A Clean Kitchen in Five Steps

They say the kitchen is the hub of the home when friends and family come to visit. This quick routine will make sure you're always proud to show it off.

  • The Counters

    When visitors are joining you in the kitchen, cooking is normally the top priority. That means you should clear the counters by stashing school schedules, mail, and that rarely used appliance elsewhere. Toss bags and boxes of edibles you don't really want out. Spray a multi-purpose cleanser (we like Windex Multi-Surface) around what remains on the counter - canisters, toaster, etc. Wipe and let dry.

  • The Refrigerator

    It is really amazing how things can pile up in the fridge. So, pull the trash can over and dump those lingering leftovers, spoiled food and open bottles of condiments that have been sitting there for two years. You can then remove all the glass shelves and bins to wash them -- or at least give them a fast wipe with a wet cloth. And don't forget the fingerprints and splatters on the front door and handle! A fresh box of baking soda needs to go in to absorb odors also.

  • The Oven

    If your guests are arriving today and you haven't run the self-cleaning cycle, there is no time for that hours-long task. Instead, just spot clean dead-giveaway grime (such as grease on the door handle, stovetop spills or inside the glass door) using a sponge with a dash of baking soda (it cleans a lot faster than the sudsy cleansers).

  • The Sink

    Don't have time to wash those dishes piling up on the counter? Load them in the dishwasher or stack them neatly in the sink if you don't have a dishwasher. Rinse those drippy detergent bottles and stick those along with pot scrubbers, rubber gloves, etc under the sink. When everything looks neat, run a sponge around the bowl of the sink and the faucet you've probably spattered water on cleaning the rest.

  • The Floor

    Before you're ready to greet those guest, use a sweeper with disposable cloths (like Swiffer) to pick up any dust, crumbs, and hair from the floor. **Keep a damp paper towel in one hand to remove stains so you don't have to stop as you mop** When finished, throw the used Swiffer sheet and paper towel in the your trash bin.