It’s a new year and you want to go on a big detox. We don’t blame you – we over-indulged in a mince pie or five over Christmas too – but have you stopped to think about how your home may need a bit of a detox as well? Particularly the kitchen, the room that gets overused and under-loved during the busy festive period.
Here at Ovenu, we think it’s really important to do a deep New Year clean so that everything is reset and ready to go for the year ahead.
We’ve put together a guide to help you give your kitchen the cleaning detox it deserves.
Let’s begin with the basics: in order for your kitchen to look clean and tidy, it’s a good idea to remove any clutter or unnecessary appliances from your worktops. Begin by clearing the area, wiping it down and polishing it, not forgetting to clean under the overhang of the worktop (where a lot of sticky residue and germs reside). If you’ve got a wooden worktop, now is the time to add some protective treatment.
Before putting your appliances back, have a think about which ones you use most; if you don’t use the cake mixer, very often put it in the cupboard and bring it out only when you need it. Then your worktops look clearer, with only the items you use regularly out on display.
Use an appropriate cleaner for your cupboard doors. If you’ve got high-gloss doors, you want to keep that shiny look, so for those you could use a glass cleaner and rub dry with a microfibre cloth. You want to avoid using too much water with this type of cabinet.
If you’ve got wooden or wood-effect door fronts, some warm water and a clean cloth will help. You could also use mild detergents, but we wouldn’t recommend being too harsh, as this could affect the grain.
As well as cleaning the outside of your cabinets, you can clean and organise the insides too. Clean the shelves as you would the doors and then organise your food. Cull any items that you don’t want tempting you in the New Year or, and happens to us a lot, throw out food that has gone out of date. Finally, organise your food into ‘zones’ so items are easier to grab; you’re also less likely to waste food if you know where everything is. For example, you can keep all your tins together on one side, your cereals on another and then grains, such as rice as pasta, tucked neatly together too.
Handles and knobs are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, but if you can, unscrew knobs and soak them in warm, soapy water. When you take them out, don’t forget to thoroughly dry them before screwing them back on.
If you’ve got stainless steel handles that can’t easily be removed, just give them a good polish to complete the look.
Fridge and Freezer
There’s no point in trying to clean the fridge or freezer if it’s filled with food, so let’s start by emptying both appliances.
When your fridge is clear of food, remove the shelving and wipe down the walls. You can do this with a sponge and some warm, soapy water. We don’t recommend using chemicals near where you store food. That’s why we only use eco-friendly cleaning products when cleaning your oven – which we’ll get on to later.
When restocking the fridge, use the same mantra as the cupboards and put the older food at the front and newer items at the back; that way you’re less likely to waste food, eating in the order of what’s most perishable.
If you’re storing leftovers, aim to do so in a clear container so you can see the contents. Seeing what food is there will help you eat it sooner. And don’t forget: if you’re storing raw meat or seafood, always store them on the bottom shelves away from fresh fruit and vegetables. The last thing you want is for the packaging to leak from the top shelf and ruin all the other food.
Similar to the fridge, but on less of a strict timeframe, the freezer will need a thorough clear and clean. If your freezer is anything like ours right now, it’ll be the emptiest it’s been all year, as we’ve just finished off all the party food from Christmas, so now is the perfect time to have a sift through it.
Remove any items that have been in the freezer for more than six months and get rid of any loose bits of food. If your freezer needs defrosting, do this now whilst you’ve got everything out. To finish, wipe down the sides and soak the drawers thoroughly.
We know microwaves can be a love-hate affair and we also know we’ve shared this tip before, but it really is a lifesaver when it comes to deep-cleaning the microwave, so trust us and give it a go.
Fill a bowl or container with water, add fresh lemons, and you can also add a drop of vinegar. When you’ve done this, simply heat it for three minutes and then let it sit, undisturbed, for an additional five minutes. This loosens the sticky stains that will undoubtedly have exploded all over the microwave, no matter how careful you are.
Grab your dustpan and brush and give your floor a good sweep, getting into all the nooks and crannies to free the dust and any loose bits.
Next, grab your vacuum and go back over it. This helps to get at the last odd bits of dust that your brush didn’t get.
Finally, grab your mop and wipe it in the shape of a number eight; this will give your floor a deep clean without moving any dirt back and forth. Don’t forget to start in the far corner of the room and make your way to the door, otherwise you’ll be trapped in the kitchen with a wet floor. (To be honest, we can think of worse places to get stuck.)
If you’re trying to avoid using too many chemicals when cleaning your kitchen, try scrubbing your sink and drain with baking soda. Sprinkle it across the desired area and scrub it with a toothbrush or sponge. The stubborn dirt and grime lift right up.
If you’ve got a waste disposal unit, you can also scrub the entry point. Why not cut up some lemon, leave it over the plug and rinse water through it into the disposal? The citrusy fruit will help lift rotten smells.
Freeze lemon slices in vinegar and pop them in the disposal every week to keep it fresh.
If you store cleaning products under the sink, why not install a tension rod so the sprays can hang neatly rather than creating clutter? It’s a quick and easy way to grab on the go.
Your oven will have taken the brunt of the work over the festive period, so it’s time to show it some love, but we know that oven cleaning is not at the top of everyone’s to-do list as it’s a challenge and the least enjoyable part of cleaning.
However, it’s important that you regularly clean your oven, and if you’ve avoided doing this for a while, it might not be cooking your food properly or evenly, not to mention the fact that it could be harbouring germs and increasing the potential for your oven to break down.
At Ovenu we love an oven and we love the challenge of having to deep clean an oven that has not been cleaned in a while. If the thought of getting down and dirty with your oven is the most off-putting part of cleaning your kitchen, give us a call. Our friendly experts use eco-friendly products to give your oven the deepest clean it’s ever had – it’ll look brand new.
What better way to start the New Year than with an oven that’s sparkling?
Stay tuned for next week’s blog about how to stay on top of your kitchen detox so your big clean isn’t in vain.