This Kitchen Cleaning Checklist Makes Tidying Up Less Daunting

Follow this kitchen cleaning schedule to make daily, weekly, and monthly tasks a breeze.

Between hurried breakfasts, weeknight meals, and hosting get-togethers, kitchens take a beating. Crumbs, spills, and splatters collect daily on surfaces, making it difficult to keep up with cleaning. But if put off for too long, cleaning your cooking space can become a time-consuming, overwhelming task. Countertops, cabinets, appliances, sinks, and floors provide surface areas that take time to scrub and wipe clean. By breaking kitchen cleaning down into smaller tasks, however, you can turn a daunting mess into an easy-to-tackle job.

A little routine cleaning and regular upkeep make more in-depth monthly kitchen cleaning less intimidating. The key to sticking to a routine is to create a kitchen cleaning checklist that works for your schedule and preferences. Use these checklist ideas as a guideline, but make them your own, setting a schedule that works for you. Depending on your kitchen's level of use, you might need to adjust the frequency of some tasks. Once you develop your own checklist, stick to it. When you're in the habit of following a routine, kitchen cleaning will be like clockwork.

white kitchen with teal backsplash
Nicole LaMotte

Everyday Kitchen Cleaning

A few minutes of daily cleaning keeps you on track and messes at bay. With day-to-day grime wiped away, more thorough weekly and monthly cleanings aren't such a chore.

  • Spray and wipe the countertops and range top

    Don't forget to clean splatters from the vent hood

  • Sweep the floor and wipe up spills
  • Scrub the sink with a general-purpose cleaner and wipe dry
  • Deal with dishes

    Unload clean dishes from the dishwasher and take care of hand-wash dishes as soon as possible.

  • Tidy up and put away stray items

    Relocate anything that doesn't belong in the kitchen to its proper home.

white kitchen with wood floor and bar and stools
Kim Cornelison

Kitchen Cleaning Tasks for the Week

Set aside time every week to take your daily cleaning a bit deeper. Pick a time when your schedule is usually free and make a date with your kitchen. Establish an order and process that works for you, and before long, you'll be able to breeze through this weekly kitchen cleaning checklist.

  • Mop the floor

    You might need to mop more often if you have young children or pets in your household. Or messy cooks.

  • Clean the exteriors of appliances

    That includes large appliances as well as small countertop appliances, such as coffee pots and toasters.

  • Wipe the refrigerator door

    Clean up any smudges in the interior, too.

  • Toss leftovers or refrigerated items that are past their prime
  • Scour and polish the sink

    Give a little extra attention to crevices and seams where gunk loves to hide. Once the sink is finished, clean the faucet, too.

  • Spot-clean cabinets to remove fingerprints and smudges

    Play close attention to doors and drawers you use frequently. Don't forget about the cabinet boxes and drawer interiors.

  • Toss towels and dishcloths into the wash
black and white kitchen with geometric tile floor
Buff Strickland

Monthly Routine for Kitchen Cleaning

With a regular and frequent basic cleaning routine in place, a monthly kitchen deep-clean will be a breeze. This monthly kitchen cleaning checklist turns your attention to the places that miss most of the day-to-day grime, but still benefit from an occasional once-over.

  • Wipe down cabinet doors and drawers
  • Clean the oven

    If you're hesitant to use oven cleaner, try scrubbing the inside with a combination of baking soda and white vinegar.

  • Clean the refrigerator and sanitize its drip pan
  • Rinse out any drawer dividers or organizers

    They're great for bringing order to your kitchen, but they are dirt and crumb magnets.

  • Give a little extra attention to the toe-kick area beneath your cabinets

    Crumbs and dirt tend to migrate here and hide during daily sweeping and weekly mopping.

  • Dust the tops of cabinets and your refrigerator

    Give light fixtures a once-over.

  • Clean and sanitize trash and recycling receptacles

    You should also do this as needed if a nasty spill happens or an odor lingers.

  • Clean your dishwasher

    Take a peek at the inside of your dishwasher, especially around the seal and filter, and wipe away any grime and water deposits.

gray and white cabinets in kitchen with herringbone backsplash
Kim Cornelison

Tips for Sticking to a Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

As you establish your own checklist, commit to your routine with a printed version. The visual presence of a checklist is a good reminder, and having something to check off lends a feeling of accomplishment. However, remember that this cleaning schedule isn't set in stone. Always tackle spills and messes as they occur, and be thorough. Spilled milk that splashes across the counter and onto the floor, for example, also tends to find its way into odd places. Open drawers and cabinets to assess the extent of the mess.

To make ticking off your kitchen cleaning checklist easier, keep a spray bottle of your favorite homemade cleaner, or an all-purpose cleaner, handy for quick and efficient cleanup. (Lemons, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and even vodka can be used as DIY cleaning substitutes.) Similarly, keep a broom and dustpan in the kitchen for sweeping after meals and cooking sessions. Knowing your kitchen materials will also help the process run smoothly. A cleaner suitable for laminate countertops might do a number on granite or quartz. With material-appropriate cleaners, your kitchen surfaces will stay sparkling.

Make it a habit to stay on top of clutter, which can be a foil to your cleaning goals. Get in the habit of returning things that don't belong in the kitchen to their rightful homes. Do a regular purge of your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator contents. Feel free to delegate, or divide and conquer, and make cleaning a collaborative effort by assigning tasks to family members.

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