Kitchens

12 kitchen cleaning tips – easy, eco-friendly, and from the world's top experts

These surprisingly simple methods will change everything you know about how to clean a kitchen

How to clean a kitchen
(Image credit: Tim Young)

Being the heart of the home - and also the center of most mess – kitchen cleaning can seem never-ending, especially with us all spending more time at home at the moment.

So, we've doggedly tracked down the best kitchen cleaning hacks that the world's top cleaning experts swear by, so that you can work out how to clean a kitchen with ease – and cut down on the time you spend doing it. Plus these kitchen cleaning tips will make life a little greener in the process. 

From the shiniest of sinks to fresh-as-a-daisy garbage disposals, we've got your kitchen covered. So stock up on lemons and white vinegar and get that kitchen cleaned in a flash...

See: Cleaning tips – our essential guide to keeping your home spotless

1. KonMari your kitchen

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Emma Lewis

(Image credit: Future)

The KonMari method isn't just for your wardrobes. And cleaning a kitchen isn't just about cleaning – it's about tidying, too, which is always your first job. 

You can make keeping your kitchen spick and span a breeze by following the advice of organizing guru Marie Kondo.

'It is impossible to enjoy cooking in a dirty kitchen,' says Kondo. 'When planning storage, aim for ease of cleaning. Keep work surfaces clear and try to store all ingredients and utensils in cupboards or on shelves. Wipe down all surfaces every time you cook to remove traces of oil and water.'

Ms Kondo also advises spending some time going through your kitchen to clear it of things you no longer use – such as old cook books or unused appliances – and to simplify it, putting all plastic baggies into one container, for example, or putting hand soap into just one, good-looking container.

Finally? She suggests using her famous KonMari folding method to keep kitchen towels neat.

2. Use a lemon to clean your microwave

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Tim Young

(Image credit: Future)

There's no doubt that microwaves are one of the most useful appliances for cutting down on time, but they get dirty quickly and removing any mess can be tricky.

Say no to scrubbing with this simple, all-natural method. Slice a lemon in half and squeeze out the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Put the lemon halves into this juice, along with half a cup (or about 100ml) of water. Put the bowl into the microwave and set on high for two to three minutes.

The steam will have eased any stubborn bits of grime, so all you need to do is give it a quick wipe. As well as providing a lovely, fresh smell, the antibacterial properties of the lemons will help get the interior sparkling clean.

3. Green clean your dishwasher 

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Richard Powers

(Image credit: Future)

White vinegar is a miracle worker when it comes to rediscovering how to clean a kitchen.

One of our favorite ways to use white vinegar for cleaning is to sort out dishwashers without fuss. Place a dishwasher-safe bowl full of white vinegar on the top rack and run through a cycle to clean hard-water deposits.

For an extra hit of clean, once this cycle ends, remove the bowl and pour a cup (or about 230g) of baking soda along the bottom of the machine then set on a short cycle. Stains will be gone and the interior will be shining bright. 

4. Clean your oven without scrubbing

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Paul Raeside

(Image credit: Future)

Tackling tough stains and residue in the oven is one of the most time-consuming tasks when it comes to cleaning a kitchen.

Instead of getting on your hand and knees and scrubbing like there's no tomorrow, use this kitchen cleaning hack instead. 

Fill a small bowl with approximately 1/2 a cup (about 115g) of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water, adjusting until you have a spreadable paste.

Coat the inside of the oven with this paste and then leave overnight. The next morning simply wipe clean with a damp cloth.

If you still have stubborn marks, or the paste remains, spray white vinegar which will make the baking soda into a cleansing foam, then use a damp cloth to wipe again.

5. Put vinegar in your coffee maker

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Simon Whitmore

(Image credit: Future)

When was the last time you cleaned your coffee maker? Probably longer ago than you'd like to admit.

Make this chore hassle-free by pouring white vinegar directly into the machine and letting it run once. Follow up with a few runs with only water in the tank until the smell is gone and the water runs clean. Build-up be gone.

6. Make DIY cleaning wipes

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Tim Young

(Image credit: Future)

A must-have for how to clean a kitchen – the humble cleaning wipe. If the stores are out of them, you can't make it out or you wish to go more eco-friendly, then consider making your own.

Stephanie Gerber of Hello Glow has a fail safe method. Mix 2.5 cups (625ml) of water, eight to 12 drops of tea tree essential oil and 1/2 cup all-purpose cleaner. Use a serrated bread knife to cut a paper towel roll in half widthwise. Place your cut roll of paper towels into a lidded storage jar (around 6in x 6in or larger).

Slowly pour the cleaning solution that you just mixed into the jar. Cover as much paper towel surface area as possible while you pour. After your paper towels have had a chance to absorb most of the liquid, try to pull out the center cardboard roll. If it doesn’t come out easily, give it a few more moments to soak in the liquid then try again. 

7. Freshen up the garbage disposal

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Davide Lovatti

(Image credit: Future)

Garbage disposals are great at their job, but odors can certainly linger.

Stephanie Gerber has a clean and easy solution for this, and you only need white vinegar, citrus peels and an ice cube tray.

Put a few citrus peels into an ice cube tray and fill with vinegar. Freeze until solid and transfer to lidded container. To use, put a cube down the disposal and run it. 

Not only with it leave a citrus-scent, but the ice will help sharpen the blades.

8. Use baking soda to clean your fridge

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Brent Darby

(Image credit: Future)

How to clean that fridge? Of course, it's Martha Stewart who has come up with the simplest solution.

Martha's method is to wash the interior with a mixture of two tablespoons of baking soda per quart (or 950ml) of warm water.

She finishes up by placing a cup (around 230g) of baking soda mixed with a few drops of lemon essential oil on one of the shelves and leaving it there to prevent odor.

9. Shine your steel – naturally

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Simon Bevan

(Image credit: Future)

Whether it's in the kitchen sink, appliances or pots and pans, there can be a fair amount of stainless steel in a kitchen – and it shows marks and fingerprints badly.

An easy way to keep these products looking fresh is to dab a cloth into olive oil – using a small amount at a time – and rub to prevent tarnishing, streaks and water spots. Finish by buffing with a soft, dry cloth for ultimate shine.

10. Let bottles clean themselves

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Carolyn Barber

(Image credit: Future)

Pretty small necked bottles are often used in the kitchen, either for storage or decoration, but they can be a nightmare to clean.

Keep things simple by instead filling them with water and dropping in a tablet of denture cleaner. Leave overnight then a gentle scrub with a bottle brush and a few rinses will do the trick.

11. Shine your sink with baking soda

how to clean a kitchen

Photography/Richard Powers

(Image credit: Future)

Any owner of a kitchen with a stainless steel sink will want it kept looking clean and shiny, but as it so easily gets dirty simply by doing its job, make sure you choose an easy method to clean it up.

Clean My Space's Melissa Maker swears by baking soda to shine her sink. Sprinkle some baking soda into a wet sink, then use a wet sponge or cloth, along with a little bit of soap, and gently scrub. Finally, rinse with warm water and then buff with a dry cloth. 

12. Freshen your trash can in seconds

how to clean a kitchen

(Image credit: Future)

The UK's Queen of Clean, Mrs Hinch, knows how to clean a kitchen, and the quickest of all her tricks might well be how she keeps her trash can smelling fresh.

After cleaning the container and putting in a new trash bag, she douses some kitchen roll with a scented disinfectant and pops it into the bottom of the bag to stop odors from setting in.