To me, there is nothing in the world like a fresh, clean kitchen. There is also nothing in the world so difficult to maintain. The kitchen is like the command center of the house. The food is prepared in there, so there are lots of splattered messes to clean up. The dogs’ food and water is in the kitchen, so that’s always all over the floor. My counters never stay clean for long. In fact, my kitchen gets dirty again almost as soon as I clean it. For that reason, it’s important that I spend as little time cleaning as necessary, and get the biggest results from my cleaning products and equipment.
First of all, give the kitchen a quick overall straightening. Put all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or wash them if you don’t have a dishwasher. Put everything away that is out of place. Straighten the counters. Keeping clutter to a minimum on your kitchen surfaces will make cleaning a lot easier, and your kitchen will look cleaner without piles of stuff all over the place. Take out the trash and recycling. This should take under five minutes.
To keep the counters nice and shiny, keep a container of disinfectant kitchen wipes on the counter. They are better than paper towels for two reasons. One, they are moist, and two, they contain antimicrobial disinfectant, which will kill germs while it cleans. You will find that you can wipe off your counters in a matter of minutes and the kitchen will look cleaner already. I can thoroughly wipe all my counters in under two minutes.
As I mentioned, our dogs’ food and water is kept in the kitchen, and there always seems to be dog food on the floor. I use a three-step process to clean my vinyl floors. First, I sweep the kitchen the old fashioned way, with a broom and a dustpan. I can maneuver a broom into corners and tight spaces like under chairs and between the refrigerator and the wall. Sweeping the floor is really just to get the big dirt up. If I don’t get it all, that’s all right, because after I sweep the floor, I give it a once over with a stick-broom. This is a little electric sweeper that was made for quick vacuuming of hard flooring. You can also use your vacuum cleaner with a floor attachment. When I’m finished with the stick broom, I damp mop the floor with a Swiffer floor cleaner. I use this product because it’s fast and convenient. The cleaning pad affixes to the device with Velcro, and you control the amount of cleaning solution dispensed with a button on the handle. Cleaning the floor takes the most time, but I can usually get all three steps done in fifteen minutes or so.
Clean from the top down. In other words, clean the microwave before you clean the counter underneath it or you will end up cleaning that counter twice, because crumbs and food particles will fall out of the microwave as you clean it. Likewise, clean the table and countertops before cleaning the floor.
If you stay focused and work from start to finish without interruption, you should be able to clean your kitchen in twenty to thirty minutes. Of course it will get dirty again by the end of the day, and you will have to clean it again tomorrow, but now that you can do it in less than half an hour, it’s not quite so bad.