Having a clean kitchen is the only option, really. But, we know this is one of those things that’s easier said than done. Read on for our favorite tips and tricks!
Having a clean kitchen is essential. It’s as simple as that.
Maybe your primary motivation is impressing the neighbors, house guests, and your in-laws; we get it. Perhaps your motivation comes from within because you love a clean workspace; we also get it. No matter the reason, there’s something undeniably satisfying about having a spotlessly clean kitchen.
Why a Clean Kitchen Is So Important
Aside from wow-ing the neighbors? We’re so glad you asked.
The kitchen is a safe haven; it’s a nice place for everyone to hang out at the end of the day, gather for lunch, and spend time in between. No one wants to hang out or do their homework beside a pile of dirty dishes or on a sticky countertop.
Can we talk about kitchen smells for a hot minute? With all of the cooking and consequent messes a kitchen endures, it’s easy for an odor to develop and make itself at home in our linens, fridge, and cabinets. Don’t let your kitchen fall prey to funky odors; keep it clean and smelling as though it’s straight out of a Febreze commercial.
There are many, many more reasons why keeping a clean kitchen is so important, but we need to save time to talk about how exactly to do this. So, we’ll leave you with the friendly reminder that a clean kitchen simply feels good, and we’ll get right to it.
9 Tips for a Clean Kitchen
Without further ado, here are our favorite tips and tricks for keeping your kitchen spick and span.
Start Clean, Stay Clean
You already knew this one, but we’ll say it again; start with a clean kitchen and keep it clean.
The best form of damage control is prevention. So, yes, for many of us, this will mean doing an initial clean to get back a clean-slate-state; but from there on out, keeping it clean is so much easier.
Another good rule of thumb is never to start cooking - or any kitchen task - until the space is relatively clean. Starting a task already having little messes here and there makes it that much easier to just pile on more mess - it’s a snowball effect type of thing, trust us.
If you start with a clean kitchen, you’ll be more motivated to keep it clean. (Plus, it's easier to maintain).
Less Is More, Keep It Minimal
We know walking down the kitchenware aisle can feel a lot like being a kid in a candy store. As cool and exciting as all of the specialty gadgets and gizmos can be, try to be selective and think about which ones will actually get used and which will end up gathering dust in the cupboard.
Kitchen clutter is almost as bad as physical kitchen messes. A cluttered counter is a cluttered mind, and neither of these is ideal for your Top Chef brain to work its magic.
Consider doing a thorough Marie Kondo clean in your kitchen. This method entails bringing everything out in the open - appliances, utensils, dinnerware, jars, you name it - and then only putting back the items that spark joy or add value to your life. After a good decluttering, you’ll have more counter space, shelf and cupboard space, and just space to let your creative cooking juices run wild and free in your brain. But seriously, even if you don’t do a full Marie Kondo, take a look at everything you have and see what you can do without.
Having more space helps with motivation to wipe counters, keep things in place, and supports every kitchen to feel more open - and open is what everyone’s going for these days, right?
Good looking, clean cooking.
This next suggestion goes beyond aesthetics and takes a deep dive into “clean cookware.” What if we told you that 95% of non-stick pots and pans are made with harsh, toxic chemicals? And then what if we told you that after only two and a half minutes at high heat (500° Fahrenheit), the very same cookware begins leaching its chemicals into the food we’re cooking?
Unfortunately, this is all true. Over 95% of non-stick pots and pans are made with a chemical called Polytetrafluoroethylene. While brands don’t like putting a scary word like this on their labels, you probably have seen the term, Teflon® printed on cookware.
According to Cancer.org, one of Teflon®’s main ingredients is a man-made chemical called Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or C8. This chemical is recognized as a “forever chemical,” meaning it stays in your body forever once ingested, no matter how small the amount. To make matters worse, they also never break down in the environment.
A 2019 study found that it only takes traditional non-stick pans two and a half minutes to heat up to 500° degrees, the temperature where the chemicals begin to break down and release into your home. Many stoves heat up to 1600° on high heat, meaning you are (most likely) leaching chemicals with every meal you make.
Cue, 100% non-toxic cookware, aka clean cookware. Ceramic is a 100% non-toxic mineral-based coating, free of harsh chemicals of any kind. Not only is it much safer, giving you peace of mind, but ceramic is also a naturally slick (non-stick) surface, so much so that you can cut down on the amount of oil and butter you use while cooking.
When it comes to “keeping a clean kitchen,” take your kitchen game to the next level with ceramic-coated cookware. It’s not too late for some spring cleaning, and your kitchen could use a new, clean, and healthy Fry Pan, Sauté Pan, Sauce Pan, and Dutch Oven, all of which can be found as part of our one and doneCookware Set. Our complete set has everything you'll need for a healthy non-toxic kitchen. Along with a non-stick ceramic surface, this complete set includes both pot and lid holders as well as an organization rack to help you stay neat, keep tidy and look good while making your favorite meals. Cookware like the versatile Sauté Pan is so easy to clean, you may even find yourself having fun while cleaning up after a dinner party or a simple one-pan meal. Available in five subtle yet playful colors - Cream, Navy, Sage, Gray, and Perracotta - new cookware is a great way to add a splash of color to every kitchen.
