9 Steps for A Cleaner and Healthier Kitchen

Rodents, insects and other pests come into your home looking for three things: food, water and shelter. Your kitchen can be a hub for anyone of these, not to mention a haven for bacteria. Dirty dishes, food scraps, cluttered countertops and unorganized cabinets can attract mice, roaches or ants and create a health hazard for your family. 

We know you don’t love to clean your kitchen but, still, there’s a satisfaction you get once it’s done. To make cleaning the kitchen as painless as possible and to help prevent pests in your home, here are 9 steps to quickly and effectively get your kitchen clean. 

1. Put Dishes Away

A mouse finds food on a dirty plate that was left on the kitchen counter.

Dirty dishes can attract rodents and insects alike. Impress upon everyone in your home the need to place dirty dishes in the dishwasher and not to leave them on the counter or in the sink. Empty the dishwasher when it’s done washing so that you always have somewhere to put your dirty dishes.

2. Clean Countertops

Declutter and wipe down your countertops. Many sources recommend certain cleaners depending on the type of counters you have so that you don’t scratch or blemish them.  In most cases, an all purpose spray cleaner or simple dish soap with a microfiber cloth will suffice. Make sure you remove all crumbs and food that might attract visitors later.

3. Organize and Wipe Down Cabinets

Older, packaged foods that have been sitting in your cupboard for a while can attract the attention of pantry moths, beetles and other scavengers. Rotate out foods you no longer use and place all foods in pest proof containers to prevent pests from getting into them. 

Vacuum out and wipe down the insides of your cabinets to remove stray crumbs. To clean grease off of kitchen cabinets, use a dish soap like Dawn that is designed for more heavy duty jobs. Some people prefer baking soda or white vinegar but they might not work as well in areas where grease splatters.

4. Wipe Your Kitchen Appliances

When’s the last time you wiped out the microwave or dusted behind your coffee maker? It only takes a few minutes to wipe everything down with warm, soapy water.

 An easy way to clean your microwave is to put a bowl with water and a few tablespoons of white vinegar in it and heat until boiling. Let the bowl sit and steam inside your microwave for several minutes. This will loosen the grime and make it easy to wipe out.

5. Clean Your Stove Top and Oven

Before and after: a clean and dirty stove top.

Food that accumulates on and around your stove top is another pest buffet. In most cases, simple soap and water will do the job. For some gas ranges, you can place your grates and burners in the dishwasher to clean. 

To clean your oven, make a paste with baking soda and a little water. Spread this solution over your oven’s surface and let sit overnight. It will wipe off easily in the morning along with your oven grime. Clean oven racks in the sink with a detergent or place in your dishwasher if they’ll fit. 

6. Wipe Down Kitchen Garbage Can

Your kitchen garbage can attract all kinds of pests and bacteria. Clean it off periodically to prevent gooey build up and unwanted foragers. On warm, sunny days, leave your trash can outside in the sun for an hour or two after cleaning to kill mold. Also, always use a garbage can with a lid to prevent mice or insects from getting in. 

7. Vacuum and Mop

Plenty of food can accumulate on your kitchen floor, especially in corners and beneath cabinets. The best way to clean a kitchen floor is to remove all crumbs, wrappers and food with a vacuum or broom and then mop with warm soapy water.

8. Clean Your Kitchen Sink and Drain

A person scrubs their kitchen sink with a scouring pad and gentle clenser.

Once everything else is wiped and clean, it’s time to tackle the sink. A clean kitchen sink prevents bacteria and mold from forming and keeps pests like drain flies from laying eggs in your plumbing. 

Use a gentle cleanser like Bon Ami or Bartender’s Friend to scour the inside of your sink. Pour a little bleach or vinegar and baking soda down the drain to disinfect it. If you have a garbage disposal, place a scoop of ice with some lemon or orange peels down the drain and run your disposal. This will clean off the grinding wheels and leave your disposal smelling fresh. 

9. Inspect Incoming Food

The number one way pantry pests like meal moths, mealworms and grain beetles get into your home is via tainted products. Dry goods like rice, cereal and pet food can become contaminated at the warehouse or store before you bring them home. Inspect food packages and consider transferring contents to pest proof containers when you get home. You never know what you might be bringing in until you check.

What to Do with Kitchen Pests

Congrats on having a clean kitchen! If you saw pests or signs of pests in your kitchen while cleaning, it may be time to call in the experts. A technician from Gregory can identify what pests are nesting, burrowing or leaving a mess in your kitchen and make sure they don’t come back. Contact us today!