6 Shortcuts for Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen In Under 30 Minutes

Take Charge on 03.27.12
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ACK! Where on earth did all that grime come from? The kitchen, if yours is anything like mine, should come equipped with a stoplight. Hungry kids (and their friends), pets roaming through, husband foraging for late-night snacks -- and, of course, meal prep -- all take their toll on the once-pristine place. Oh, who am I kidding? It's never pristine.

You say you'll get to it and you have every intention of doing so, when you have time. But weekends are packed with music lessons, soccer games, birthday parties, and maybe a little time in there for you too, and before you know it, it's Monday morning and the kitchen is still not as clean as you had hoped.

Fear not! You don't need to spend hours in the kitchen on bended knee to get it to shine. Here's how you can get the whole thing looking spick-and-span in less time than it takes to watch a Friends rerun.

1. Clean all the dishes and cutlery. You can either throw them all in a sink full of hot water and hand wash or use the dishwasher. Remove the knobs from stove and let them soak as well.

2. Tackle the oven. You can opt for traditional oven cleaner or go the green route using baking soda and water. Either way, it's going to take time for the grime to get loose so you can wipe it down, so make this one of the first things you do.

3. Empty the refrigerator. There will be less to do if you served leftovers the night before. Take all the food out, discarding anything past its prime. Using soap and hot water, wipe down all the shelves then replace food.

4. Think "top-down". I remember my own mother teaching me this concept and it's one I shared with my own kids very recently: Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures and the tops of cabinets. 

5. Concentrate on the cabinets. Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe down your cabinets, paying special attention to the corners where grit from little fingers gravitates.

6. Finish it off.  Wipe the surface dirt off onto the floor, then clean counters using the appropriate cleanser. Now it's time to pay attention to the final piece, the floor. Sweep up all the dirt then reach for your mop. To mop faster, invest in an industrial type mop that wrings out the water so you don't have to do it manually.

I know it sounds like a lot to do, but if you get started and move with purpose you can get most, if not all of it, done in 30 minutes. Here's hoping it stays clean for at least that long!

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