10 Ways to Clean Up your Kitchen

Lovely living rooms, dingy kitchens — that’s pretty much the story at most homes these days. Here’s how you can turn those greasy kitchens into culinary havens, with 10 easy tips.

Vinegar the wonder ingredient
Vinegar the wonder ingredient

 

Tip 1: Say no to grease
Clean up spills to avoid build up of grout on exhaust fans, chimneys, lampshades and kitchen walls. “Sprinkle baking soda on oily or greasy surfaces, allow it to soak up the mess and, after an hour, clean up thoroughly with a cloth,” says 26-year old Anuj Gemawat, a hotelier from Bangalore.

Tip 2: Say goodbye to utensil burns
Burnt your kadai or pan? Pour half a cup of warm water mixed with a dishwashing solution. Allow it to cool and your stubborn stain will vanish. While cooking, keep the chimney / kitchen window open and let the exhaust fan let out the fumes.

Tip 3: Want a spic ‘n’ span dustbin?
Wash it once a week with a disinfectant and washing powder. Use disposable garbage bags if possible, which must be tied up at night to prevent roaches, lizards or mice from exploring them. Garbage must be cleared once or twice a day if possible, depending upon the waste accumulated.

Tip 4: Clean kitchen napkins
Soak napkins in hot water daily and then wash. Soiled napkins kept for long attract bacteria. As far as possible, avoid using a sponge in a kitchen; use tissue rolls or cloth wipes instead.

Clean your Kitchen Sink
Clean your Kitchen Sink

Tip 5: Slabs and sinks
Once a day, pour hot water through the sink drain to remove odours and kill germs, or drop three to four tablespoons of baking soda down the sink, followed by hot water. Pouring a cup of vinegar or lemon juice does wonders in cleaning your sink’s drainage. Clean kitchen slabs with baking soda or squeeze a slice of lemon to remove stains. But wash it off quickly as these liquids are acidic in nature. For marble tops, clean up any spills or juices immediately, as marble is highly prone to stains. Rub borax powder with a moist cloth to clean. For granite tops, use a mixture of dishwashing solution and warm water. For ceramic or tiled tops, use an old toothbrush and diluted laundry bleach with water. Borax powder can be purchased from any departmental or hardware store.

Tips 6: Cleaning utensils
Add a little vinegar in warm water and use this to rinse them post washing. Or make a concoction of one-fourth cup of vinegar in warm soap water. Dab half a lemon in baking soda and rub it on utensils to get rid of stains.

Tip 7: Floors and windows
Mix half a cup of white vinegar and half a litre of water to clean the floors of your kitchen. Don’t forget kitchen windowpanes, which also tend to get greasy. Use 50:50 white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and scrub with old newspapers for sparkling clean windows. Good products include Kiwi Kleen Glass Anti Dust, Glass and Household Cleaner, priced at Rs 40 for 500 ml and Easy-Off Bang Multipurpose Surface Cleaner, priced at Rs 65 for 400 ml.

Tip 8: Cleaning electrical equipment
First unplug your electrical equipment — mixer, food processor, micro-oven, etc. Take away loose particles using a dry cloth. Then take a mild detergent or sanitizer in a sponge to clean the insides of the equipment. Avoid using lots of water, as this is electrical equipment.

Cleaning your kitchen window
Cleaning your kitchen window

Tip 9: Spring-cleaning and food storage
Once a month, clean your entire kitchen. If you’re living in humid cities like Mumbai or Kochi, chances of insects infesting foodstuff such as pulses are higher. After you open a pack of chana dal, rawa or poha and the like, make sure you close the packet with a rubber band and put it in the fridge. This will ensure longer shelf life and prevent insects from creating havoc in your food cabinets.

Tip 10: Pest control
These include roaches, lizards, silver fish, ants, termites, bed bugs, and even pigeons (the list varies according to climate, season, geography, etc). Giridhar Pai, Vice President (Services) of Pest Control (India) Private Limited says, “Due to presence of soil around a bungalow, additional pests such as rats, geckos and other garden pests are more likely to make an appearance. However, it has to be remembered that most pests can fly, crawl or climb, and can access an apartment at any height. Get an Annual Maintenance Contract for your house that guarantees a minimum of three services during the contract period.”
Pest Control (India) for instance, offers the Household Pest Management package, which can be completed in less than an hour, in an average sized flat (800 – 1,200 square feet in Mumbai city) and costs approximately Rs 2,000-2,500. It includes three scheduled services for a year and additional services if pests are detected between the later two services.

Other home remedies
Use an insect repellent once a week in the kitchen, especially at night before going to bed. Ensure all food products are kept away from the spray though. Leaking taps should be repaired to deny pests’ access to water, as damp areas lead to mould, which attracts pests. Finally, cracks and crevices should be sealed off.

Published in Rediff.com, on 7th September, 2007

Share your Kitchen Tips with us:

Compile your top 10 Kitchen Cleanliness/ Safety/ Recipe Tips and send your original write-ups and photos to tanya@tanyamunshi.com and we’ll publish it!

3 thoughts on “10 Ways to Clean Up your Kitchen

  • July 22, 2011 at 9:46 am
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    very informative and home-maker friendly…..keep it up

    Reply

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