Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring is definitely on its way. Despite temperatures in the teens last week and in the forecast again for next week, it was a balmy 69°F today – delightful!

Thoughts of spring crocuses, wicker porch furniture, and even thorough spring-cleanings begin to surface. And don’t forget the kitchen!

Young brunette woman scrubs granite countertop and inspects closely to make sure that she removed all dirt and food particles.

Here are some hints to get your kitchen ready for springtime, lighter meals, and lots of time outside.

A Little Preparation Goes and Long Way

Try to empty the room out as much as possible: remove the kitchen trashcan and fill it with a disinfecting cleaner outside, roll any kitchen islands out to the foyer or dining room, and try to get the kitchen table and chairs out of the way.

Remove any area rugs to be washed to the washing machine or drop them off at a cleaner’s shop if they’re too large for your machine. Collect all of your cleaning supplies and materials.

Time to Get Started

Try to clean from the top down. Thus, though you may be supremely disinterested in your kitchen ceiling and its attachments overall, this is where you should begin.

Well, almost. First, remove any ceiling curtains or window blinds. These will be cleaned separately later.

Then, wrestle a canister vacuum up onto the counter or use a good hand-vac to clean up the dust, cobwebs, and other weird stuff that had ended up on top of your kitchen cabinets, while these materials are still dry.

Finally, using a grease-cutting cleaner, wash your ceiling, light fixtures, and any ceiling or exhaust fans. Dump the rinse water, and then wash the walls with an appropriate grease-cutting cleaner, from the ceiling to the top of cabinets, large appliances, or straight down blank walls.

Now, you get to repeat this process with the exterior of your above-counter kitchen cabinets. Don’t get started on the below-counter cabinets yet, as there’s still a lot of cleaning to be done and a bunch of dirt to be removed from above them first. Be sure to clean the top of the refrigerator while you’re up there.

Beginning with the cabinets that hold dishes, cups, and glassware, remove each item for washing, preferably in the hot cycle of an automatic dishwasher.

Vacuum each shelf, and then wipe down the inside shelving of the cabinets with a non-toxic multipurpose cleaner. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the cabinet doors! Remove any old shelving paper and replace it.

In place of paper, I recommend that you try that new plastic foam netting that is available. It is easily cut to shape, cleans up well, and protects breakable items from cracks and chips.

If you worship Martha Stewart, be sure to put your “spring” crockery in the most easily accessible cabinets, and hide the Santa Claus plates behind all the floral stuff.

A woman wearing a black cloth apron and pink rubber gloves holds a cleaning cloth in one hand and a bottle of spray cleaner in the other, as she wipes a glass-topped kitchen surface.

Moving on to the pantry cabinets that hold food items, remove all the boxes, cans, and canisters of food. Check expiration dates. Toss foodstuff stored in boxes that has been opened but not used in recent memory to avoid kitchen moth infestations.

For cans of Cream of Groundhog soup that no one in the household recalls purchasing – much less ever eating – toss those too.

Please don’t save these items to donate to local food banks – if you’re not interested in dining on something slightly nasty, why would they be?

Remove the old shelf paper, vacuum the shelves, wipe down with a multipurpose, nontoxic cleaner such as vinegar or a citrus-based product, and cut new foam netting to serve as shelf paper. It wil. be much easier to replace any necessary food items now that you have a much better idea of what your home inventory actually includes.

Remove your oven racks and set them aside, preferably outside the kitchen’s sphere of action. Vacuum the bottom of your oven’s interior with a “dirty” attachment to remove dried ash and burned food particles, or wipe it out thoroughly. Spray the interior with oven cleaner or set the self-cleaning timer to begin during the evening, after you’re out of the room.

If you have an electric stove, remove the heating coils, if necessary, and wash/scrub or even replace the burner “dishes” – they’re relatively inexpensive for the clean and bright flash they’ll lend to your kitchen. Remove the oven and burner dials to be washed in hot water, or preferably, in the dishwasher.

Remove all the small appliances and whatnot from your countertops and prepare for war. Clean the backsplash area with whatever cleaner is appropriate, clean each small appliance carefully to remove grease and grime, and clean the countertops thoroughly with an antibacterial cleaner, or a vinegar solution if you want to go light on the chemicals.

