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Done Naturally: 9 Steps to Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen

Updated: Apr 6

Spring is a time to be outside, soaking in the sun by taking long walks, going on picnics and taking a long bike ride. No one wants to be stuck inside cleaning. Still, it would be a pleasure to leave the fresh spring air and enter a home that has been made light with the removal of clutter; a home where the surfaces are shining; the counters are gleaming; the floors are so sparkling and spotless that it’s safe for the pitter patter of little feet and the air is crips and clean with a fresh natural aroma. So, why not set aside an hour or so to do some deep cleaning.

You can start by tackling one room at a time, and I suggest beginning with the kitchen. Next to the bathroom, the kitchen is the most difficult room in the house to clean. But this room is especially important since you must guard against bacteria and germs on the surfaces that you use to prepare meals. Washing dishes should be cleaned after use to prevent the build-up of bacteria. And having them cleaned and put away is necessary before a deep clean since it clears the way for you to move back and forth without any obstruction.

Tools You Need

Cleaning cloths – Cotton terry cloths, microfiber and antibacterial cleaning cloths are great options for cleaning most surfaces in the home. They can be washed and reused.

Vinegar – a natural sanitizer

 Baking soda – You likely have some in your pantry already.

 Spray bottle – A basic spray bottle to use for making your own all-purpose cleaning spray.

 Scourer or scrubbing brush – Sometimes you need to put in a little extra elbow grease and these scrubbing tools will help.

 Paper towel – For really grubby cleanups, using paper towel instead of your cleaning cloths may be a good option.

Natural degreaser & dishwashing liquid – Whichever products you prefer to use to cut through grease.

Disinfectant– You can make your own version with vinegar.

Grout brush or old toothbrush – Grout brushes or an old toothbrush will work too.

Rubber gloves – Keep your hands from drying out and safe if you’re using commercial cleaning products.

Step ladder – Get a proper step ladder for safety when cleaning areas up high.

Trash bag – to collect anything you wish to throw away.

Essential Oils – Essential oils are an optional item in our deep cleaning arsenal to keep everything smelling fresh and clean. Lemon is a favourite choice for cleaning and clove as well as citrus oils can be great against mold.

 Vacuum cleaner

Mop, preferably microfiber string cloth mop or cotton mop.


Healthful Hint: To prevent cross contamination, be sure to separate the tools used to clean the kitchen from those used in other rooms, especially the bathroom.


A Few Tips Before You Begin:

Set aside at least an hour before you begin, so that you won’t have to stop and end up losing focus or energy.

Move everything off the counters to another room so that you will have more space with which to work.

Read through this blog at least once before starting to get an idea of what it will take to do the deep cleaning.

Remain focused by remaining in the kitchen. Inevitably you will find things that don’t belong in the kitchen and want to put them away. Instead, make a pile for those items and then put them away later.

Start cleaning from the top of the room and work your way down. This will prevent dust and debris from falling onto your already clean surfaces.

Gather your supplies, crack a window, and begin.

Step 1: Vacuum or sweep, then remove the mats from the kitchen before you begin. If possible, spray and wipe down the mats with an all-purpose cleaner and set them aside to dry.


Step 2: Empty trashcan and, if there are any buildup, wash can with hot water and a drop of natural dish soap, then rinse it out and turn it upside down to dry while you clean.


Healthful Hint: If there is a buildup of residue in the trashcan, leave the water and soap solution to sit for a few minutes or until you’ve finished cleaning and then rinse and dry the can with a paper towel. Also, to prevent any further buildup, add a liner to the trash can and a few drops of citrus essential oil. The natural, fresh scent will add a sweet fragrance to the room.


Step 3: Start from the Top

Beginning over the sink, use an extendable duster to remove dust and cobwebs off walls, vents, and blinds as well as the top of cabinets and the refrigerator. Once back at the sink, move on to dust the ceiling fan and light shades.

Step 4: Conquer the Cabinets

Upper Cabinets: Get your step stool, or ladder to clean the upper cabinets with a damp soapy cloth as well as anything else on the walls, including a mounted microwave. Spray the microwave interior with an all-purpose cleaner and let sit for two minutes before wiping it out with a damp cloth. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the exterior. If it's stainless steel, you can use a stainless-steel cleaner or diluted white vinegar.

Be sure to wipe the pulls of the upper cabinets as well as anything else (frames, hooks, vent grates) you encounter as you circle the room.

