A Professionals Guide To Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen
It’s time to get armed and ready for a deep spring-cleaning and Pusateri’s makes it easy with our newly launched line-up of 100% natural and eco-friendly cleaning products from AspenClean. These EWG A-rated products, clean like nobody’s business without the use of harmful or toxic chemicals. They’re good for your home and the environment too!
Their natural products are also used as part of their professional home cleaning services, so you can be sure that they’re effective. Read on for their expert kitchen spring cleaning tips.
Your kitchen is the hardest room to keep clean because it's the most active. Its contents are drippy, sticky and tricky to clean if left unattended. It’s one of the biggest spring-cleaning tasks, but when armed with a plan and the right tools it becomes a breeze.
Before you start, make a list of everything you want cleaned. There are lots of forgotten spaces that you might not think of as you go about your normal cleaning routine, such as the insides of appliances and pantry containers. Checking things off a list, such as AspenClean’s cleaning checklist, will keep you on task and give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to complete the job.
Then arm yourself with the right tools such as microfiber cloths, sponges, brushes and natural cleaners.
The kitchen is a hard-working, yet sensitive place that stores foods that we’ll take into our bodies. So it is not only important to keep our kitchens clean, but also to keep harmful chemicals out. Remember that using chemicals while cleaning can pollute the inside of our homes with toxic fumes and irritating artificial fragrances. While cleaning, open windows to let the fresh air in, and only use products such as AspenClean that are unscented or lightly scented with organic ingredients.
When you choose cleaning supplies, always look for items that are natural, have all ingredients listed and are certified by a third party to ensure the validity of their ‘green’ claims. Refer to lists on Ecocert and the EWG to find products, including AspenClean’s range to help you select effective cleaners that won’t harm your health.
It’s also worth looking for products that are good for your home, and our environment. Products such as AspenClean don’t test on animals, are vegan-friendly and are packaged in 100% recycled plastic.
Start by getting your compost, recycling and general waste bins ready, as well as a clear table. You’ll also want to have a cooler on hand to store highly perishable and frozen items while you clean. Remove everything, including food containers and decide whether they should be kept or disposed of. Empty containers as-you-go and set them aside for washing.
Once everything is out, remove fridge shelves and compartments. These can be hand washed with a natural cleaner such as AspenClean’s dish soap in the same way you would wash dishes. The all natural, organic, essential oils found in AspenClean products aren’t only effective cleaners, they’re gentle on your hands too. If components are a bit too large and unruly for your kitchen sink, you can use your laundry sink or bathtub to avoid getting water all over the kitchen floor.
Remember not to pour boiling water on any glass as the thermal shock may cause it to shatter. Leave these out to dry while you continue working on the rest of your fridge.
You should also de-ice your freezer with warm water (again, be careful with glass panels) and wipe the inside of your fridge, freezer and doors.
Don’t forget to wipe around the gaskets (this is the elastic air-tight seal around the doors). A natural degreasing spray like AspenClean’s will cut through greasy soils and is safe and effective on multiple surfaces. It is best to use an AspenClean microfiber cloth as the microscopic fibres effectively pick up dirt, oils and bacteria instead of just spreading it around.
If there are any particularly tough stains, use a natural scouring powder like AspenClean Natural SuperScrub mixed with warm water. The scrub is powered by organic tea tree and lavender essential oils and can be used safely on any surface, including stainless steel.
Next, fill your sink with warm water and a few drops of AspenClean Natural Dish Soap. Place all the empty food containers inside the mixture to soak. Ingredients such as organic lavender and lemongrass or eucalyptus and rosemary will not only help lift grime as the containers soak, but the subtle aroma will help diffuse any unpleasant smells.
You can then use a dry microfiber cloth to completely dry shelves and compartments before putting them back in the fridge – don’t worry, microfiber won’t leave any threads behind.
Now take a look at the food you need to put back in the fridge. If there are any grubby jars, sauces or containers, wipe them up with a cloth sprayed with a natural, non-toxic degreasing spray like AspenClean’s Kitchen Cleaner.
Replace items in the fridge in an organized way. Keep like items together (for example, meats, sauces, leftovers) and store newer items towards the back so that old items get consumed first. If you have space you might want to have an “eat me first” container for things that need to be eaten within the week.
If you are storing things in containers, make them transparent so things don’t get forgotten. Try not to over-pack your fridge. There should be enough space for cool air to circulate freely throughout.
Prepare your compost, recycling and general waste bin, and clear space on a nearby or table so that you can temporarily store your items. Work from the top shelves of your pantry to the bottom, taking out every basket, container and piece of food.
Check to see if anything has expired. If it has, dispose of it thoughtfully. You may also want to make note of what you are throwing away and think about how you can avoid wasting that item again in the future.
Once everything is out of your pantry, wipe down all surfaces (walls, tops, bottom and sides of shelves) with a natural degreasing kitchen spray and a microfiber cloth. For tough stains, apply a natural cleaning concentrate directly, let it sit, then scrub. AspenClean’s All-in-One concentrate makes 35 bottles of all-purpose cleaner and works well to lift stubborn stains.
We recommend storing sauces, oils and marinades (or anything that can get quite messy) on a tray that you can pull out regularly and wash. If you already store things in baskets or trays, make sure you tip any mess into the bin and either wash with natural dish soap or wipe with a natural kitchen spray and microfiber cloth. Make sure everything is dry before it’s put back inside.
Before you return food items, it is worth thinking about whether your pantry is organized in a way that best suits your lifestyle. It’s best to do this while everything is out of the pantry as it is easier to see everything.
