Before I tested my talents in the kitchen, I liked to tell myself, “Those who can’t cook, clean.” And I was proud that I could at least do that well. But now that I’ve crossed over to the other side, cleaning the kitchen has taken on the role of being one of my least favorite–though quite necessary–chores.
Just in time for spring–and thus the need (or urge) for spring cleaning–my Cooking With Paula Deen magazine subscription shared some simple tips for sprucing up the kitchen in an article titled “Time for a Spring Scrub-Down” in the March/April 2011 issue. Using common staples, you can easily make your kitchen sparkle in these seven (among other) steps listed.
1. Grease Be Gone: Nothing’s more disgusting than the slimy feeling of washed dishes still covered in a greasy film. To combat this dirty problem, Paula says 2 to 3 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with your dishwasher detergent will help get them squeaky clean.
2. Freshen the Pot: To clean the hard-to-get-to crevices of your well-used coffee pot, let a blend of water and white vinegar run through it. It’s easier–and more thorough–than trying to clean by hand or stuff it in the dishwasher.
3. Take Out the Stench: Send frozen cubes of white vinegar or a fresh quartered lemon down the disposal. This simple trick is one of Paula’s favorites, and the clean scent will linger in your kitchen!
4. Sanitize Wooden Cutting Boards: If you love the look of your wooden cutting boards but want to make sure they’re properly cleaned after use, a rub-down with lemon juice will do the trick. Simply wash and rinse after an overnight soak.
5. Sunny Lemon-Scented Shine: Using a little lemon juice to polish chrome faucets and appliances will make them gleam as bright as the spring sunshine. Lemon sprinkled with salt will also clean and freshen the inside of copper pots and pans.
6. Pass the Ketchup?: Using ketchup as a cleaning agent may sound out of place, but Paula swears it can return the shine to the outside of copper cookware. Just rub it in and buff with a cloth.
7. It’s Greased Lightning!: To tackle some of the dirtiest jobs in the kitchen–exhaust fan blades, under the stove top and the oven–reach for Greased Lightning, an all-purpose cleaner popular among mechanics. Wear gloves and have lots of paper towels on hand to remove grease, then follow with a damp sponge or cloth.