Make it Sparkle

Is there nothing better than coming home to a clean house? Even if you've just cleaned it, left, then come home again!! 

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I honestly find cleaning therapeutic. It's a fantastic way to get my kids away from me and starting/completing a project is something that truly makes me happy. I find with a plan, or a checklist it's so much easier to get everything done & I use a lot of different products for different areas of each room. I am going to start this series off with the kitchen. Our most used room of the house, and also the one that gets the dirtiest quickest. Our kitchen is small, but there are so many components that need cleaning. Our laundry is in the kitchen, we have a random bathroom with a shower in our kitchen, and it's connected to our dining room and is the Segway from inside to the backyard. It's pretty bad, here are some photos to prove it!!! 

 

TO START: I always put away random food (bread bags, fruit, etc.) away. I like to organize our fruit/veggies in different bowls on the counter, so I'll go through the bowls and toss anything that has gone bad, or take stale bananas and remove the skins and out them in a ziplock for banana bread or smoothies, (heaven forbid my kid eat a banana with a tiny brown spot on it). I then move on to the random stuff. My purses, kids toys, shoes left by the door, etc. Those all go into a laundry basket to be moved out of the room. I typically gather everything and then put the basket on the bottom step so that next time I go upstairs I can grab it and take it with me. After that, I collect any dishes and move them to the sink and then transfer over to the dishwasher. If I have room in the dishwasher, I like to toss in my coffee pot and basket, the stove burner grates and plates, and my sponge holder sink stopper. Anything that will save me some time here!

 

Once the dishwasher is loaded, even if its not all the way full, get that baby running! I can't stand a dishwasher that has't been run (especially when it's almost full)! Next, I'll wipe down and move any big appliances/items that don't stay out on the countertops. I store away my toaster, my marble slab and in this case my picnic basket and put each in their place after making sure they've been wiped down or cleaned out.

I then like to move on the highest places that need cleaning. In my case, this is the tiny greenhouse bay window above my kitchen sink. I remove all of my plants, place them in the sink and give them a nice shower. While they are draining, I move the cutting boards and other trinkets that end up there. I start by spraying the windows and sils with Windex. Make sure to get the tiny parts of the sil where dirt and dust collects. I find if I wrap my finger with the cloth then use my fingernail covered, I can get into teeny places. Also you can use the edge of the cloth. Once the windows are clean I will move onto the granite. I use a multipurpose counter spray like Meyers or Fantastic. I sweep anything from there directly into the sink. I then like to reorganize my plants and cutting boards (from largest to smallest) back in their homes. 

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After this step, I like to wipe down all of the fronts of my cabinets starting with the uppers then moving to the lowers. I use a combination of 2c hot water, 1c white vinegar and 1tbsp baking soda. It will fizz up a bit, and I feel like the fizzy combination cuts through dirt and grease like no other. I simply soak a rag in the solution, ring it out so it's damp then wipe and let air dry. My cabinets are always sparkly clean after doing this and I use the same method for my studio cabinets which are bright white and it works perfectly! 

From here, I move onto my coffee bar area. When deep cleaning, I like to take apart the grinder and let all of the parts soak in a soak bowl in the sink. This is typically a combination of hot water, vinegar and dawn dish soap in a big metal bowl. I always pull the knobs off my stove as well and throw them in to get off any grease thats been on them for a while. I wipe down the outside of the grinder, then get the coffee pot cleaning. I like to use a solution like Single Cup coffee maker cleaner, or white vinegar with water to really deep clean my coffee pot. Our coffee pot brews 1 or sometimes 2 pots of coffee per day and every 3 months or so I like to give it a little love. For my maker, it's 1 oz solution for each 2 cups of water so I added 8 cups of water and 1/2 c of the cleaning solution. I let it brew, then I brewed 2 pots of straight water to make sure all the solution had rinsed away. I like to take the time to refill things while I'm doing a deep clean. For the coffee bar that means cleaning our sugar dish and refilling it with Coconut Sugar (which we LOVE) / restocking paper towels/ refilling hand soap/ dish soap. Once the coffee maker is clean, I wipe it down with a damp cloth and reassemble. I do the same with the bean grinder, once it has soaked I wash it well with a sponge, dry, reassemble it and add fresh beans to the grinder. I finish by wiping down the granite in this area, the backsplash and the dishwasher which is right underneath it. 

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From here, I make a soak cloth which is a rag that has been dipped into the soak bowl in my sink (remember that bowl of hot water, vinegar and dawn dish soap?). I wrap it around the base of my kitchen faucet and the dishwasher vent so that I don't have to spend a lot of time scrubbing them later.