Healthful Hint: If there are any stains or buildup in the microwave, spray with an All-Purpose Cleaner inside and let it sit for a few seconds, then clean. Or break down long-standing stains by placing a cup of water inside, turn it on for about a minute or two and then remove the cup and clean inside the microwave. Deodorize by heating a bowl of water and lemon juice, then wiping the interior of the microwave with a towel dampened with vinegar and water.

Maintain your microwave by wiping out spills, splatters, and crumbs after every use, and give it a deep clean once a week or once a month, depending on how frequently it's used.

Lower Cabinets

Tackle the lower cabinets and drawers in the same way as the upper cabinets with a damp, soapy cloth.

Step 5: Cleanse the Counters

Do a detail cleaning on the caulk line where the countertop and backsplash meet and be sure to remove the crumbs from under the toaster, mixer, and coffee maker.

To clean grout, apply a paste of ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and ½ cup baking soda, then scrub gently and wipe well. Countertops require a little extra care, and the wrong formula can damage or discolor some materials. A spray bottle filled with hot water and a squirt of dish soap is usually a safe bet.

When you want to disinfect the counter, check the formula’s label first to ensure it's OK for your surface. Most multipurpose sprays are fine for laminate, quartz, and soapstone counters. Otherwise, a mix of 1 part isopropyl alcohol to 3 parts water works great on concrete and granite, and ½ lemon and salt work wonders for wood. For stains on marble, apply a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit for 24 to 48 hours.

For daily cleaning, wipe down counters with white cotton-terry bar towels in lieu of paper towels. Since they need to be laundered after a few uses, keep plenty in rotation.

Fill the sink with hot water and a few squirts of dish soap. Drop in items that need soaking, like the crisper drawer, the dish rack, and the microwave turntable.

Step 6. Scour the Stove

Next, pop off the knobs and the vent hood screen up top of stove, and let them soak in hot, soapy water. If soap alone doesn't remove the grease, grab your dedicated cleaning toothbrush and use a paste made of baking soda, dish soap, vinegar and water. Then set aside to dry while you move on to the stove.

Since glass stove tops can get scratched, use a non-abrasive scouring pad or microfiber cloth, distilled white vinegar, water, and dish soap to remove stuck-on food gently.

For gas stove tops and burner grates, combine 1 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon castile soap, 2 cups water and 5 drops of your chosen essential oil in a container. Then, using a scouring pad soaked with this solution, start cleaning. For stubborn stains, add a powdered scrub such as baking soda, onto the surface then proceed.

Wipe the stovetop with a wet sponge to remove residue then use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to finish. Replace the knobs and vent hood.

Step 7: Attack the Appliances

Clean inside and outside of appliances, starting with those on the counter such as microwave, coffee maker and toaster oven. Since we already mentioned the microwave, here only the other appliances are discussed. While most small appliances, like the stand mixer, waffle iron, Instant Pot, air fryer, and griddle should be cleaned after every use, others—like your coffee pot or toaster—can be cleaned less frequently.


Clean the coffeemaker, toaster, stand mixer, and other small appliances from top to bottom, using glass cleaner or a multi-surface formula (spray the cloth rather than the appliance) or a cleaning wipe. Dip drip trays or crumb catchers in the sink's warm, soapy water, then rinse and dry.

Clean behind and under the refrigerator

Pet hair, dust mites, and fallen food tend to accumulate underneath and behind the refrigerator, covering the condenser coils that cool the motor. Unplug it (or hit the switch for its outlet on your home's electrical panel) and vacuum the coils with the brush attachment. They may be located on the front or back, or underneath, depending on your model; you may need to shimmy it away from the wall for access. (It's not such an ordeal, we promise, and the efficiency and lifespan payoffs for your fridge are major.)

Clean the inside (and outside) of your refrigerator and freezer

Turn back on the refrigerator and take everything out— as well as from the freezer. Place items worth keeping in coolers and toss anything that has expired. Throw dirty food storage containers into the sink to soak. Slide out removable shelves and drawers, and soak them in hot, soapy water in the sink (or use your tub if they're too large for the sink).

Spray the interior of the refrigerator with a mix of 1 cup each water and distilled white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dish soap and 2 to 3 drops of lemon essential oil. If you see any stuck-on food bits or discoloration, sprinkle on a baking soda paste. Scrub the whole area, working from top to bottom, then run a damp cloth over all surfaces to rinse. Finally, dry and replace the shelves and food, wiping the bottles as you go to ensure that you are not transferring any soil to the clean surface. For easy cleanup, place a shelf liner or enamel butcher tray underneath. Use a soft toothbrush or a cloth-wrapped spatula to de-grime tight spots, like the folds of the refrigerator seal

Then wipe the exterior; for stainless steel, mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and add 2 drops of clove essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe down the surface with a dry, clean microfiber cloth. You can also pour a dab of olive oil onto the microfiber cloth and wipe in a circular motion, moving along the grain. Then repeat as needed.

