Kitchen Cleaning Hacks From the Pros

Posted August 28, 2019 by Katlyn Droke

Have a kitchen with stubborn stains? Or looking for more green or organic cleaning options? Well you’ve come to the right place: this is a round-up of the best cleaning hacks we’ve discovered over the years through our partners, customers, and store experts. 

Woman cleaning a kitchen cabinet with a sponge
Choose a safe option for your family with homemade, gentle cleaning supplies.

Protect and Clean Cabinets with a Gentle Home Remedy  

You’ll Need: White Vinegar, Water, Spray Bottle

Whether you have new cabinets or old cabinets, make sure you get as many years out of them as you can with gentle, yet effective cleaning. Mix white vinegar with water at a 1:1 ratio (half vinegar, half water) into an empty spray bottle. Spray the mix on your cabinets and wipe off with a wet rag. The vinegar will eat away at the tough stains without harming your cabinets! It’s also diluted so that it won’t leave the smell of vinegar behind, but if you want that fresh-cleaned smell, then add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix.

Gloved hand scrubbing a sink with soap bubbles
Don’t forget to clean your sink – it’s a kitchen surface too!

Scour Sinks and Surfaces with a Citrus Baking Soda Scrub

You’ll Need: Baking Soda, Half a Lemon or Orange, Wet Sponge

Sprinkle baking soda on the surface you want to clean, and use the citrus half like a sponge to scrub the stuck-on food and stains away. The soft scrubbing of the baking soda gets the tough spots without damaging most surfaces, as the citrus juice reacts with it. Test a small, out-of-the-way spot first – you never know how your surfaces may react to your level of elbow grease. Some cooktops may be sensitive to any amount of scrubbing, so you’ll want to make sure you know how yours will react first.

Woman putting a bowl with a lemon in a microwave
Show your microwave some love with an easy hot water bath. Image: Plenty

Loosen Stuck-on Stains in the Microwave with a Hot Water Bath

You’ll Need: Microwave-safe Bowl, Water, Citrus (a Lemon or Orange)

Find a microwavable or heat-safe bowl and fill it with water, citrus peels, and a squeeze of citrus juice. (This is a great reason to save your squeezed lemon or orange halves and peels after cooking or juicing.) Then place the bowl in the microwave and turn on the heat for a couple of minutes. The evaporating water wakes up dried stains for easier removal, and the citrus leaves the clean result smelling great. 

Hand stirring baking soda and water for a cleaning paste
Get crafty with baking soda for removing stubborn stains. Image: Byrdie

Beat Stubborn Cooked-on Stains with Baking Soda Paste

You’ll Need: Baking Soda, Rubbing Alcohol (or Water), Sponge

Perhaps one of the hardest places to clean in the kitchen is the oven, both the inside and the outside stovetop. What makes it harder is the element of heat, which cooks spills into hard stains. To beat this cleaning beast, grab the baking soda from the pantry and rubbing alcohol from the medicine cabinet. Mix the two together until a thick paste forms, and coat your targeted stain with it. Let it sit in time-out for a bit before scrubbing away with a sponge. 

Woman cleaning off a kitchen table.
Get ahead of the mess with a daily wipe down of kitchen surfaces.

Keep a Microfiber Cloth Handy to Stay on Top of the Grime

You’ll Need: Microfiber Cloths

Having the right cleaning tools can be a hack in itself. Up until now, the microfiber cloth mostly made an appearance in garages or on workbenches. But it’s actually quite the powerhouse in a kitchen, as well. They’re better at capturing grease and oil than regular cotton cloths (which is why they’re so popular with mechanics and DIYers). A simple swipe of this cloth can remove fresh layers of grease and grime from cabinet doors, granite or marble countertops, wood floors, and stainless steel appliances. A quick swipe after each task in the kitchen will prevent the grime from building up as fast, meaning you won’t have to do a full deep-clean as often. 

Woman cleaning in between tiles with a toothbrush and baking soda.
No need to buy extra supplies to give small crevices a good clean. Image: Family Handy Man

Get Crevices Cleaner with a Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda Mix

You’ll Need: Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, Cup, Toothbrush

Kitchens tend to have a lot of nooks and crannies, cracks and crevices, where food and grime can get stuck for good (or at least it seems that way). Have you ever used hydrogen peroxide and watched it bubble or foam up? We can use that expanding power to get inside those tough crevices with super-strong cleaning power. Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with two parts baking soda in a cup, and use a toothbrush to spread the mix into the nook/cranny/crack/crevice. Use it on cabinet door knobs, tile grout, or the spaces where appliance meets cabinet or countertop. (In fact, this combo is a way to level-up your cleaning throughout your kitchen if the standard solutions aren’t working as well.)

Voilà — there you have it: a cleaner kitchen without the need to hire professionals or use any harsh and inorganic chemicals. What other cleaning hacks have you discovered? If you have super effective tips and tricks, make sure to share them with other homeowners, too!