Then clean it again.

Use this antibacterial cleaner to also clean the kitchen sink, the drains, and the faucets and water taps.

A woman wearing a blue apron and a white latex glove cleans a wooden kitchen countertop with a blue and white absorbent cloth.

Repeat the above-noted instructions for the cabinets under the counters, and all of the kitchen drawers. Don’t forget to disinfect and wash in hot water whatever cutlery holder you utilize to organize and hold your flatware.

Wash all of the cutlery and kitchen utensils. Don’t become distracted by your oh-so-necessary kitchen junk drawer – save that for another day. Keep moving, because there’s still a lot to do.

Don’t skimp on cleaning out the dark corners of those under-counter cabinets. Who knows what could be lurking back there! I’m not taking any chances in my house…

The Appliances

Your oven is set to self-clean or the spray cleaner is working on the crud now. What’s next?

Clean the microwave more easily by loosening dried food first. Boil a cup of water in the appliance, so it will release some steam. Then use a soft scrub pad and a nontoxic cleaner to take care of the rest. Remove the rotating plate and plastic platter and pop those in the dishwasher.

The refrigerator is the last truly awful battle to fight. Seriously, try to plan to complete this chore before a large grocery store visit is necessary, when it’s on the emptier side.

Remove all food items and trash those whose last use cannot be recalled, as well as any beyond their expiration date. If it’s warm in your kitchen, you might want to put more perishable items like dairy in a picnic cooler while you clean.

Remove the shelves and drawers, and clean as directed by the manufacturer. Wipe down all of the interior shelves, walls, and any particularly sticky containers that will be returning to the refrigerator.

Lastly, remove the bottom louvre to be cleaned in the dishwasher and vacuum the bottom front. If you’re prepared and have a strong constitution, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the back of the appliance, as well as the floor underneath it. Using the attachments will come in handy here.

This level of cleaning will help this appliance to operate more efficiently. It’s worth it!

After all the spring-cleaning dishwashing has been completed, pop an automatic dishwasher cleaning pod into the appliance to disinfect it and remove water stains.

Finishing Up

A woman in a white shirt, black stretch pants, and black and white fuzzy sneakers, with pink rubber gloves on her hands, is on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor with a blue scrubber, next to a green plastic bucket.

Vacuum the kitchen floor and molding. Then scrub, rinse, and or wax the floor, doing whatever is appropriate for the given material whether it’s vinyl, tile, wood, or something else.

As a final touch, wash your kitchen windows to let in all that gorgeous light.

Once your kitchen is spic and span clean, it takes a minimal amount of effort to keep it that way if you spend just a little bit of time each day working on one area.

A nice finishing touch? Sweetening the air with some natural homemade air fresheners!

Isn’t that lovely? Let us know if there are any tips we missed here in the comments below.

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

35 thoughts on “Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tips”

  1. I confess, am lazy when it comes to cleaning kitchen ceiling and attachments, am always like, its far up high, its unreachable and a manner of all other excuses that comfort my working ‘ego’ but you are extremely right, i ought to put more footwork into it and trash away all the excuses…and for the life of me, i never understood why i really loved to clean the refrigerator{in the past} above all other kitchen items that awaited my magic cleaning touch :)..lovely tips here that ought to be followed to book 🙂

  2. Thank you for this helpful article. Actually, it makes me lazy when after the long days of warm temperature.. oh so beautiful weather, cleaning in the kitchen is typically a daunting task. Whenever I do it, I realized that I’ve been cleaning chaotically that’s why it consumed my time a day or two. Fridge, utensil divider and other big items such as major appliances, I am unsure which to start with. Hope this checklist would make my life easier to get them done straightaway!

  3. I like these tips, especially the mentality of taking it step by step. The task of doing spring cleaning can be intimidating and overwhelming, leaving some to give up. I am guilty of this myself. My trick is to make a list of small tasks so I don’t get bogged down in it. I also put a reward in place after I’m done. It’s a big undertaking and I don’t mind treating myself afterward!