I didn't have enough room in my dishwasher for my stove grates so I set them in the sink, sprayed them with multipurpose spray and let them sit while I got down to the dirty work.. the stove. For the stove and microwave, I like to spray and let them sit for a while. These are the most used items in the kitchen and therefore, always the dirtiest. I let them usually sit with spray for about 3-5 minutes then wipe them clean with a dry cloth. Make sure to wash the microwave plate with soapy hot water and to wipe down the inside of the microwave too. If the inside of your oven door is dirty, I find a soak cloth from the soak bowl in the sink will help loosen anything thats really stuck on. Simply spray it , drop a wet hot towel on top of any areas that are bad and come back in a few minutes, it usually will have loosened anything and will be ready for a dry wipe down. 

 

We have a small kitchen nook to the left of the stove where we keep our knives and Heath salt and pepper shakers. I remove everything from here, wipe down, and return items back. I then move on the the tiny bit of counter space where I bake, prep, make slime and bake cookies, where the kids climb the counter to get their own bottles when I'm too lazy to make them, and more! It's basically the only prep space I have and therefore is always disgusting. I usually just keep my kitchen-aid mixer, and a small tray with wooden spoons that I use every day, and a few necessary spices and oils. As you can see this area gets out of hand. I usually keep way too many things out, and by returning extra things like honey, ghee and spices that I rarely use, I feel like it already looks so much cleaner. I always wipe down the spoon container and wash the spice and oil tray because its so close to the stove and is always very dirty. I also like to wash my kitchen-aid mixer bowl because it doesn't get used very often and therefore gets dusty. I don't have cabinet room to store it, so it lives out on the counter. I find turning it sideways in the corner saves more counter space as well. To clean this beast, I just wet a towel with water and wipe down all the parts. Sometimes this needs a good hot soak rag (vinegar, dawn and hot water) , but today it wasn't too bad. Once these items are all cleaned, I move them so I can thoroughly scrub this area of the counter. I like to use an antibacterial counter spray here or even bleach followed by water, because this is where all of the food we eat gets prepped. Once it's sparkling, just the necessities return.

 

At this point, I hand wash all of the parts that have been soaking in the sink... the stove grates, plates & knobs, my coffee pot and my sugar dish. I hand dry them and immediately put them back in their places. 

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Now onto the sink! the seriously gross sink. I use comet, or Clorox clean up with bleach for the sink. Scrub into a thick paste, let sit for 3 minutes, then rinse with hot water. I also sometimes pour straight bleach into my disposal and let it run with dawn soap and hot water for a few minutes, I often have to stick my hand down there and it truly grosses me out. Now that the sink's clean, I spray and polish the faucet, soap dispenser and dish washer vent and wipe down the hand soap which sits on the counter next to the dish soap pump. 

Since our kitchen is set up so weirdly, I have another area - a weird bar counter that is so far from the sink that I move to next. I typically remove all of the glasses, books and bowls from the shelves and dust the wood with pledge, then restyle all of the items and put them back. I clear off the bar, wipe it down, refill my water filter system which lives on this counter, and then return only the necessities! I then, wipe down the fridge (removing any old art to make space for new creations, and also use an antibacterial spray on the top/sides of my trash can. 

 

Lastly, comes the floor. I use a Miele vacuum with the parquet twister floor attachment for my entire house. This thing is my savior, my beloved. I would never not own this item, no matter what. It works way better at getting every speck and crumb off the floor than anything else I've ever tried. I remove my kitchen rug, give it a good shake outside, vacuum the floors and then prepare my mop. I recently got the O-Cedar mop system and I really like it. The floors dry quickly because the system spins a lot of the water out before it hits the floor. I like to use Meyer's all purpose cleaner diluted in water in the basin. I usually start at the right corner by the laundry and work my way out of the kitchen so that I'm not trapped in the corner. I don't walk on the floor until its completely dry because.. footprints! Once the floor is dry I return my rug, fix myself a cocktail, tell my kids there's monsters in the kitchen and enjoy the cleanliness!! It doesn't last long over here. 

I've included a few links of the products I love and use to clean my kitchen and house! 

Do you have any TIPS & TRICKS for cleaning the kitchen?? If so please share them below!! 

Mrs. Meyer's All Prpose Cleaner Concentrate

Miele Vacuum  & Parquet Twister 

O- Cedar Mop

Windex Glass Cleaner

Fantastic Cleaner/De-greaser

Dawn Dish Soap

White Vinegar

Cleaning Rags

 

Coffee Maker Cleaner