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1.Declutter your counters! This simple trick will make your kitchen look bigger *and* free up some much-needed space. You can still keep appliances on your counter, but make sure they're things you use on a regular basis, like a coffee machine or a knife block. Purging your counters is also a great opportunity to think about donating things you don't use anymore, like your second spice rack or cookbooks that have never been opened.
2.Revive your dinged and dented cabinets and table with a beeswax wood polisher so they look brand new. This is a heck of a lot cheaper than actually replacing them, and using it on a regular basis can actually help keep the wood hydrated so it lasts longer.
3.Keep a cooktop cleaner handy so you can wipe away messes with ease instead of having to mix vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice every dang time there's a stain. This kit comes with a bottle of cleaner, a sponge, and a scraper — everything you need.
4.Multitask, multitask, multitask! Instead of scrolling through your phone while you wait for water to boil, wash the dishes in the sink, empty the dish drainer, or wipe down the counters. Any little bit helps keep your kitchen clean!
5.Force yourself to clean with a magnetic chore chart if you're the forgetful type. No one likes wiping down the cabinets, cleaning the stovetop, or sanitizing the microwave, but at least this way you'll do them on a consistent basis instead of only every few months once the mess is too bad to ignore.
6.Blast away limescale and mineral buildup with dishwasher cleaning tablets that do the hard work for you. This way you can skip the bleach and you'll end up with cleaner dishes. How? Hard water can leave behind white crusty deposits on both your glasses and plates as well as the dishwasher itself. A good cleaning every now and then can help ensure your dishes emerge sparkling clean.
7.Catch crumbs before they get baked on with oven liners. I routinely set off the fire alarm in my apartment because burned bits on the bottom of my oven start smoking and this would honestly solve a lot of my problems.
8.Prevent food bits from clogging the drain and stinking up your kitchen with a sink strainer that inverts so you can dump any slimy scraps without getting your fingers dirty. Get in the habit of dumping kitchen waste as soon as you're done with the dishes to prevent bugs from establishing residence in your kitchen. This is also a must if you live in an apartment without a garbage disposal.
9.Deodorize your sink with a foaming garbage disposal cleaner that can reach all the leftover food particles that are stinking up the drains. Now your kitchen will always smell fresh (and no one will have to know there was no scrubbing needed).
10.Clean as you go so there isn't one giant mess at the end. Spilled some flour? Wipe it up. Recipe calls for oil? Don't forget to put it away. It might be hard to remember this rule at first, but the more you force yourself to pick up after yourself, the easier it will be to follow this rule in the future. Sooner or later, it'll be second nature.
11.Work smarter not harder with a brush/squeegee combo that can help clean wet or dry messes AND save space in your drawers because it does the job of two tools. The best part is that you'll also cut down on paper waste because you can skip the paper towels.
12.Start a compost bin if you don't have a garbage disposal. It's easier to throw all your rinds, seeds, and scraps in a designated place — this bin — than to make multiple trips to the trash can when you're cooking dinner (especially if you have something on the stove that will burn if you take your eyes off it for approximately one second). My friend keeps her compost bin in the freezer (genius!) so the odors don't stink up the kitchen. Also! You can use your leftovers as fertilizer for your garden or dump it at a community compost near you.
13.Invest in a robot vacuum cleaner so you can save yourself the hassle of setting up your bulky vacuum, which you're low-key convinced isn't doing such a great job anyway. Let this powerful lil' guy suck up kitchen messes throughout the week so your Saturday deep-cleaning session isn't as painful.
14.Designate a spot for each item in your kitchen so you always know where to put it when you're done using it. For example, choose one cabinet to hold your pots and pans, or store all your cutting boards in the same over-the-door rack. This will not only save you time in the kitchen, but it makes cleanup a breeze because you're not trying to make space in your cramped cabinets for another plate or a pot lid. Another good rule is to group similar items together so you're not running around the kitchen looking for a spatula as your eggs burn.
