every time I wash it. I bought new cookware to go with our induction cooktop, and I’m determined to keep it pristine. To this end, I’ve implemented the rule that all pots and pans get scoured with Bar Keepers Friend every time we wash them. This prevents grease from cooking on and becoming impossible to remove. And in the meantime, we get to enjoy our nice-looking pots and pans. 

Using a plastic razor blade tool to scrape the residue off of casserole dishes. Do you see a theme here? I’m determined not to let any residue accumulate on our cookware. A plastic razor blade is perfect for safely scraping tough cooked-on messes off of glass casserole dishes. Never settling for tough, set-in stains as a simple fact of life means our cookware will stay looking new for years and years. 

Cleaning out the microwave and oven regularly. This seems obvious but it’s too easy to close the door and forget about cleaning up these spaces. Dirt accumulates and these interiors get harder and harder to clean. Pretty soon it will take hours to clean out that oven mess. Been there, done that, and this time, I’m set on not letting it happen this way. I aim to clean out the oven whenever I see it’s dirty and to make a point of cleaning it every single Friday. The microwave gets cleaned more frequently, as part of our nightly shut-down routine.

What are your tried-and-true cleaning habits? Share it in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 5 Tried-and-True Cleaning Habits That Help Keep My New Kitchen Spotless