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The calendar might say it’s officially Spring, but evidently Mother Nature didn’t get that memo. Massachusetts, in particular, has evidently taken the definition of “Spring” to mean “Second Winter” this year, because we got four nor’easters/blizzards in less than three weeks. Sure, the first few were when it was still technically winter, but it’s March and this feels like the winter that will never end, so I’m rounding up. Wait, would it be rounding out? No, that means I’m gaining weight – which is sadly also true. Ah, whatever. The tl;dr is that March has been an absolute lion.
Related: If you have a kid this year and name them Riley, Quinn, Skylar or Toby I’m probably going to subconsciously resent them due to the weather trauma that is 2018. Sorry in advance.
With that said, I’m struggling to get into Spring mindset without the presence of green grass, daffodils, open windows or sunshine. The funny thing is that the activity that always kicks my butt into gear more than any of that is spring cleaning! And we’re going to be doing some pretty epic spring cleaning this year as we pack up and move into our new home.
The acts of consolidating, purging, scrubbing and switching decor over to be warm weather-appropriate are time consuming, but oddly soothing (well, not odd for me, I suppose). I think the mental reset that happens when it’s done can be rejuvenating and helps get you out of a winter rut where everything is covered in dust, salt stains and pine needles that have somehow made it through every other cleaning spree that happened since Christmas. Seriously though, HOW ARE THERE ALWAYS MORE?!
In the spirit of fresh starts, I wanted to share some of my favorite tips I’ve found, used, or want to use this time around for a seriously deep cleaning of your kitchen. We all know the standards: spray a counter with your cleaner of choice and wipe it down, clean the basin of the sink, and clean up spills as they happen. But let’s talk details.
1. Deodorize and disinfect your cutting boards
You might not notice it, but I promise it’s happening – your cutting boards are retaining some bacteria or smells from previous food prep. You don’t need to smoosh your face into yours to see if I’m right – because then all you’ll have done is added oils from your skin to the board. So, just… don’t do that. Instead, exert that energy into giving your cutting boards a thorough cleaning. And if you’re using plastic cutting boards, it might be time to throw them out (or get new ones).
We recently did a purge of ours and I was lucky enough to replace one with this beautiful Virginia Boy’s Kitchen walnut cutting board. The color is gorgeous, with a nice deep drip groove around the edge. I got the 11″x17″ size, and it’s perfect for my daily needs. Thanks to Arousing Appetites for the gift! Couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off spring in our new home.
2. Clean your bakeware
I admit that I get lazy about this. I give muffin pans a scrub after use, but I don’t always give them a thorough one. And I do my best with silicone baking mats, but they usually just get a run through the dishwasher, rolled up and put away. Spring cleaning is a great way to force yourself to make sure all your bakeware gets the attention it needs (and deserves!) to start all your future baking endeavors off as clean as can be. I also find that doing a real deep clean encourages me to maintain a higher level of cleanliness than I usually maintain when there’s a spot here or there.
- Jillee shows how to make old, stained cookie sheets look brand new with a simple trick that just requires some spraying and waiting. I am all over a tip that’s “set it and forget it” while I work on other parts of the room! But I’ll admit, I want to keep some of mine looking… let’s call it rustic, for photography background purposes.
- Sally gives a great rundown on cleaning your silicone baking mats. There’s nothing worse than handling a slimy baking mat!
3. Clean your windows
Okay, this one is actually 16 tips, but it fall under the category of squeaky clean windows that sparkle. These tips cover blinds, window tracks, screens, and the glass itself. You’d be amazed at how much gunk has built up from cooking, regardless of where your windows might be – especially if it’s near the oven or above the sink!
4. Wash the dishwasher
You don’t want the thing that’s cleaning your dishes to be dirty, do you? No. No you don’t. So take some time and follow these steps to make sure it’s delivering you squeaky clean dishes and not sortakinda clean dishes.
5. While we’re at it, washing the washing machine
Because funny enough, the washing machine doesn’t wash itself. I know we’re talking about kitchens here, but since you’re probably throwing dish towels, fabric pot holders and aprons in there, I think it’s worth mentioning. Rachel shows you all the nitty gritty ways to clean your washing machine and get rid of the terrible smell that eventually accumulates and spreads to your laundry. You definitely want to do this more than just once a year, but tackling it now as part of your spring cleaning festivities is a good start.
6. Degrease your cabinets
I know, I know – you don’t even want to think about it. You’re touching them every day. But it’s true – they accumulate grease and could have a thin film on them. Help preserve the health of your cabinets and get the gross outta here!
7. Forget “self-cleaning ovens”
Just do it yourself. I feel like all you’re doing when you use the self-cleaning oven setting is heating your entire house to 900°F and losing a day of being able to use your oven. It’s burning the bejeezus out of whatever is in there, leaving you with a pile of charred remains that you just have to clean out and then actually clean the inside anyway to get rid of the dust it left behind. To really clean your oven, give this a shot. And don’t forget about cleaning the glass in there! You need to be able to sit on the floor and gaze through the window and watch your cookies as they bake.
…what, just me?
8. But don’t forget the stovetop!
9. Baseboards need love, too
They’re easy to overlook, unless you spend a lot of time on the floor at level with them (and if that’s the case, please email me because I need to know more about your lifestyle stat). But I promise, cleaning them will make a difference once you realize that no – the bottom of your wall is in fact not dog-hair colored. This goes for any little ledges that might exist on your counters, too.
10. Clean the fridge – inside and out
I adore a good stainless steel fridge, free of magnets or clutter, but they end up being covered in fingerprints, dribbles of water, and cat nose prints (I mean seriously, what are they doing). I stumbled upon this post a while back and it seemed so weird, I had to try it. The craziest part is that it totally works.
And Mom 4 Real claims we can clean out the ol’ fridgeroo in 15 minutes. Challenge accepted.
11. Don’t let your microwave look like a war zone
We’ve all seen a microwave that’s fallen victim to having butter explode on the roof of it, reheated leftovers spill onto the bottom, and red sauce splatters that are reminiscent of a scene out of Kill Bill. Fortheloveofgod don’t let this happen to you. I highly recommend using this method to clean it at least once a month, but there’s no better time than the present to start, whatever your cleaning cadence might be.