Hints & HELP!
by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the December
27, 2004 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
time of year the kitchen gets a lot of use making holiday
treats and dinners and puts many kitchens in an over-whelming
state. Cleaning the kitchen is many times a task no one
wants. The toughest kitchen soil are grease and food. A
few tips to make kitchen cleaning easier are:
To clean small areas (countertops), sprays, gels or
cleaning wipes are easy to use. To clean larger areas
(floors or walls), powders or liquids mixed in a pail
of water are more efficient. The new wet mops are a
helpful time saver.
To prevent streak marks when cleaning large vertical
areas, start at the bottom and work up, overlapping
areas as you clean and using a circular motion.
Abrasive cleaners provide extra cleaning power for hard-to-remove
soils like food particles and grease residue in sinks.
Be sure the abrasive product is suitable for the surface
being cleaned, otherwise it may scratch the finish.
In general, liquid and gel cleaners are less abrasive
Use non-abrasive cleaners on surfaces easily scratched.
Use a cutting board for preparing meats and poultry,
then immediately clean and disinfect the cutting board
to prevent spreading food-borne bacteria. Use a paper
towel to wipe up juices from meats and poultry. If using
a sponge or cloth, disinfect after using and launder
Clean microwave spills when they happen—since they don't
get "baked on," it’s a snap to wipe them up before they
harden. If they harden before you get to them, put a
container with water in the microwave, bring to a boil,
remove water and wipe out the microwave.
Use a small foam paint brush to clean tight spaces between
cabinets or under appliances.
Avoid using or spilling strong acidic or alkaline cleaning
products (toilet bowl cleaners, drain openers, rust
removers, oven cleaners, etc.) on kitchen countertops.
They can permanently discolor the surface.
laminate (e.g., Formica® , Wilsonart® Laminate) use a trivet
or insulated pad to protect the surface from hot pans. Wipe
up cleaning solutions immediately to prevent discoloration
or water damage. Use non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaners.
Abrasive cleaners can dull the finish. Products containing
bleach may alter the color of worn or damaged surfaces.
A soft vegetable brush is helpful in cleaning textured countertops.
solid surfacing (e.g., Corian®, Avonite®) remove cuts and
scratches from matte finishes by using abrasive cleaners
and pads. Avoid damaging the surface by using trivets and
cutting boards. For matte finish use non-abrasive or abrasive
all-purpose cleaners. For satin or high-gloss finish use
non-abrasive all-purpose cleaners. On wood block wipe up
spills and liquids immediately.
exteriors of the refrigerator/freezer, range, dishwasher,
etc. avoid using abrasive cleaners.
the interiors of these appliances use a non-abrasive, all-purpose
cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water, also works
prevent cloudy looking floors, use a no-rinse product or
rinse the floor well after each cleaning. For vinyl or ceramic
tile, use a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner or a floor
care product designed to clean and/or shine these surfaces.
For wood floors, use a wood cleaner. If the floor is finished
with a water-based polyurethane, follow the polyurethane
manufacture's care instructions.
The important thing to remember about cleaning any surface
is to use the correct cleaners. Check manufacturer's instructions
for recommended cleaning of their products.
to Household Hints & HELP