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It's the heart of the home and sure, your kitchen may get some attention when it comes to wiping down surfaces on the reg, but how often do you seriously clean out this common space? You'd be surprised (read: mortified) by what you'll find when you go deep.
From baking soda tips, 101 ways to use vinegar and how lemons and limes will change your life, there are plenty of ways to see your major kitchen appliances shining back at you, and we've found them. Read on to see how the experts clean right and how often you should be doing it…
Cupboards, drawers and bench tops
Add microfibre cloths to your shopping list. You're going to need them. To keep bench tops, doors and handles on cupboards fresh, mix a few drops of tea-tree oil with three tablespoons of castle liquid soap, hot water and get wiping.
Henry Hoang from Simply Maid housekeeping suggests this is a once-a-week job. "Cleaning the kitchen can be time-consuming and frustrating. Break up the tasks into smaller manageable chunks and create a daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule," Hoang says.
Inside is a different story and requires a little more elbow grease, just not as regularly. Empty cabinets, vacuum up any crumbs and strays left inside, then wipe out using a vinegar and water combo. For stubborn, bottom-of-the-sauce-bottle, marks – we've all had them – Hoang suggests hitting the problem area with a dose of hot, hot water first, then following with the vinegar water mix to clean.
Get cleaning: Weekly on the outside, monthly for interiors
Ovens and stovetops
Coke. Yes, Coca Cola is a tried and tested soaker to get your oven racks clean. Remove the racks and soak them in your cola (with all it's phosphoric rust, stain and mineral-beating acids) for about 15 minutes. A gentle rub with a scour, rinse off and you're done. Ensure they're dry before returning to the oven.
For the interior, it's time to bring out the big guns. Make a paste with baking soda and water and spread it over every surface, walls, door, and base… To get into those tricky back corners, grab an old toothbrush and reach right in there. It'll be worth it. If you can, leave the paste to sit overnight to really get deep into the greasy points, then wipe out with a damp sponge the next day. Voila!
Get cleaning: Every other month
When it comes to the stovetop, Hoang says vinegar is your friend. "It's good to keep stove tops stain-free. Accumulated food spills and grease will make surfaces smelly. Wiping down with vinegar and water, will help keep stovetops clean."
For a super deep clean, another handy tip is dishwashing liquid and warm water to help loosen stuck-on splats and splotches. Try a rubber spatula (no scratching!) to lift stubborn stains then dry the surface completely with a cotton cloth. Keeping the area dry will ensure bacteria won't make itself at home, either.
Get cleaning: Daily
Don't forget the range hood! That hard-working filtering system needs your deep-cleaning attention too. After all, "it does half the job for you at keeping odours out," says Hoang. To clean, reach for that microfibre cloth again, dampen and wipe down. For filters, after removing, sprinkle ½ cup baking soda over them and soak in boiled water, then lightly scrub, before drying completely.
Get cleaning: Monthly
Wiping down the sink is a daily job. There's just no getting out of it. But this deep-clean tip is a weekly effort. For stainless steel finishes visit the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket and pick up a bag of limes. You'll need 10. Their juice, combined with a cup of baking soda, is the perfect antidote for scrubbing inside the sink. Be sure to always follow the steel's grain for the best results.
If your dishwashing station is enamel, wipe down with a microfibre cloth, or take organicauthority.com's lead and mix one part salt with one part lemon juice, gently scrubbing your sink's interior to deeply clean away residue build up, especially around the drain. It's the perfect combo for a smooth, fresh-aroma finish. Handy extra: halve a lemon and instead of juicing, sprinkle the salt then use the lemon half as your scour.
A microfibre cloth – wet down with one part vinegar, two parts water – will polish up your chrome tap and hose fittings just right, too.
Get cleaning: Daily on the wipe out, weekly on the scrub
Between the fingerprints and the odours your fridge is one needy kitchen item. Clean doors by wiping down with a vinegar, water mix sprayed onto a microfibre cloth. For a really deep clean, try Toni Hammersley's tip. The author of The Complete Book of Home Cleaning says to rub a little baby oil on a separate microfibre cloth, onto the surface then turn your cloth over to polish it off and remove any streaks. This is particularly useful on a stainless steel finish.
"Fridges are known to trap odours," says Hoang. "Take some time to remove everything from inside the fridge and clean the interior using a mixture of baking soda and water." And always throw out too-old food. You're just making it harder on yourself.
Get cleaning: Doors as needed, inside every few months
Hoang believes keeping the bin area spick and span is one of the most important cleaning tasks you can do on the reg. "Bins can harbour germs, which turn into bad smells. Use water and vinegar or a germ-killing disinfectant on the garbage bins regularly to avoid odours," he says. Lemon juice is also a handy cleaning liquid to help keep odours at bay. There's that citrus edge again!