10 Kitchen Cleaning Hacks That Save Time (and Actually Work)

Get every corner of your kitchen sparkling clean with our proven tips, tricks, and shortcuts.

Between cooking messes, dirty dishes, and everyday spills, your kitchen goes through a lot in one week. It's easily one of the most trafficked rooms in the house (not to mention where you prep your meals), making it even more important to clean regularly. Whether it's a sauce-splattered stovetop or coffee-stained counter, cleaning every surface in your kitchen on a daily basis can be challenging, especially when you're on a tight schedule. These DIY kitchen cleaning hacks will help you degrease, deodorize, and sanitize in less time. Try these ideas to switch up your same old cleaning routine and keep your kitchen sparkling.

marble counter kitchen sink with blue cabinets and decorative bowls on wood shelves
Anthony Masterson

1. Keep your disposal smelling fresh

Few things are quite as offputting as a smelly garbage disposal. To remedy that, use one of our favorite kitchen sink cleaning hacks: lemon ice cubes. To make them, simply fill an ice cube tray with lemon wedges, rock salt, and water. Once frozen, pop the cubes down the drain and run your garbage disposal until the ice is gone. Rock salt scrubs the blades while ice helps knock off any gunk and grime. The lemon helps keep your sink smelling fresh.

2. Rejuvenate old baking sheets using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

The dynamic duo of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can restore more than just your sinks and tub. It can make even your most battered baking sheets look brand new again. Simply sprinkle your sheet with baking soda followed by a few sprays of hydrogen peroxide, then finish with another layer of baking soda. Come back in a few hours to wipe your restored baking sheets clean.

3. Clean your oven while you sleep

Forget auto-clean. This high-temp oven setting is known to set off the fire alarm and can leave your kitchen in a smelly funk. Instead, fill up a spray bottle with a homemade solution of 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup baking soda. When the oven is cool, remove the grates and coat the inside with the solution, making sure to avoid the heating elements. Close the door and head to bed, letting the solution work its magic for up to 12 hours. When you wake up, clean the oven with soapy water and dry using a plush cloth.

4. Wash your oven rack

Powder detergent isn't just for laundry. Bring back the original shine of your oven racks without scrubbing (and potentially scratching!) by soaking them in a bathtub filled with powder washing detergent. Let it sit for at least four hours before removing and rinsing with clean water.

White kitchen with bar seating and stools
John Bessler

5. Polish woodwork with lemon oil and vinegar

Prefer natural solutions to commercial cleaners? This DIY wood polish leaves both a lovely scent and shine. To make it, fill a spray bottle with 1 part lemon oil to 1 part white vinegar. Spray the solution directly onto a dry microfiber cloth and use it to wipe down your cabinets, pantry door, and baseboards.

6. Use your vacuum to clean out cabinets

For another kitchen cabinet cleaning hack, use your vacuum to clean out cabinets. Instead of wasting time trying to pick up crumbs with a cloth, try the vacuum brush attachment to suck them up at the snap of a button. This cleaning technique works wonders on pantry shelves, too.

7. Wipe down your range hood with oil

Your range hood is a grease magnet, and as dust latches on over time, the surface gets harder to clean with ordinary sprays. One of the best kitchen stove cleaning hacks is to use vegetable oil. Just add a few drops to a cloth or paper towel, wipe the surface down, and grime is gone.

black and white kitchen open wooden shelf
Brie Williams

8. Run Tang through your dishwasher

Hard water deposits can build up in a dishwasher over time. If your dishwasher no longer gives dishes a thorough clean, it might be time to grab some Tang. For this kitchen cleaning hack, pour an entire container of the fruity powdered beverage into an empty dishwasher. Let the machine run a full cycle. Add in your dirty dishes, run another full cycle, and your dishes will emerge sparkly clean.

9. Soak your range hood filter

The filter on your stove's hood vent can get greasy, dusty, and gross really fast. To clean it, boil water in a large pot and gradually add 1/2 cup baking soda. Next, place the filter in the pot to soak. The entire filter might not fit in your pot, so soak each side separately if necessary. Once one side is clean, turn the filter around and let the other side soak. It'll be hot, so make sure to use gloves!

10. Scrub your sink's disposal guard with a toothbrush

Food waste can get stuck on the underside of your sink's garbage disposal guard without you even realizing it's there. Soak a toothbrush in an anti-grease solution and turn the flap inside out. Move the toothbrush around the guard to scrub off any food waste.

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