A clean kitchen is like a hot shower: It makes you feel so much better. While a daily deep cleaning is unrealistic, it’s also not necessary. Here, a guide to when to clean what, and how to do it mindfully—so as to not damage delicate surfaces.
Everyday Care Stainless steel, cast-iron, and porcelain sinks should be wiped down with an all-purpose spray (or one made with mild dishwashing soap and water) after each use. For best results, rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth, which will help prevent soap scum. Deep-clean your sink once a week.
Best Cleaners For a deep clean: Empty your sink of dishes and plug the drain. Fill the sink with hot water, pour in a cup of bleach, and leave it to sit for an hour. Wearing gloves, remove the plug, and let the water drain. After rinsing the sink, sprinkle it with baking soda or powder cleanser, scrub with a nylon sponge and rinse well. If your sink is stainless steel, substitute a few squirts of dishwashing liquid for the bleach, then use SOS pads to buff away any bacteria hiding in scratches. Last, for added shine, wipe down with Windex or a tablespoon of olive oil.
Good to Know Stubborn stains are easily removed on sink surfaces with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Avoid scouring powders when scrubbing sinks—they're too abrasive and may cause damage. A time-tested approach to ridding a sink of spots: Mix the juice of half a lemon with one-half cu
Everyday Care Food prep areas should be lightly cleaned after each use. Nearly all countertops do best when wiped down with a spray made of warm water and a mild liquid dish detergent. Be sure to leave the counter dry, since moist surfaces encourage bacteria growth.
Best Cleaners It's important to use nonabrasive cleaners and sponges on all countertops; microfiber towels are a good choice, since they're able to grab food and dirt better than most other materials. Wood, concrete, natural stone, and engineered quartz countertops can all be sufficiently cleaned with the soap-and-water spray mentioned above. Avoid using vinegar on wood countertops, since it's powerful enough to dissolve the glue that holds the wood together. Concrete countertops should never be cleaned with bleach or ammonia since they may damage the sealant and dull the finish. Glass countertops should be cleaned with a nonabrasive glass cleaner.
Natural stone: Homeowners with natural-stone countertops like white Carrara marble or granite must be particularly careful with stains and spills since the stone can be porous. Immediately wipe up spills with a microfiber cloth to avoid staining or etching. For cleaning, use a wet sponge to wipe down the counter with a mild soap-and-water mixture, and dry with a towel (too much soap in the solution will cause streaking). Don't use ammonia or anything acidic on natural stone since it can dull the surface and leave lasting stains. If you prefer an all-purpose cleaner, consult with a natural stone retailer on what’s best for your surface.
Good to Know Most natural stone, concrete, and wood countertops need to be resealed every one to two years to keep them looking shiny and new. How to know when it’s time to reseal? Sprinkle some water on your granite countertop. If the water beads up, your countertops are in good shape. If not, it's time to reseal them.
Everyday Care Try to dry mop or vacuum your kitchen floor every other day to cut down on the build-up of dust and dirt. It will make deep-cleaning your floors, which should be done weekly, easier.
Best Cleaners When you're ready to mop ceramic tile, mix water with a small amount of liquid dish soap. If water gets cloudy, fill a fresh bucket to avoid streaking. Avoid scrub pads as they can damage the tile.
Natural-stone tile is vulnerable to scratching by sand, grit, and dirt. Wipe up spills immediately as some liquids can be absorbed into the stone. A damp mop will keep the floors looking clean (try using castile soap products). Change the water frequently as you mop, and never use products that contain lemon juice, vinegar, or other acids on marble, limestone, or travertine. Ammonia-based cleaners can dull flooring.
Polyurethane-finished wood floors should be swept at least twice a week with a soft broom. When mopping, squeeze a few drops of dishwashing liquid onto a damp mop, and run the mop along the natural grain of the wood. Be sure to ring the mop well as wood floors can absorb water. Note: Laminate wood floors should be cleaned with a laminate floor cleaner.
Linoleum is tricky to clean since many linoleum floors have grooved designs, which collect dirt. A few times a year, you'll likely have to do an intensive cleaning on your hands and knees. Look for no-rinse products, although some experts say that washing with warm water is the best way to clean them.
Good to Know Make sweeping or dry mopping as much of a habit as loading the dishwasher, and keep doormats at every door to reduce dirt from foot traffic.
Source: Elle Décor | Photo: Simon Upton