My kitchen is my absolute favourite room in my house, it’s where all the food is! My biggest dream right now is to save enough money to create a chef’s kitchen of my very own design. Other people get butterflies about their significant other, I get butterflies at the thought of my very own pastel pink chef’s kitchen with the 8 gas burner stove, the hanging utensils and the baking section!
Anyway, back to what this post is actually about, cleaning! Ever since I moved to Africa, keeping a clean kitchen has become somewhat of an obsession of mine. This is because, the environment here is completely different from that in the UK, in Africa there are a lot of bugs, cockroaches, rats, ants and all sorts of creepy crawlers all over the place. The humidity is such that if you leave any kind of food out for even a few hours, it starts to go bad and attract those pesky little rodents! So, it is imperative to keep a clean and tidy kitchen literally all day long!
Not just health department clean, MONICA clean!
The first thing is to ensure that there are kitchen cleaning products in your kitchen! This may seem obvious to some, but it was only when I moved to Nigeria that I realised not many people here keep cleaning products! Maybe there is a specific reason for this and I’m just ignorant but for the life of me I couldn’t understand why!
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1: Pack away any leftover food
If you have food still in pots on the stove, put it in containers that same night and pack it all away to reheat later. When I first lived on my own, I had a terrible habit of leaving food that I had cooked in the pot, I’d tell myself I will get to putting it away, but I never did. It would stay in the pot for days until it went bad. This is a terrible, needless habit and a lot of mums do this. Part of your kitchen cleaning process should be packing away any left-over food and washing the pots out.
2: Wash your dishes every night
Which brings me to my next point. Once you’ve fed your family for the night and you’re done with food making until the following day, get to clearing away your dishes! When you live in humid places like Africa, you must not miss this step if you want to keep rodents out! If all else fails, then just wash the dishes and stop there!
To be honest, even if you live in the West it’s still good practice to wash your dishes every night so you don’t have to stress yourself the next morning.
I cannot live without my sponges! I don’t understand how people wash dishes without sponges. The rough side scrubs off stubborn dirt while the soft side smooths everything off, they’re absolutely perfect!
3: Clean your cooker every night
It can be really annoying when dirt builds up on your stove as a result of food splattering everywhere. As a food blogger, my kitchen is always busy so you can imagine what my cooker looks like most of the time. For this reason, I always make sure to clean my gas cooker every night. When it’s especially greasy, I spray my flash ultra spray, leave it for 5 minutes and then clean. Cleaning it every night makes my life so much easier, some nights I just give it a quick wipe instead of a full clean
4: Spray and wipe down your surfaces every night
Clean everywhere, move your microwave and other things on your surfaces to get in the little nooks and crannies to really give them a thorough wipe. One thing I cannot stand is using reusable cloths to wipe your kitchen surfaces. That is disgusting, please stop using reusable cloths to clean kitchen surfaces! They’re dirty, smelly and no matter how many times you wash them, the smell never goes away, and they will never be clean like when you first bought them. I use them to clear up spills or excess water, but I always, ALWAYS wipe over them with disposable cleaning wipes. These wipes are hygienic, and you never use the same one twice, I always feel better knowing my surfaces are well sanitised.
5: Wipe down your kitchen cabinets and fridge every night
Give your cabinets, fridge and other areas a good wipe down either with disposable wipes or cleaning spray. Do this every night so that dirt or grease doesn’t build up and become difficult to clean. If you must use reusable cloths (because money doesn’t grow on trees) then wash them with soap and bleach every night after using them.
6: Sweep and mop/sanitise your kitchen floors every night
Ever since we moved into our house, we’ve had a serious, somewhat traumatising struggle with rodents and little creatures. It has taken a long time to rid the house of these little animals and I’ve found that if I don’t sterilise the floors and surfaces every single night, the following day we’ll see a scorpion or a snake or a rat just casually strolling across our floors.
For this reason, I always keep an alcohol-based floor detergent to mop my floors. You don’t have to buy this exact floor detergent; the point is to have some type of sanitising detergent or bleach to sterilise your floors. I prefer this specific one because it’s heavy duty, it has alcohol which is sterilising and doesn’t need to be rinsed after being applied.
The annoying thing about this (for lazy girls like myself) is that you have to fill the bucket with water, mix in a little of this solution and then get to mopping! I don’t know about other mums out there, but I don’t always have that time, especially after a long, hard day! So, on days when I just can’t… I use a bleach spray to quickly spritz the floors and wipe them clean
7: Remove limescale from your tap with vinegar every night
To combat the build up of limescale in your tap, make a solution of half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of water, soak a tea towel in the solution and wrap it around the tap, leave this overnight. Alternatively, pour the solution in a resealable bag and secure the bag around the tap with the head completely submerged and leave this overnight.
And that is it my friends. Very straightforward kitchen cleaning schedule and easy to maintain. Hygiene is the single most important part of your family’s life. Some of these illnesses that your children get are so needless it’s painful when parents don’t put in this small effort for a cleaner home!
Please comment below and let me know your kitchen cleaning schedule, tips and ideas!