Have you ever heard the phrase, “prevention is better than cure?” The thought behind this phrase is not just applicable to living things. If you look around your home, there are a lot of areas and items that you can salvage and lengthen the lifespan by proper maintenance. You don’t have to end up throwing an expensive appliance away or shell out more money by buying or renovating. Short and simple maintenance techniques can save you effort, time, and money.
One of the areas in the house that especially requires this regular “check-up” is the kitchen. After all, it is used every day, so it’s prone to wear and tear. At the same time, cleaning the kitchen is non-negotiable because you’re preparing your family’s meals in this area. So how can you properly maintain your kitchen to save you money in the future?
Plan Ahead and Keep Track of Kitchen Maintenance Tasks
Of course, you have to plan ahead of time before you start doing kitchen tasks and clean-up. This way, you know that you’re not skipping any to-dos or if you actually improved the state of the areas or appliances. You can simply mark your kitchen calendar or put reminders on your phone when it’s time to clean and maintain your kitchen areas.
If you are living with your family or a roommate, don’t be shy to tell them about the tasks. After all, everyone is using the kitchen anyway. Explain to them why you need to cooperate in doing those tasks and how it will save you all the trouble later on. And if you are too busy for a particular time, you can also hire a helper to make sure you’re not skipping on tasks.
How to Maintain and Clean Your Kitchen
For the Countertop
Depending on your countertop, you have to check if there are other steps necessary to preserve its look and prevent damages in the future. The countertop is one of those kitchen areas that receive abuse because this is where you prepare your meals. From the hot pans, knives, to spills, you have to make sure you are properly cleaning and taking care of your countertop.
According to this useful article, you need to get the best granite sealer if you have a granite countertop. Compared to other types of stones, granites are gorgeous-looking thanks to the different color and pattern combinations. They can also resist different temperatures and damage pretty well. However, its porosity requires a sealer to protect the countertop. This way, spills can’t seep through your surface and stain your vibrant granite or cause damage over time.
But regardless of the material of your countertop, don’t take too long before cleaning it after use. A quick wipe with a gentle or stone-appropriate solution can lengthen the lifespan and look of your countertop. Use a soft cloth and avoid acidic or harsh chemicals that can etch your surface. You can do daily cleaning with a microfiber cloth soaked in warm soapy water and then dry the surface with another cloth as well.
For the Kitchen Walls and Floor
An area in your kitchen that homeowners typically dismiss are the walls and floors. After all, a bit of splatter here and there doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? However, over time those greases will accumulate and cause stains.
The walls behind the stove and sink can use some love even just once a week. Similar to your countertop, you can use a damp microfiber cloth and warm soapy water to scrub the walls. A gentle scrub is enough so that you don’t chip off the paint or material. Or, if you want, you can also purchase a backsplash to protect the walls around the stove and sink. There are waterproof ones that are easier to clean, especially if you’re busy.
You can even make a homemade cleaning solution from distilled white vinegar and water to get rid of annoying stains and spots. And for your tiles, one part baking soda to eight parts of water is a cheap solution to make your tiles look new.
For the Cabinets
Have you checked your kitchen cabinets lately? Their surfaces are also prone to collecting splashes. And if you’re using them as a quick pantry, it’s a no-no to let them collect dust. Every once in a while, give the inside of your cabinets a quick clean at least twice a year.
Remove everything inside and use a cleaner or a solution made from vinegar and water before drying the surfaces. You can also use the same solution to remove splatters at the top of the cabinet and then cover the surface with a newspaper. This way, you can just change the paper once it accumulates dust and grease.
As for the cabinet faces, we must keep them hygienic, including the handles. Mild soap or a vinegar-water solution can do the trick, but make sure you’re also reaching every recess. And since this area is the most exposed, do a clean-up twice a month.
For the Sink
According to DiligentChef, we should regularly clean our kitchen to prevent molds and buildup of bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. And to avoid nasty insects like cockroaches from visiting, give your sink regular cleaning. It is where you leave your dirty dishes and wash different food items, so it’s essential to clean this area.
You can use the dish soap that you’re using to wipe the sink, faucets, and handles with a sponge at the end of the day. You can also use an old toothbrush to reach every crevice and corner. And if there are tougher stains, our handy vinegar-water solution from earlier can also take care of them for you.
Lastly, you can take care of a clogged sink drain with hot water.
For the Dishwasher
Speaking of the sink, your dishwasher also needs monthly maintenance. You can lengthen the lifespan of your model if you prevent debris and stain build-up. Start by removing the filter and use a brush and warm soapy water or baking soda to clean it. At the same time, steam the interior by running one hot cycle with a cup of distilled white vinegar on the top rack.
Also, don’t forget to check the spinning arms and drainage area for any food debris. You can sprinkle some baking soda around the drain and then scrub.
For the Stovetop
Your stovetop will inevitably be a victim of splashes and spills. However, if you’re using an induction stovetop, the surface can get scratched quickly. Therefore, use a gentle cleanser and a non-scratch scouring pad to clean the stovetop followed by a dry cloth.
For the Gas Range
Besides the stovetop, the grates and burners in your gas range can also accumulate grease and other nasty splatters. Do monthly maintenance by removing the grates and burners and soaking them in warm soapy water. You can make a homemade abrasive paste from baking soda or vinegar and water to remove those caked-on greases. And you might also need to remove some food debris so double-check those hard-to-reach areas in the burners.
This technique is also applicable to electric stove coils.
For the Range Hood
Since we’ve talked about the stovetop and gas range, it’s only right for you to check on your range hood. The filter inside collects grease, so if you cook frequently, make sure to clean the filter as often as well. You can boil the filter in a mixture of baking soda and water for 10 minutes at least once a month or replace it once a year.
For the Coffee Maker
Have you ever noticed that your coffee maker doesn’t give you a good brew anymore? Once a month, add a vinegar-water solution to your reservoir and place a filter to start a brew cycle. Turn off your coffee maker halfway through the brew, and then leave it be for half an hour. Afterward, finish the brew and your model is as good as new.
For the Oven
Once a month, or depending on how often you use your oven, use a cloth dampened with mild soap to wipe any spots or food debris inside your oven. If your unit has a self-cleaning function, you can run it after you’ve cleaned the interior and ridden any debris inside.
For the Microwave
Monthly maintenance of your microwave is also as easy as microwaving your own cleaning solution. You only need around 10 slices of lemon in a bowl filled with water and some lemon juice. Boil the water in the microwave by turning it on for 5 minutes. Once it’s boiling, stop the microwave and let the solution steam the inside for a minute. Wipe the microwave with a damp cloth and then with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture inside.
For the Refrigerator
We all know that the refrigerator needs proper cleaning to keep it running well. Once a year, clean the interior by washing the shelves and cabinets in with a sponge and warm soapy water. You can also use the soapy sponge to wipe the interior before drying it.
Besides the interior, the coils on the back are also prone to collecting dust, so give it a good vacuum.
What about the freezer? Frost build-up can cause issues, so make sure to regularly defrost your freezer if the ice gets an inch thick.
For the Garbage Can
Lastly, the garbage can at the kitchen is another part that needs regular cleaning. It’s important to always keep it clean since the kitchen is where you prepare food. Over time, the peels and other items you’ve disposed of can cause a horrible smell or even invite bacteria or cockroaches if left on their own for too long.
Besides regular disposal of the contents, hosing the inside and cleaning the trash can with vinegar and water or disinfectant twice a month will remove any smell.