Cluttered counters, dusty appliances and a jam packed fridge are the most common results of awfully busy schedules and weeks of procrastination. Well, its spring time and also the only reason, other than Diwali of course, to catch up on all the pent up chores around the house. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, so check out these handy tips and clean up solutions that will make your cooking space spotless and clutter free.
Finger bowl your microwave
To steam clean the microwave, add four tablespoons lemon juice to a cup of water in a large microwave safe bowl. Boil in microwave for five minutes and then wipe away the moisture that condenses on the microwave interior.
Bake it clean
To make oven cleaning easier, spray it in the night before with a good oven cleaner. It will be ready to wipe in the morning. Cleaners designed for cold ovens are stronger than those for warm ovens. Never use cleaners in self-cleaning or continuous ovens just follow instructions to clean as given by your brand.
Take a chill pill
Take out the refrigerator shelves and drawers. Wash them down, being careful with glass shelves. Pull out and vacuum the coils of your UNPLUGGED and empty refrigerator. Clean the inside of the refrigerator with three tablespoons of baking soda in some warm water, or with a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it around. Wipe down the entire inside and outside of the fridge before replacing shelves and food.
Take the knobs, burners, burner covers and spill catchers off of the stove. Some stovetops lift up to allow easy access to spills and crumbs. Wipe down the entire stove top with a soft cloth and some warm water.
Remove, reline and relax.
Take out anything that isn’t being used on a regular basis. Reline if needed. Remove mismatched lids and bowls. Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets. Use transparent plastic or glass jars to store items to make life a little easier.
Sparkle or sink
Wash down the sink. If you have a garbage disposal now is the time to pour baking soda with warm water and/or a lemon peel down the disposal to freshen the drain. If you use a dishwasher clean out the food trap at the bottom and then run the empty dishwasher with a hint of vinegar or baking soda. Don’t forget to wash down the outside too!
Don’t use products that contain acids – lemon or vinegar, for instance – on marble or limestone. Use a special stone cleaner or a mild detergent in water. Rinse thoroughly and dry with soft cloth. Scrub laminate countertops with a nylon brush and household cleaner. Don’t forget backsplashes.
Divide and rule
Wipe down and clean out the drawers. Organize your flatware. This is a great time to install drawer dividers to better organize your kitchen drawers. Line it with newspaper or even with bubble wrap so your cutlery doesn’t collect dust and cleaning up next time is easy.
Out of sight
Unplug all appliances first. Wipe and clean the toaster, blender and other small appliances and store them well in a place where easily accessible for you to use as and when required preferably near an electric socket.
Sweep and mop the floors. One of the best ways to get a floor really clean is to resort to a good old pocha - use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees and scrub away. If this is not an option try going barefoot and scooting a large towel around the floor with your feet. It provides more contact and pressure with the floor than a mop does and gives you a sparkling clean floor.
With these tips in hand spring cleaning won’t be the chaotic frustrating activity it is. So keep calm and let the cleaning begin.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.