When it comes to house cleaning, the kitchen is one of the toughest rooms in the house to keep clean and hygienic. The combination of moisture, grease and oil from cooking and food crumbs and scraps is a cleaning disaster just waiting to happen. Additionally, because of the food preparation that takes place, maintaining a hygienic kitchen is essential for your family’s health.
Even if you regularly clean your kitchen, the cabinets can all too often be overlooked. And that’s a problem. Over time, grease and grime can build up on your cabinets. Add to that the fact that cabinet doors and handles are often regular touch points, and that can make them a health hazard if not properly cleaned.
While quality cabinets are generally designed to be able to withstand the grime in the kitchen, without periodic cleaning the grease and the moisture can start to take their toll and damage the surface and finish.
So to keep your cabinets clean and sparkling, let’s have a look at a few of the most important aspects of kitchen cabinet cleaning.
The cabinets directly above or near to the stove and range hood are particularly prone to grease build up. The best way to manage this is to prevent the build-up of grease in the first place. Regularly wipe down the cabinets in grease-prone areas with a soft cloth and a degreasing cleaning solution. Diluted vinegar or a water and baking soda solution is enough to remove this grease. Do this once a week to prevent a greasy build-up on your cabinets.
Grease stains can also be transferred from your hands to cabinet doors and handles while cooking. To avoid this, make sure you regularly wash and dry your hands while cooking.
Regularly cleaning the filters in your kitchen range hood is also important for preventing grease build-up in your kitchen. Clean filters mean that your range hood is better able to draw in the cooking grease and oils, extracting them from the air before they have a chance to settle on your kitchen surfaces. And of course, make sure you always remember to use your range hood extractor fan while cooking.
If you haven’t paid much attention to your cabinets in a while, then you could be dealing with a thick, greasy build-up that can take a bit of work to clean. But before reaching for the harsh chemical cleaners, there are plenty of natural cleaning products that you can use. For example, a simple 50/50 mix of white vinegar and warm water is an excellent natural degreaser and perfect for cleaning most surfaces.
You can also use a mixture of one part baking soda, two parts warm water and the juice of a lemon. This makes an excellent degreasing cleaning solution that is particularly good for cutting through those thick grease stains.
Disinfecting handles and touch points
When cleaning down your kitchen cabinets, it’s important to pay extra attention to the handles and other touch points. Not only will these areas be prone to unsightly fingerprints, but they also carry a high risk of cross contamination. Bacteria and germs from hands can be transferred onto cabinet handles, which can then be transferred to food.
Alternatively, bacteria from food like raw chicken and seafood can be transferred onto cabinet handles during food preparation, which can then be transferred to the next person to touch those handles.
To avoid this, it’s important to regularly clean and disinfect your kitchen cabinet and drawer handles and touch points.
Don’t forget the lower cabinets
While the lower kitchen cabinets generally don’t deal with the amount of grease that the higher up cabinets do, they have their own messes to cope with. The lower cabinets, especially those beneath the sink and food prep areas, have to deal with splashes and overflow from the kitchen sink and food drips and messes from the bench space above.
They can also be prone to kick and scuff marks and because they’re at the kids’ level, they can also end up covered with sticky finger and hand prints.
Since these cabinets are well below eye level, you may not notice the mess and they can be overlooked during cleaning.
Make sure you take the time to regularly wipe down and disinfect the lower cabinets to keep your kitchen healthy, hygienic and looking great.