Does the thought of cleaning your kitchen make you want to change your name and address? We’re right there with you. But it turns out there are tons of tricks to make the job quicker, easier, and (dare we say) fun.
Check out these 26 kitchen cleaning hacks before you break out the yellow rubber gloves.
This is one of the most dreaded kitchen cleaning tasks. Here’s the easiest way to get it done:
- Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a little water to make a paste.
- Remove the oven racks.
- Rub the paste all over your oven’s problem spots. Just be sure to skip the heating elements.
- Let it sit overnight.
The next morning:
- With a damp cloth, wipe away as much of the paste and charred bits as you can.
- Spray the inside of the oven with vinegar. (Don’t worry about the smell. It fades.)
- Wipe everything down with a soft, dry cloth.
Voilà! Your oven should be squeaky clean.
Scrambling to find supplies can really kill your cleaning groove. That’s why you should store everything together. Caddies are great because you can carry your gear from spot to spot.
Here’s what you should keep in your cleaning toolkit:
- dish soap
- baking soda
- paper towels
- a spray bottle
- rubber gloves
- white vinegar
- a microfiber cloth
- an old toothbrush
- vegetable or coconut oil
- your fave commercial cleaning products
Pro tip: Essential oils can brighten things up. Kitchen-friendly scents include orange, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree oils.
You might be compelled to clean whatever catches your eye first 👀. But this can get overwhelming fast. There should be a method to the cleaning madness. Our advice? Start high, finish low. Start with counter surfaces and save the floors for last.
Get creative with your dishwasher. You know all those bottle caps, reusable straws, and tiny kitchen tools you’re always losing? To keep them safe and sound, collect these small items in a mesh laundry bag and toss it in the top rack of your dishwasher.
You can also use the dishwasher to sanitize silicone drying racks, sponges, and other kitchen items. You can even give your range grates a deep cleanse on the bottom rack (as long as they’re not cast iron).
Got a smelly or crusty trash can? Here’s a fresh fix:
- Fill the garbage can with hot water plus soap or vinegar.
- Let it soak for at least an hour. (You can clean the rest of the kitchen while you wait.)
- Drain. Then wipe it down with an absorbent towel or let it air-dry in the sink or bathtub.
- Drop in few cotton balls soaked in your fave essential oil.
- Put a clean garbage bag in and boom. You’re done!
Old food smells and stains can seep into your cutting board or butcher block. Try this:
- Sprinkle your board with coarse salt.
- Squeeze lemon juice on top.
- Rub the board with a halved lemon (flesh side down).
- Let it dry. Leaving it in a sunny spot ☀️ will help it dry faster.
- Wipe away the excess salt.
- Rub in a thin layer of coconut oil.
- Let the board absorb the oil for 15 minutes.
- Wipe away the excess.
- Witness the glory of your refreshed piece.
Soaking is a great way to up your kitchen game. Plus, it takes little effort. Just soak your stuff for an hour in hot water with soap or vinegar. The gunk should come right off with a light scrubbing.
Got a tiny sink? No prob. Soak bigger items in the bathtub or scrub them down in the shower.
Got cookware with baked-on crud? Same. Try this trick:
- Sprinkle baking soda on your pots and pans.
- Add 1 to 2 cups of water.
- Boil for about 10 minutes. Add more water if it evaporates.
- After the boil, clean pots or pans as usual. The stains and scorched bits should lift easily.
For heavy-duty grease, scrub the pot down with coarse salt and a dry sponge before the boil. You can also throw in a few tablespoons of vinegar. Bar Keeper’s Friend can help with scorched cookware bottoms.
You read that right. This classic condiment has the perfect mix of mild acid and salt to clean copper. Here’s what you do:
- Pour ketchup on the outside of dull copper cookware.
- Wipe with a cloth.
- Rinse and dry.
Salt and lemon juice can have the same effect. But ketchup just feels more adventurous, ya know?
Cleaning your range can be a challenge. Sauce stains, anyone? Thankfully, there’s a quick solution:
- Combine equal parts baking soda and salt (a few tablespoons of each should do it).
- Add enough water to make a thick paste.
- Use this gentle abrasive scrub on your cooktop to scour away cooked-on gunk. A Brillo pad might work best.
- Wipe it once more with a clean, damp sponge.
- Use a cloth to dry.
Pro tip: Vegetable oil can work miracles on super stubborn stains.
Dishwashers and most soaps are a no-no for cast-iron cookware. But a good ol’ potato can do the trick:
- Sprinkle coarse salt in your cast-iron pan.
- Cut a potato in half.
- Scrub the pan in small circles with the cut side of the potato.
- Rinse the pan with warm water.
- Dry it off.
- Use a paper towel to rub in a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Bonus: The oxalic acid in potatoes can help remove rust. There might not be as much oxalic acid in a potato as you’d find in a store-bought cleaning product, but DIYers swear this works.
Microwaves take a beating on the reg. Lemon steam can help loosen nuked-on foods and scents. Here’s how to give your microwave some TLC:
- Cut a lemon in half.
- Place both halves in a medium bowl of water.
- Microwave for 3 minutes.
- Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Wipe down with a sponge.