We would recommend segmenting your pantry into zones that suit your eating habits. For example healthy snacks, easy breakfasts, baking, sauces or on-the-go snacks. You want to make sure that the most commonly used items are easily accessible. Another healthy eating tip is to make sure healthy snacks within eyesight and easy reach.
This is also a good time to wipe any messy bottles, jars and containers. A microfiber cloth sprayed with AspenClean’s Kitchen Cleaner will work well to clean off sticky clumps.
To clean your cupboards thoroughly, you’ll need to completely empty them. The trick is to do one cupboard at a time so as to not overcrowd your kitchen, and to work from one side of your kitchen to the other to keep track.
When emptying each cupboard, inspect your seldom-used items for dust. A quick wipe with an AspenClean dry microfiber cloth will remove dust, and unlike regular cleaning cloths won’t leaving threads behind. Also take this opportunity to think about whether you need this item, or if it is just a dust collector! You may want to start a ‘donate’ pile of items to take to your local thrift store, and a throw pile for anything that is damaged.
Once the cupboard is completely empty, spray and wipe all inside surfaces with a clean microfiber cloth and a natural kitchen cleaner. Replace items and move on to the next cupboard.
Wait until you have finished the insides of all cupboards before wiping the outside of the cupboards and knobs. This way you can wipe them all at once.
A spring-clean-up is the perfect time to unpack your appliances and clean them thoroughly. Even if you regularly wash things like your food processor or blender, you should deep clean them every once in a while.
For your safety, triple check that the appliances are off and unplugged and, after cleaning, that they are completely dry again before use!
Take each appliance apart (as per manufacturer’s instructions) and hand wash the washable components with natural dish soap or place them in the dishwasher (if applicable) and wash with a natural detergent. AspenClean’s Natural Dishwasher Packs will ensure that your food doesn’t come into contact with harmful chemicals. AspenClean also uses natural and biodegradable ingredients that help to keep our waterways clean.
Things that need a thorough wash include the blender gasket, the blender lid, blender jar, food processor bowl, etc. Wipe up non-washable components such as appliance bases with a natural kitchen cleaner. And don’t forget to shake out the toaster!
Your fan and stove hood:
The purpose of your kitchen fan or stove hood is to help filter airborne grease, fumes, smoke and steam, but over time these elements accumulate and can block the filters.
Most filters easily slide or pop out from the underside of the fan. Once the filter is removed, soak it in a sink of warm water mixed with a few drops of natural dish soap. If there is a lot of grease build-up, sprinkle with AspenClean’s SuperScrub Powder and let it sit for five to ten minutes.
Once it’s done, use a non-abrasive brush and hot water to give it a thorough wash. Make sure you dry the filters before you replace them.
There’s likely to be a bit of grease splattered around your kitchen. Regularly wiping your stove and the inside of your oven should help keep grease from turning into a baked-on stubborn spot.
Even if your oven has a self-cleaning function, you should at least give spots a quick scrape to minimize smoke and fumes. Once the cycle is complete, allow the oven to cool and gather the debris with a microfiber cloth.
If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, you can follow these steps to get great results. Remove trays and grills and wash in the sink. Then take a natural degreasing kitchen cleaner and a microfiber cloth to cut through the grease. For tough spots, sprinkle on some natural scouring powder and work it in with a scrubber. The same steps can be taken to remove grease from the outside of your oven and stove.
To clean your sink, use a mix of warm water, AspenClean Natural Dish Soap and a bit of elbow grease. You might even need a toothbrush to scrub those hard to reach cracks. For tougher stains, mix the dish soap with natural scouring powder to create a stronger solution. It’s especially important to use natural ingredients in the sink as they will be septic safe and won’t release toxins into our waterways.
Use a plunger to dislodge any build-ups. Then pour boiling water down the drain and pump the sink vigorously for roughly 20 seconds using a plunger. If you have a double sink you will need to cover one of the drains while you pump the other. Water should swirl down with ease, but if the sink is still clogged you will need to repeat the steps until it flows.
If you're stuck, pour some natural scouring powder down the drain followed by white vinegar and leave it to sit for roughly 30 minutes. This solution creates a natural reaction, which should help dissolve the blockage. After 30 minutes rinse the drain with boiling water. If the drain still seems clogged, you may have to call in the services of a plumber.
The final wipe:
To finish, wipe everything starting from top to bottom (top of cupboards, fridge, and counter tops) with a natural all purpose cleaner and wipe windows and glass surfaces with a natural glass cleaner. AspenClean’s Natural All Purpose Cleaners and Glass Cleaners won’t leave any toxic residue behind and they will leave a subtle aroma of organic lime, grapefruit and lavender essentials oils.
Dropped food, cooking splatter and high traffic will mean that your kitchen floor likely needs a good clean. Begin by collecting all the dry dirt, then using a natural floor cleaner and microfiber mop, clean hardwood, laminate and ceramic floors. Natural floor solutions are especially important for homes with pets and small children that are in close contact with the floor.
For tough floor stains, add a drop of a natural floor cleaning concentrate on the spot. AspenClean Natural Floor Cleaner Concentrate can make up to 18 bottles of cleaner, so when used directly, it makes for a powerful clean.
You should also launder your kitchen curtains, tea towels and all the microfiber cloths that you used during cleaning. AspenClean’s Microfiber cloths are more sustainable as they are made from durable material, which means they can be washed and reused multiple times. Just pop them in the washing machine and wash with an effective, yet gentle (no bleach) solution like AspenClean Natural Laundry Detergent.
Using powerful, natural products as part of your spring cleaning kitchen plan will not only help you keep your kitchen clean, it will also keep it safe and healthy. But, if you’re not the ‘do-it-yourself’ type, you can get the same healthy clean by booking AspenClean’s award-winning team to do it for you!