  4. Although I hate living in an apartment having a small kitchen is good and bad. Only good when it comes to cleaning. I usually wash the ceiling and wall by hand and use my step ladder. We have no fan of any sort so it gets pretty nasty on the ceiling from cooking. I always wipe outside the cupboards they also tend to get dirty quick and inside. From there remove everything from the fridge and counter and scub and for last I sweep and mop the floor. I don’t do the wash down off the ceiling and walls as often as I should but I try to when I can. Since the holidays are coming I may tackle the kitchen tomorrow or Friday night.

  5. I love dancing around the kitchen as I clean. I will even turn up the stereo especially if it’s something from the 80’s. My little dog just looks at me like I’m crazy. Then I’ll just give out, but hey the kitchen got clean, and I got some fun calorie burning in to boot.

  6. Sometimes, it’s difficult to know hwere to start with the spring cleaning, particularly if things have been somewhat neglected of late. It is definitely wise to tackle the refridgerator before doing a big grocery shop, I’ve made the mistake of not doing so before!

  7. I confess I never do any spring cleaning; I hate warm/hot weather, and I am light sensitive which makes even a small amount of piercing sunlight difficult to cope with. Instead, I swap my spring cleaning for autumn – October is usually cool, misty and dull enough for me to get everything aired out, cleaned out, and looking great again. I repeat this in February just before the dreaded warming up begins, and just keep on top of cleaning tasks in between those times.

    Even though I do my cleaning at a different time in the year to most people, I find this article very helpful in getting organised – I can often start in the wrong place, and find that the job takes a big longer in the end. This is a very logical step by step guide, and I’ll find it very useful next week when I do my February clean!

  8. I don’t know if I have ever done a thorough Spring cleaning, and to the best of my knowledge, I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned my ceiling, in my kitchen or in any other room for that matter. Reading through this list of things to do made me feel like my kitchen cleaning leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, my kitchen looks okay, but there is definitely room for improvement. Doing everything listed in this article seems a bit much for me to do, but just thinking of how wonderful things would look and smell if I did muster up enough energy to really give this cleaning plan a go makes me feel kind of motivated.

  9. There are two sides to me: The side that loves a clean atmosphere & the side that loathes to be responsible for creating it. I’m glad you offered a decent amount of tips to simplify the side I most certainly can do without. Maybe an addition of ways to make it more fun would help?

  10. Thanks for the tips! I’ll start cleaning once vacation comes! 🙂 Sadly though, I can’t clean that well (or I take too much time) because I have asthma -_- Guess I’ll be leaving the most dusty work to my older siblings! Haha!

    (I hope I won’t find any six-legged creature (especially if it flies! Egad, those roaches are creepy!) while cleaning up, else I’ll give up on cleaning! XD)

    (P.S. What’s a good way to keep roaches from infesting the house?)

  11. Just to let you know that I revisited this post last weekend to get a little help with the spring clean. The tips and hints you wrote about really made light work of things and the whole ordeal was over with a lot sooner than expected! Thanks again!

  12. Hey !
    Some good ideas here. If I ever muster up the courage to clean I normally just pick a task and do it without much thought but then I normally have to restart everything as sweeping the floor isn’t the best palce to start ! One thing I am finding really hard to clean is my stove top. There seems to be so much grease and such enbedded into it because if I don’t clean it then nobody will. I jjust haven’t found the time to do it but now I am trying to clean everything away but nothing will work. Is there anyone with any tips or anything that will work? i have tried a few things but nothing seems to be working at the moment 🙁

  13. I enjoy a good deep clean on my kitchen but I will admit I rarely clean the ceiling fans or on top of the refrigerator. These places are up high and often if I can not reach them, I don’t. We just recently replaced the range hood and I was appalled at how filthy it was. Having the steps laid out for me in this article will help me to make sure I get all the nooks and crannies nice and clean.

  14. This article really spells it out for me and even provides photos for motivation! For me, I easily get overwhelmed thinking about cleaning and organizing my entire kitchen because there is just so much to do. This step by step guide will definitely prove helpful for whenever I next set my mind to this daunting task.

