Don’t get too excited – you can’t actually not clean the kitchen but there is a way to make it simple instead of a big production. Since the kitchen is my least favorite room to clean, I do everything I can to keep from having to clean it. So if you’re dying to know my technique, here it is:
1. Clean as you go. When you make a mess, clean it up.
2. Clean a little more. For example, when I mess up the stove top, instead of cleaning just the dirty area, I go ahead and clean the whole top. Or when I’m cleaning the counter after doing the dinner dishes, I’ll move a couple of things and wipe behind them.
3. Clean something when you use it. After I use my Kitchen-Aid stand-up mixer, I wipe it down instead of waiting for the day when “clean small appliances” shows up on my list.
4. Clean things you notice are dirty. I have white cabinets so when I’m opening one and notice it’s dirty, I wipe it down right then.
5. Clean things when they’re empty. Rather than taking everything out of the refrigerator and wiping down the whole inside, I clean a shelf when I notice it doesn’t have much on it. Eventually I get the whole refrigerator cleaned out without any fuss.
6. Prevent messes. When baking something messy in the oven, put foil at the bottom of the oven or put the dish on a cookie sheet. Then if there’s any spillage, it’ll go on the foil or the pan instead of the oven. I really, really, really HATE cleaning the oven so I do whatever it takes to keep from having to do that. If you do get a spill, clean it up as soon as possible. It’s easier when it’s fresh than when it’s baked on.
7. And speaking of prevention, sometimes it’s worth it to line a pan with foil to avoid having to clean a baked on mess. When I use my broiler pan, I always line the bottom of the pan with heavy duty foil. Then I just roll up the foil and throw it away and wipe the pan out with a rag. No mess.
8. Clean in batches. When you’ve got the rag out and you’re wiping down the counters, go ahead and wipe down the light switch, the refrigerator door handle and whatever else can be wiped down quickly.
9. Rinse dishes that are lightly used immediately. This is a technique my husband uses all the time. If he uses a measuring cup for flour, for example, rather than do a big wash, he just rinses it out and put it in the drainer. He also mixes ingredients directly in the pan whenever he can. The other day I used a measuring cup to mix up eggs for scrambled eggs and then poured the mixture into a skillet. He pointed out that I could have mixed it in the pan and then I wouldn’t have had an extra dish to wash.
10. Keep the clutter to a minimum. The less stuff in your kitchen and on your counters, the easier it is to clean.
How do you feel about cleaning the kitchen? What do you do to keep cleaning to a minimum?