Is there anyone out there who truly enjoys cleaning the kitchen? But, like it or not, this is a chore that has to get done. And, in most households, it has to get done every day.
While you might not be able to avoid cleaning the kitchen entirely, you can do it faster. And the faster you can get this unpleasant chore out of the way, the sooner you can move on to other, more enjoyable things.
But can you clean your kitchen in less than 15 minutes? Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you give it your best shot.
Step One: Fill the Sink with Soapy Water
The first thing you should do is fill the sink with soapy water. If there are already dishes in the sink, don’t worry about emptying it. The hot water will do them good, especially if they have dry, crusted food on them.
Step Two: Start Stacking the Dishwasher
Start clearing the counter of dishes. As you pick up each dish or glass, give it a quick once over. If it needs to be soaked, drop it into the sink filled with water. Otherwise, place it directly in the dishwasher.
Silverware can go into the sink without inspection. Knives, forks and spoons don’t take up much room in the sink, and they can always use a little extra soaking.
Step Three: Dealing with Pots and Pans
Depending on the size of your pots and pans, and how many you have to wash, they probably won’t fit into the sink of soapy water. Instead, use the hose to spray the inside of each one with hot water, and then set them on the counter. If you don’t have a hose, simply hold them under the faucet of running water for a few seconds. This quick “spritz” will be enough to start loosening any dry, crusty food.
If you’re dealing with a pot or pan in which the food is really caked on, fill it with hot, soapy water before setting it on the counter.
Step Four: Wipe Down the Counters
Wipe down the counters and stovetop with a damp rag. You can also use an all-purpose cleaning spray if the counters really need it. Don’t worry about trying to catch any crumbs or other debris as you’re wiping. You’ll be dealing with that later.
If you come across things that need to be put away, like ketchup bottles or jelly jars, don’t worry about returning them to exactly where they belong right now. Instead, put them all in a “central” location that can be quickly reached from anywhere in the kitchen. For example, an island in the middle of the kitchen works well for this purpose.
Step Five: Put Everything Away
Now is the time to return everything to its proper place. Doing this all at once it’s much more efficient, and much faster, than running around returning each item one at a time.
Step Six: Sweep the Floor
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Give the floor a thorough sweep, making sure you get up everything you wiped off of the counters earlier.
Step Seven: Finish Stacking the Dishwasher
While you’ve been wiping down counters and sweeping the floor, the dishes in the sink have had a chance to soak. They should now be ready to go into the dishwasher.
One way to fill the dishwasher quickly is to fill it one level at a time. Start with everything that should go on the top rack, like glasses and bowls. Next, fill the bottom rack with plates and skillets. Finally, add the silverware.
Step Eight: Do the Hand Washing
Hand wash anything that isn’t going into the dishwasher, like large pots and pans. If anything gives you any trouble, fill it with soapy water and let it soak a little longer. If the food is really stuck on a pot, you might have to let it soak for a good thirty minutes or so, and that’s okay. There’s no law that says every single dish has to be cleaned right now.
Step Nine: Finish Up
If the dishwasher is full, run it. Otherwise, let it wait until it’s time for bed. In the meantime, you can add any new dirty dishes that pop up after you finish cleaning the kitchen.The area around the sink might be a little wet, so wipe it down, wiping any crumbs into the sink.
Finally, wipe down the inside of the sink. Using a few drops of dish detergent, simply scrub the inside of the sink the way you would a pot. Then rinse it out with hot water. And, just like that, your kitchen is clean.
Will you always be able to clean the kitchen in less than 15 minutes? Probably not, especially after big family dinners when there are a lot of pots, pans and plates to clean. But no matter what shape your kitchen is in, using this nine step plan is guaranteed to make the cleaning go faster than it would if you had no plan at all. And, when it comes to cleaning a kitchen, faster is always better.