  15. Although, it is not Spring I did a shortened version of this today. It is so dusty here in Cyprus, I just couldn’t take it anymore! I wiped down cabinets, refrigerator and appliances. I wiped all the counter tops, deep cleaned the sink, the stove, and gave the entire kitchen a good sweep and mop. It took 3.5 hours! Oh my gosh! It is a great suggestion to clean out the refrigerator before a trip to the grocery. I find that doing the refrigerator a day or two ahead of a big kitchen cleaning works best for us. That chore alone can take hours depending on how many people are living in your household!

  16. Hm, I think I may respectfully disagree with this article’s point on not donating your food to the local food bank. If the food is hopelessly spoiled, then don’t donate it. Otherwise, I don’t see any reason not to. I live in an area with an enormous homeless population, and I can guarantee that they would be happy to eat /anything/. There is no need to be wasteful.

  17. I plan to start my first spring in my new home off right. One big mistake I make is forgetting to start from the top down. This simple tip really can save you the hassle of having to re-do something you have already finished. There is still a lot about my new home I need to learn. I have a gas stove for the first time in my life. I really don’t know if there is a difference between cleaning a gas and electric stove, but I have not cleaned it since I bought the house. I hate oven cleaners. They have such a strong smell, but there is no other, non fume, option that works. Or if there is one, I haven’t figured out what it is. I want to keep my new house nice, and the only way to do that is to do both deep spring and fall cleaning.

  18. I’m so lazy the best part of this whole article to me was the Finishing Up part, haha. I’m kidding but these tips are very helpful to get the job done. I clean my kitchen every once and a while and it’s time to do a clean up again. I will be using these tips. I’m sure they’ll be of great help to me and my boyfriend, because there’s no way I’m cleaning that kitchen all by myself!

  19. Thank you for the complete rundown of the process to get everything completely scrubbed down. I have a few questions though.

    What is the best product to use on a stainless steel stove top and what can I do to prevent grime build up? My biggest issue is with oil that shoots out of the frying pan and becomes entrenched in the metal. I feel like I will never be able to get it looking and feeling like it did when it was new.

  20. The two most important areas of the house for keeping sanitized are the kitchen and bathroom. They are also the hardest to keep up. These tips for are great and make cleaning a little less painful. I usually use a lemon or vinegar mix for some of my scrubbing chores because of the acidity in the two that kill bacteria.

  21. I will admit my spring cleaning routine is a lot less through than yours! I’d second your suggestion of vinegar though. It’s not just good for cleaning, and froths wonderfully if you mix it with bicarb, but it lifts limescale like you wouldn’t believe. We have hard water in our area, and leaving the sink full of warm water and vinegar while I clean and then rinsing it out loosens the limescale enough to remove it with a light sponge.

    The only problem is the rather pungent smell. I haven’t found any way round that, and it is one reason to leave cleaning until the weather is warmer, rather than freeze with the windows open and the rain pouring in.

    The only thing I disagree with you on is donating food. If the food isn’t spoiled and is still sealed, perhaps just one of those impulse purchases we’re never going to eat (or at least not before the best-before date expires), I do prefer to donate it and I’ve never had any complaints. As long as the food is still good and shop -sealed, most food banks are delighted to receive it. If the food isn’t good, that is what compost heaps are for!

  22. Ugh. My Kitchen is a disaster. I don’t even have the normal cleaning caught up and this reminds me I need to get it done. There are some helpful tips here however. I guess I better do my preparation and get going with it.

  23. This is so very informative but am I the only one struggling with ants in my kitchen? Not just in spring, winter too.. Like how do I get them to leave?

  24. I’ll admit, I get easily overwhelmed when having to clean my kitchen, which is why I often only do a general sprucing know, the dishes, the counters, the appliances, and the floors. This is a really good step by step guide for those of us that need some direction. Also, it should make obvious sense to clean from the top down, but when I read that it was like a revelation! Great post! XO

  25. I’m doing my spring cleaning a bit later than usual but I think taking it step by step is the right approach for this year. I’ve definitely neglected my cabinets this year so that part will be most intimidating. I definitely agree… Sometimes cleaning does feel like preparing for war!

