Day 9: Kitchen love challenge

Clean under your refrigerator and stove as well as you can

This is The Challenge that my husband looked at me like I was crazy when I told him that we needed to pull out our appliances and clean underneath them. The look on his face told me that we wouldn’t be pulling out any appliances. 😉

So I got underneath the stove and fridge as best as I could to sweep any debris and crumbs. As one of my friends who was doing the challenge with me commented, “I still know there is a vitamin graveyard under there but what I can’t see won’t hurt me!”

Tried to get my little sweeper as far down underneath the fridge as I could. Did the same for the stove by pulling out the warming drawer and cleaning underneath there as well.

Couldn’t agree more. So, with this challenge as well as a few others, I did my best. And at the end of a long day, that should be good enough. Who’s with me on that?!

NEXT CHALLENGE: Clean the windows and wipe down the sills.

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Day 8: Kitchen love challenge

Clean utensil holders and top of fridge

Thank goodness for easy challenges! Since I only have one utensil holder, it took me about five minutes to complete today’s challenge. I had already cleaned the top of my fridge on day one of this challenge so that was already done (whew!).

Here’s the top of the fridge again. I cleaned it with baking soda and warm water. Because there was so much dust, I used a brush to scrub out the grime.

I have a glass utensil holder, and I simply rinsed it out with hot, soapy water and dried it.

Tell me … do you have multiple utensil holders in your kitchen? I used to put them all in this glass container and it got crowded so now I just put my wooden spoons and main spatula in it to keep the clutter contained. I moved the rest of the tools to a drawer, and that seems to help organize my tools better.

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Day 7: Kitchen love challenge

Clean your sink and wipe down the faucet

Better Homes and Gardens is right. The sink is one of the dirtiest places in your house. Between the bacteria from food and the moist environment, it’s a breeding ground. Since this challenge is about training yourself to form daily kitchen habits, this really holds true for my sink. I try to rinse it out daily and scrub it out every few days.

Once again, I used baking soda (my go-to natural cleaner for the house) and a combination of my favorite dishwashing soap from Costco to scrub the sink. It gets the job done nicely, and I end up with a sparkling sink for exactly one minute. But what a gleaming, glorious minute it is!

Leftover morning dishes are no match for this kitchen challenge! Here’s the before …
… and here’s the after! Who doesn’t love a sparkling sink?

Kitchen tip: After I clean my sink, I use a spray bottle of diluted bleach to spray over the sink’s surface to kill any germs or bacteria. I especially like to do this in the evening as it dries overnight.

While we’re on the subject of sinks and dishes, I want to leave you with this excerpt I came across on doing dishes from Excellent Women by Barbara Pym: “My thoughts went round and round and it occurred to me that if I ever wrote a novel it would be of the ‘stream of consciousness’ type and deal with an hour in the life of a woman at the sink. I felt resentful and bitter towards Helena and Rocky and even towards Julian, though I had to admit that nobody had compelled me to wash these dishes or to tidy this kitchen. It was the fussy spinster in me, the Martha who could not comfortably sit and make conversation when she knew that yesterday’s unwashed dishes were still in the sink.”

Yes, I am that Martha, and I am proud of it. Tell me – how long can you go with dirty dishes in the sink before you have to wash them? For me, it would have to be 12-24 hours.

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Day 6: Kitchen love challenge

Mop the floor

This was a fairly easy challenge as my floors weren’t too dirty. I use a diluted version of Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleanser for my floors, and it gets the job done effectively. For tough stains on grout, I like to use a toothbrush and baking soda as seen below.

I’m sure that Erma would have said that my floors are clean enough to eat on! Who am I kidding? She wouldn’t have cared! 😉

How do you mop your floors – with a mop or do you get down on your hands and knees like me? Or do you do something else? Would love to hear from you.

NEXT CHALLENGE: Clean your sink and wipe down your faucet.

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Day 5: Kitchen love challenge

Wiping down cabinets and range hood

This was a fairly easy challenge as my cabinets were in decent shape except for a few baking splatters. Wiping away the splatters with a damp sponge, I then got to work polishing the cabinets with Pledge.

Afterwards, I used glass cleaner to polish the glass knobs. I heard from several friends who were doing the challenge and they had good luck with Murphy Oil Soap and Bona Cabinet Cleaner. Since I don’t have a range hood, I just wiped the area above my microwave, which sits over my stove.

Found the cabinets near my baking area were especially dirty.
Clean cabinets = a sparkling kitchen.

Even the glass knobs got a good cleaning, not to mention getting disinfected.

What cleaner or polish do you use for your cabinets? Anybody out there use a home made remedy?

NEXT CHALLENGE: Mop the floor.

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Day 4: Kitchen love challenge

Clean out refrigerator and organize freezer

The biggest lesson I learned during this challenge is to not plan such a time-consuming challenge on a weeknight (and a Monday at that!).

I think it’s common sense, but I took out all of the dairy and meat products last as I emptied the fridge to clean it. Thankfully, I had cleaned out my crisper bins recently so that speeded up the process.

I used hot water and baking soda to wipe down the shelves since that is food-safe. I forgot to capture a picture of the inside of my fridge before so here’s the after.

To me, one of the greatest kitchen joys is to see a clean fridge. Next to that is my freezer …
It had been a loooong time since I cleaned out my freezer. So I found this part of the challenge even more helpful than the fridge. Also made a note of all the frozen foods and veggies for future meals.

Just curious: How often do you clean out your freezer?

NEXT CHALLENGE: Dust and polish the cabinet fronts and wipe down your range hood.

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