You can use the leftover lemon water solution to wipe down counters and other surfaces. But be careful — the water will be H-O-T.
Smoothies are great. Cleaning your blender isn’t. Try this:
- Give your blender a quick rinse, and then fill it with warm water.
- Add a squirt of dish soap.
- Place your blender on its base. Power it up on medium speed.
- Watch in amazement as it cleans itself.
Note: This method works best on a just-used blender, not one that’s been sitting in the sink for a week. (No judgment — it happens!)
Here’s how to keep your brave little toaster in tip-top shape:
- UNPLUG IT FIRST. Seriously. Please unplug it.
- Use an old (but clean!) toothbrush to gently brush the inside of the appliance and dislodge any crumbs.
- Shake the toaster over the trash can or sink.
- Remove and clean the crumb tray at the bottom.
- Wipe down the outside of the toaster with a soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.
Has your toaster had a run-in with a bread bag? You can easily wipe away melted plastic residue with (believe it or not) nail polish remover.
If you have hard water, chances are there’s a scaly buildup around your faucet. Here’s an easy fix:
- Fill a small plastic bag with white vinegar.
- Wrap it around your kitchen faucet head with a rubber band. Make sure hard water scales are totally immersed.
- Let it sit overnight.
- Remove the bag. Your faucet should be all shiny and new.
Oil splatters can leave a yucky layer on your range hood, walls, windowsills, and blinds. Over time, this goopy gunk attracts dust.
Soap and water don’t usually do the trick. Instead:
- Dampen a towel with vegetable oil.
- Wipe down the affected area.
- Repeat if needed.
- Wipe off the excess oil.
Some cleaning experts recommend mineral oil. But we prefer veggie oil because it’s better for the environment.
Don’t soak your wooden kitchen tools. You shouldn’t put them in the dishwasher either. Water can warp the wood and create mildew. Instead:
- Hand-wash wooden kitchen tools with hot, soapy water.
- Dry with a towel.
- Rub them down with a fresh lemon slice to reduce odors.
- For extra love, coat them with a light layer of vegetable or coconut oil.
When simple scrubbing with soap and water doesn’t cut it, it’s time to break out the baking soda. Mix it with some water to rub out those stubborn tea and coffee rings.
Bonus: Baking soda is gentle, so it shouldn’t hurt pricier items like furniture.
Yep. All-purpose flour works wonders on dirty sinks. Just make sure the sink is dry. Flour + H2O = a goopy mess. Rub flour into the sink with a kitchen cloth and watch it sparkle!
Garbage disposals get gross over time. Bits of food and grease can form a smelly sludge. But even if it isn’t stanky, you should clean your disposal frequently.
Here’s how to revive your garbage disposal:
- Run the faucet.
- Place bits of lemon rind into the disposal. This should flush out the sludge and leave your sink smelling lemony-fresh.
If you’re feeling fancy:
- Make ice cubes from vinegar and chopped lemon.
- Run them through the disposal a handful at a time until your disposal passes the sniff test.
Sponges are unsung sanitary heroes. But they can harbor a huge amount of bacteria. Here’s how to keep ’em fresh:
- Combine hot water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and several large pinches of salt in a bowl.
- Let the sponge soak overnight.
- In the morning, squeeze out all the liquid.
- Let the sponge dry.
You can also:
- Pop smelly sponges in the dishwasher.
- Boil them in water for a few minutes.
PSA: Squeeze sponges well after each use and replace them regularly.
OK, this hack may not actually be a hack. Because TBH, there isn’t an easy way to do this big job. But a clean and organized fridge is a gift that keeps on giving. So we’ll cover it anyway:
- Empty your fridge.
- Toss out, recycle, or compost anything that’s expired.
- Give the inside of your fridge a wipe-down with a warm, soapy sponge.
- Dry with a clean towel.
- Take some time to KonMari your fridge until it sparks joy — or at the very least doesn’t fill you with dread.
Here’s a natural, budget-friendly way to freshen your fridge:
- Pour a cup of baking soda and a few drops of essential oil into a glass container. The baking soda absorbs bad smells while the oil adds good ones.
- Place the container somewhere it won’t get knocked over.
- Change it out every month or so.
Crummies love the cracks and crevices of your kitchen. Here’s the easiest way to get rid of them:
- Wrap a clean microfiber cloth around a butter knife.
- Secure it with a rubber band.
- Dampen the cloth if your crumbs are extra sticky.
- Swipe the crumbs and debris out of the nooks and crannies.
Old toothbrushes can tackle all those tiny-but-grimy kitchen spots. When it’s time to clean:
- Whip up a solution of warm water, soap, and baking soda.
- Dip the toothbrush in the solution.
- Scrub away the grime around the base of your kitchen faucet, around the burners and dials of your stove, and anywhere else that needs a scrub-a-dub-dub.
Sick of scraping those frozen-pizza cheese drips from the bottom of your oven? This hack is all about prevention. Just slide a dishwasher-safe silicone oven mat into the floor of your oven. Save your elbow grease for another project.
Kitchen cleaning can be hella stressful, but these hacks should make it a lot easier. Take a day to give your kitchen the deep clean of a lifetime. After that, it’s all about maintenance. A few minutes of daily upkeep will keep it fresh.