Overhaul the Oven

Pull out the racks and, depending on their size, put them in the dishwasher, or soak them in a sink or tub filled with hot water, dishwasher detergent and vinegar for two hours, turning as needed. (If you use your tub, line it with an old towel first, to avoid scratching the glaze.) A client once shared the tip of leaving the racks in the grass in her yard overnight and how clean they were the next day.

Meanwhile, spray the interior with a solution of 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons dish soap and 5 drops of lemon essential oil, let stand for five minutes, then swipe with a wet pumice stone. Clean the inside of the door with a damp Brillo pad then wipe dry. Vacuum any crumbs out of the warming drawer and, when they are ready, replace the dry racks and knobs. These efforts become easier if you maintain your oven year-round from food drips by placing a baking sheet or foil paper on the bottom before using.

Degunk the Dishwasher

Food, grease, water minerals, and undissolved detergent can build up on the interior of your dishwasher and in the filter at the bottom, impairing its performance.

Unscrew the filter, rinse it with hot water, scrub it with a trusty cleaning toothbrush (just rinse this tool between uses), and screw it back on. Then pop off the spray arm—or arms (your machine may have more than one). Rinse them in warm water, pry out any buildup in the holes with a toothpick, and replace. Wipe the door gasket and exterior with a damp cloth. Use vinegar and baking soda to scrub the inside of the machine. Clean the sides of the dishwasher door with a cloth dipped in a solution of hot, soapy water and distilled white vinegar.

Load the dishwasher with the items soaking in the sink, or hand wash them. Don't drain the sink just yet. If your machine has some mildew buildup, clean with a mix of vinegar and water. Run the rinse cycle to remove remaining residue.

Healthful Hint: Remember to wipe down the fridge doors, the front of the dishwasher, and the oven with a cloth dipped in clean, sudsy water (or diluted white vinegar if the door is stainless steel). Also, be sure to wipe down the handles and the edges.

Polish Pots and Pans

As for these, let the material be your guide.

  • Copper: Use a paste of equal parts lemon juice and salt to easily dissolve tarnish.

  • Stainless steel: Fill a pot with water and a squirt of dish soap, boil for five to 10 minutes to get rid of scorch marks and hard-water stains, then wash as usual.

  • Burned pots: Fill it with water and a teaspoon of baking soda, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Baking sheets: Let it sit in equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for four hours.

Step 8: Scrub the Sink

All items in the sink have been handwashed or placed in the dishwasher, so now it’s time to drain the sink. Once drained, use a sponge to buff the basin with a paste of baking soda and dish soap; rinse with hot water then wipe down the faucet and the handles with a dry, clean microfiber cloth.

Step 9: Freshen the Floor

Your kitchen floor is one of the most easily dirtied areas in your home because of food spills, and traces left by shoes and paws.

Sweep the floor with a soft bristle broom, getting up to the baseboards and under the cabinets, where crumbs can hide. Pull out appliances to reach the spaces near the walls. Once you have removed the heavier debris, vacuum and mop the floor with a natural solution, starting at the corner farthest from the room's entrance.

The cleaning techniques you use will depend on the material of your floors.

Ceramic and tile floors should be vacuumed daily and mopped at least once a week, while wood and specialty floors (which are more sensitive) require a dry mopping or sweeping followed by a wet mopping session weekly.

If you're cleaning your floors on a once-a-week routine, you likely only need to deep clean them—with a scrub brush or mop and bucket—once each month.

If it’s wood, tile or stone use castile soap (a few drops will do) in a bucket of hot water. If it’s marble, then just use hot water. After the floor is dry, use the Swiffer mop with the dry sheet to go over the floor to pick up anything that was missed, then return rugs and trashcans back to where they belong.


Healthful Hint: Be sure to use the switch-bucket system (one bucket with the mopping solution and another bucket filled with water to rinse the mop before dipping back into the mopping solution after each swipe of the mop over the floor) and a microfiber mop head.

Dump the dirty water outside or down the toilet and never inside the kitchen sink to prevent contamination.


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