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This post was updated and republished July 15, 2019.
For many of us, house cleaning is not our favorite thing to do. It can often be time consuming and frankly, we’d just rather be doing something else!
That is why I like to be a speed cleaner when it comes to my place.
And the kitchen is no exception! In fact, I think that when the kitchen is clean, it makes the rest of the home look a lot nicer! So I always start in this room.
Below are my tips for getting your kitchen clean as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind this list isn’t meant to be a deep cleaning of your kitchen (deep cleaning isn’t meant to be done everyday anyway!). But, rather, it is for those times when you want to get it cleaned up quickly after a meal or at least make it “look clean” until you can clean deeper.
Some of these involve actual cleaning while others are more about tips and tricks to prevent you from having to clean nearly as much.
Tip #1 Wash dishes while you’re cooking
I love to have most of the dishes washed before I even finish dinner.
When I’m cooking, I wash a pot, pan, plate – whatever i might have used – as soon as I am finished with it.
Obviously this only works if you’re making something that allows you to do so. If you have to constantly watch what you’re cooking or there are just too many steps to it, it might be a little more difficult.
But the more you can do this then the less you have to clean up after dinner, which is always a bonus in my book!
Maybe you can work out a deal where if you cook your spouse will do dishes as you go 🙂
Tip #2 Keep the sink full of soapy water
By keeping the sink full of soapy water for much of the day, it makes it so quick and easy to wash right away whatever dishes you’ve used. Or at least if you are not able to wash them immediately, they can be left in the water to soak for a bit, making it easier to clean later.
This also makes tip #1 a lot easier because you will be able to wash whatever you use to cook super fast.
This method could still be beneficial even if you have a dishwasher you put dishes into right away because there are usually always dishes that are not dishwasher safe.
Tip #3 Empty the dishwasher as soon as it is finished
When the dishwasher is emptied right away after it is finished drying, it leaves room to put other dishes into as soon as they are dirty. Otherwise the dishes end up piling up on the counter or in the sink and just create clutter.
With an empty dishwasher they go right in, the door closes, and the kitchen looks cleaner.
Tip #4 Put away dry dishes
You’d think that since I like to get things done right away I would be an advocate for drying clean dishes immediately and putting them away.
On the contrary, although I do stress getting things done as quickly as possible, I hate drying dishes. And cleaning up a kitchen is a lot of work! I would rather the dishes dry on their own so I have one less thing to do. I don’t think drying dishes look messy (as long as they’re in a drying rack).
With that being said, one of my biggest pet peeves is when there is a sink full of clean, dry dishes, and then wet ones get put on top.
When that happens, you either have to wait for the dishes to dry all over again or you have to dry them yourself.
Now if you have to run out the door then by all means, wash the dish and put on top of the dry dishes. Hopefully they will all be dry by the time you come home.
Tip #5 Reuse pans as much as you can
When cooking, it can be so easy to take a out a new dish or pan for everything you need to do, when in reality, you could easily just rinse out whatever you used and reuse it. And sometimes you don’t even need to rinse it. This makes less dishes you have to do. Just be smart about not reusing any pot, pan, dish, utensil that came in contact with anything raw.
Tip #6 Use slow cooker liners
I have only recently been using slow cooker liners and boy do they save time in the kitchen!
After you are done cooking, you just simply throw the liner away.
Of course slow cookers come in all sizes, so if you have a smaller one it might not matter to you as much, but we have a rather heavy one so I appreciate anything I can do to not have to scrub and rinse such a large, heavy item that barely fits inside our sink!
Tip #7 Use baking mats
Obviously baking mats will need to be cleaned after they are used. But in my opinion, they are way easier to clean than anything directly off baking pan!
Of course there is always the option of using foil or parchment paper that can just be thrown away, and I sometimes use those depending on what I’m making, but I love being able to save money and keep more out of my garbage anytime I am able to use baking mats.
Tip #8 Wipe down sink with soapy sponge after finishing dishes
After you are finished with the dishes, use the same soapy sponge or washcloth you used to clean the dishes and wipe down the sink. This helps prevent anything from building up in the sink and keeps it looking nice.
Tip #9 Put things away right away
I love to talk about what we can do right away to make our lives so much easier and more productive (you can check out this post for more on that). The same goes when I’m cooking.
When I take out a spice, it gets put back in the cupboard right after I use it.
If I use something out of the fridge, I put it away right away.
Usually I use one item, and put it away and then grab the next item. This may seem to be a little more time consuming, but it helps me keep clutter away and helps me stay calm in the kitchen.
My husband likes to take every spice out that he needs for a meal at one time so has it ready to go. I totally understand this and I’m sure many people do the same. I think this is OK as well, just make sure all the spices get put back quickly!
Tip #10 Keep disinfectant wipes nearby
Disinfectant wipes can be a lifesaver, as they make cleaning up so easy.
After cooking, just take one out and wipe down the counters and table. Done!
Tip #11 Keep clutter off counters
It’s no secret, less clutter equal less mess!
Even if areas are actually clean (disinfected, wiped down, swept, dusted, etc) clutter will continue to make them look messy.
By keeping your kitchen counters as free as possible, they look neater and you won’t have dishes and whatever you’re cooking with just adding to the clutter.
Plus, it makes it easier when you’re actually cooking because you’ll have more room to work with and you can clean them off much quicker.
If you are in a place that doesn’t have a lot of storage then you may have to keep some appliances on your kitchen counters. If this the boat you’re in, just do your best to limit as much as possible what sits on your counters. Keep the items pushed back and not a lot of unnecessary objects around it.
I also never liked to dry dishes on the counter. I have always had a drying rack that sits in one side of my sink that I put clean dishes in to dry. This keeps one more thing off the counters! My mom always dried dishes this way, which where I think I get it from 🙂
And always be sure anything like mail, toys, schoolwork, bags from the store, etc. are not left on the counters!
Tip #12 Don’t have too many dishes/utensils
It is not crazy to think that the more dishes you have, the more you will likely use before washing dirty ones.
Of course this isn’t always the case, but it makes sense that you could be in less of a hurry to wash dishes simply because you don’t need to reuse them yet.
Ever more, it can be so easy to just grab a new dish when you were still using an old one (have you ever seen a house with a 15 coffee cups spread throughout in one day because we just grab a new cup instead of using one we have already been using?).
Tip #13 Put a table cloth under a high chair
I saw this idea from What’s Up Fagans? and thought it was brilliant!
It’s no secret that kids make a mess when eating. How much easier does it make it to just pick up and wash or shake out the table cloth when your kid is finished eating? This protects your carpet or floor and will save so much time!
Tip #14 Make it a family affair
The whole family eats so it should be the whole family’s responsibility to help clean up.
Maybe every family member can have their own kitchen chore that they take care of:
- Clearing the table
- Sweeping the floor
- Washing the dishes
- Drying the dishes
just to name a few. Use this as way to spend time together as a family!
Tip #15 Try and get as much done in 1 song as possible
I love to race a clock. And you know what – so do kids! You can either set a timer for an allotted amount of time and have a race to clean as much as you can in that time, or turn on a song or playlist and try and get all the cleaning done before the playlist is over.
Sometimes racing a clock is the best way to get something done quickly 🙂
Do you have any tips for speed cleaning your kitchen? Please share in the comments below, as they might really help someone else out!
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