Clean as You Go, and as You Wait
Whenever there’s a spare moment, seize the moment! Whether it be when the water is boiling, when the microwave is ticking down, or as something cools, use any spare time wisely!
Cleaning as you go - in between tasks of a certain recipe - and cleaning as you wait are some easy ways to maximize your time and cut down on the mess you’ll be left with afterward. This is as simple as putting away tools after using them and throwing utensils straight into the dishwasher. A quick wipe here and a quick put-away there and you’ll be amazed at how much of the cleaning is already done by the time you get started.
Sanitize Your Cleaning Materials Regularly
Your kitchen linens and sponges are usually the tools doing the cleaning, but we can’t let them be forgotten themselves. Bacteria thrive in warm, wet environments. Sponges and linens, when damp and dirty, make for the perfect breeding ground.
Linens like kitchen towels, Tea Towels, Linen Aprons, and even the Oven Mitts and Pot Holders should be cleaned or rotated at least once a week. Ideally, keep different tea towels for different tasks: one for cleaning the counters, one for spillage, one for moving dishes around, etc. This type of system will also help prevent cross-contamination.
You should also be sure to replace your sponges every two weeks, or as soon as they begin to fall apart or develop an odor. Replacing your sponges is an important way to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that can cause illnesses. If you want to be eco-friendly, purchase reusable sponges that you can wash in your dishwasher or washing machine alongside your linens to stay sanitary while going green.
Keep a Place for Everything
Every utensil, appliance, and other miscellaneous items should have a home in your kitchen.
This sort of loops back to keeping everything clutter-free, except once you do a proper declutter, this step will be much quicker and easier. The easiest system is a categorical grouping system; all cooking utensils in a vase in the corner, all room temperature fruit in a basket, linens folded in a drawer, etc.
On top of freeing up counter space, a grouping system like this keeps your kitchen looking fresh, tidy, and organized. Clutter is chaotic; try to find a home for everything in your kitchen, and then make an effort to return everything to its home after you’re done with it.
“Close” the Kitchen Every Night
Basically, never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. If, for some reason, you haven’t already been cleaning-as-you-go or cleaned up after dinner, try your best to get this done before you head to bed! Starting your next day by coming down to a dirty kitchen isn’t exactly starting the day off on the highest note. Give your next morning the best vibes possible by cleaning up the kitchen the night before.
So, at the end of the day, when you’re doing other nighttime tasks like turning the lights off, turning off the TV, and kissing the dog goodnight, try “closing the kitchen,” too. For anyone who's worked any position at a restaurant, you know what we’re talking about.
We’re talking about clearing and wiping the counters, making sure all food is stored properly and put away, running the dishwasher, maybe taking out the garbage - you know, things like that. “Closing” the kitchen each night will set the right tone for your next morning and help you feel even better about jumping into bed.
No Dirty Utensils on the Counter
Placing dirty utensils down on the counter is one of the secret ways kitchens get gross, fast. It’s all of the little drips, drops, and drizzles that create tiny splatters of stickiness all across the countertop. These spots are small, but they add up quickly to create a surprisingly dirty and sticky counter. No one wants to accidentally rest their hands, elbows, and clean clothes on a puddle of pasta sauce: yuck.
This little “problem” has an easy solution, and it’s called a spoon rest. Groundbreaking, we know. With so many spoon rests on the market these days, it’s easy to find a pleasant-looking one that will be a lovely addition to your kitchen. (They don’t look as grandma-looking as they may sound, we promise.). Heck, why not go ahead and get two or three and spread them out: one beside the stovetop, one under the microwave, and one behind the sink. They’ll get used way more often than you think, are a much better option than a folded paper towel, and they’ll save you so much cleaning time, all the time.
Strive for an Always Empty Sink
It’s a subconscious thing, for sure, but all it takes is one fork, spoon, or little plate, and something in our brain makes it that much easier to start piling on everything else. Messes beget messes.
In the same way that a clean counter is better at staying cleaner, an empty sink is better at staying emptier. It doesn’t take too long to develop a good habit of either rinsing or washing things straight away before putting them in the dishwasher or onto the drying rack. Try playing a little game with yourself to keep the sink empty, and remember to let the rest of the household in on the fun.
A Clean Kitchen Is a Happy Kitchen
It’s not just about being sanitary; it’s about aesthetics, good impressions, and good habits, too.
A clean kitchen is a productive workspace, a nice area to hang out, and the best place to cook. Whether you’re planning to entertain or just want peace of mind after whipping up a casserole in your favorite Sauté Pan, a clean kitchen will provide the perfect end to any meal. Keeping a clean kitchen is the only option, really, and these tips make it that much easier.
Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) | FDA
Nonstick Cookware Safety Facts | Good Housekeeping
What Is the KonMari Method? | Good Housekeeping
The ‘forever chemicals’ fueling a public health crisis in drinking water | The Guardian.