  26. It’s a real good idea to keep things as clean as possible throughout the year, especially when you don’t like to spend that much time doing a thorough cleaning. Pick one section of the room and clean it and then pick another section another day until it’s done. That way you can do this several times a year, keep it all clean and you don’t have to worry about a special marathon cleaning spree in the spring.

  27. A vinegar solution is a brilliant idea for kitchen cleaning. I’ve always used it to scrub bathroom tiles but never extended it to kitchen use. This is a great article for me since I’ve been procrastinating a kitchen spring cleaning for months now. I have domestic help who comes in weekdays and does top cleaning but I know that if I really want things to be ship shape I’ll have to do it myself! I think every weekend is going to be the one where it gets done but somehow never get round to it! I’m going to use this as a step by step guide to get things done. 🙂

  28. Your last paragraph sums it up for me – I tend to keep on top of things year round. “Spring cleaning” is not something I’ve ever done. I find it a strange concept. I’m not a maniac about cleaning – but I do have a very minimalist home, including my kitchen.I don’t hang onto things that are not used or useful. So keeping on top of cleaning, using white wine vinegar dilution, is easy.

  29. How do you keep up with the kitchen even after it is clean? You mentioned just focusing a bit of time on one area a day once it is clean. However, I find that doing one task a day is simply not enough.

    For example, I cook breakfast every morning and do not have time to clean the pans before going to work. Then when I come home, dinner needs to be made, which causes more pans to build up. That is besides the dishes that obviously need to be loaded into the dishwasher and the food that ends up on the floor during the cooking proccess. I find that I am always chasing this kitchen and can never catch up. It’s frustrating.

  30. Cleaning daily is easy to say but it’s hard to get into a routine. But it makes so much more sense to work a little each day than to do a lot on one day. And I’m happy that this article suggested using vinegar products as opposed to harmful chemicals. I’m a big fanatic when it comes to natural household goods being put to practical use.

  31. I love this step-by-step process. I find it easy to get distracted when cleaning the kitchen because there are so many small items and it is so common for there to be grease and other dirt on all the surfaces. I am keeping this post handy when I do a thorough cleaning next week, it will help me make a great checklist. Thanks for the tips!

  32. One of the best things that I have been turned onto in the recent past was the citrus scented and citrus based cleaners. They do a great job and there is no more of that cleaning smell, the chemical smell. I really hated that smell and it might have contributed to my lack of cleaning. Or, I am just saying that as an excuse. That one might be more likely. That said, another good point is the wiping down of ALL the fridge, inside everything, and the citrus cleaner helps there too.

  33. Well I have to say that I really love the whole idea of cleaning downwards. It may be something that many people may not really think about, but when you are cleaning up top, the dirt has to fall somewhere and it goes down, so cleaning the bottom first would be foolish. It is a simple little thing, but I like how the author works it in there.

  34. I loved how in depth this article was. Cleaning from the top down is something not a lot of people think about. I know I`ve never cleaned above the cabinets due to my shortness and fear of ladders lol. What I have found makes spring cleaning easier is keeping up with things throughout the year. While my curtains only get done once a year, my rugs and cabinet faces get done as needed. From time to time we even touch up the paint in spots where it has gotten worn due to scrubbing. Don’t forget to pull that stove out to clean under and behind that too!

  35. Thanks for the great tips! I’ve always just kind of rushed through my annual cleanings, since it’s one of my least favorite parts of the year. I try to keep mine as spic and span as possible whenever I’m in it, so it usually takes a while for the dirtiness to build up into something I can’t stand. I try to put it off as much as possible, but I guess there’s no getting around the fact that eventually, you’re just gonna have to set some time aside and apply some elbow grease. Hopefully, through using the methods you described, I’ll be able to keep my area clutter and dirt free for more than just a few months. It’s actually pretty crazy how far you’re willing to take it, as I usually just try to scrape away the top layer of dirt and call it a day. Maybe I’ll get my wife to help me go along with the intricate process you go through. Either way, this was definitely a good read and it opened my eyes to how some people that actually care about their kitchens clean them.


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