15.Prep ingredients with this bamboo cutting board that comes with seven dishwasher-safe color-coded mats. This way you can wash just the mat instead of the whole cutting board. (Of course, if you're prepping raw meat, you should probably just give the whole board and the mat a good scrub just in case!)
16.Ensure your trash cans are accessible! This means opting for a model with a foot pedal and making sure it's not hidden in a cabinet somewhere. I get it, a trash can is an eyesore — but it doesn't have to be. These minimalist trash can options from Simplehuman will blend into your kitchen so you don't even notice them, And! They come with a five-year warranty and a slide lock to keep out nosy children and pets.
17.Stock up on kitchen sponges! These will be your go-to weapons in the fight against kitchen grime so you'll always want to have some on hand — especially because you should be replacing them every two weeks to a month (though we won't tell if you don't!).
18.Or, switch to odor-free dish cloths that dry in 15 minutes — so fast that you don't have to worry about bacteria growing.
19.Guard against water stains on your wood kitchen table with a set of coasters. Not only will they save you from spending some serious time and effort scrubbing away water rings, but they'll also potentially prevent you from spilling coffee or wine thanks to their grooved surface.
20.Protect your stovetop from grease with a pan splash guard that catches oil spatter. You may have seen this genius product on Shark Tank, but let me introduce you if you haven't. As someone who has a gas stove, this is truly life-changing because it would save me the hassle of removing the heavy grill plates to clean the stove. With this, all the mess is on the inside of the guard and comes off easy with just soap and sponge or in the dishwasher.
21.Melt away baked-on crud with a microwave steam cleaner that's affectionately called Angry Mama. Just remove Mama's head and pour a mixture of water and vinegar in her body. Then, reattach her head and microwave her for seven minutes. The steam comes out through holes in her hair and softens pasta sauce stains and melted cheese so you can remove it with just a few wipes.
22.And while you're at it, pick up a collapsible splatter guard so last night's spaghetti leftovers don't turn your microwave into a Jackson Pollock painting. This lil' guy is collapsible and dishwasher-safe so you can easily store it (or keep it in the microwave) when you're not using it.
23.Preserve your pristine counters with a stainless steel spoon rest so you don't transfer grease from the pan. Trust me, cleaning a spoon rest is definitely preferable to wiping down your countertops...again.
24.Or, try a slotted spoon if you really want to cut down your number of dirty dishes. It has a notch on the side so you can rest it directly on the side of the pot. (Don't worry, it's heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit!) And when you're done, just toss it in the dishwasher.
25.Have dish soap nearby so you can power through tough messes without wasting disposable wipes (Mother Nature thanks you!). This eco-friendly dish soap is hypoallergenic so it's also great for people with sensitive skin. And! It's a USDA Certified Biobased Product, meaning it's mainly derived from plants and other renewable ingredients.
26.Insert washable fridge liners so leaks and spills involve a lot less cleanup. These nonslip liners are also great for protecting produce from spoiling and bruising.
27.Restore your scratched porcelain and stainless steel with a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend cleanser, a do-it-all cleaner that'll make practically any surface in your home look brand spanking new. No more having to buy a different cleaner for your pots and pans, your stovetop, and your tile backsplash; this does it all with ease!
28.Get a gap cover and save yourself the hassle of trying to wedge a broom in the tiny space between your stove and the counter to sweep up crumbs.
29.Spare your knees the pain of getting down and dirty with a grout pen that'll replace the bucket of water and brush. It works just as well on floor tiles as it does on tile backsplashes.
30.Place a piece of plastic wrap (we like these beeswax wraps if you're looking for a more eco-friendly option) on the top of your fridge to catch dust and debris. Then, just toss the plastic wrap (or wash it if you get the beeswax wraps) every so often. No more having to get out the step ladder to wipe down your dusty refrigerator!
Me and Gordon Ramsay congratulating you on cleaning your kitchen: