Top tips for cleaning your kitchen before Christmas
Before your entire family descends on you this Christmas, spare a thought for your kitchen. This workhorse of the season is about to come into some serious flogging. Its cupboards are going to be bursting at the seams, oven on overdrive, and worktops spilled and dropped on by more people than at any other time of year. While some people may give their kitchen a thorough clean before Christmas to impress guests, there are practical reasons to do it too. These tips will have your kitchen festive ready in no time!
To clean your kitchen beyond a basic wipe down, you’ll need to have a declutter, however cursory. There’s no point in cleaning surfaces when they are littered with stuff. Plus, you’ll have extra food and utensils over the Christmas period, so it makes sense to have room for them. Here’s the key things to remember.
While your kitchen units surely have a system that works for daily life, remember that you will be using crockery, utensils and gadgets that you don’t normally use. This might mean some cupboard rotation is required. Make sure that you have easy access to large platters, carving knives and that pickle fork that only comes out once a year!
Get rid of any out of date food in your pantry. In the lead up to Christmas, try to use up items that you won’t tend to eat during that period. You can stock up again in the New Year. If you can, clear a space to be used for seasonal goods. Things like jars of pickle, chutney and sauces that you don’t tend to use at other times of the year. Having this go-to place will save you all the rummaging around trying to find that elusive jar of pickled walnuts.
Empty the fridge and get rid of food that won’t be eaten in the next few weeks. Give the whole of your fridge a wipe down before putting back what’s left. When you’re about to add a full Christmas cheese board to your fridge, there’s really no point in keeping that small corner of stilton that you may or may not get to. Use up old leftovers that are in the freezer to make room for those that will be produced over the festive season. Accept the fact that you’re going to end up freezing some turkey, and make sure there’s room!
Now that your kitchen storage is fit for keeping the rest of your kitchen clear, you can get it fully clean. While you don’t have to go to spring cleaning standards, giving everything a thorough clean will make it all run smoother at your busiest time.
Heat an oven proof bowl of water at a high temperature for 20 minutes. When it’s cooled down enough (but not cold) wipe loose debris from the inside of your oven. Tough spots can be worked out with a combination of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
Run a hot cycle with a cup of vinegar in the bottom layer of the dishwasher. Then sprinkle bicarbonate of soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run another hot cycle. Once your dishwasher is thoroughly clean, your cycles will be more reliable when you really need them to be.
It’s a small appliance but it’s heavily used when receiving guests! Fill with half vinegar and half water, leave to soak for a while and then boil. Empty and boil a kettle full of water to remove all traces of vinegar.
Yes, you’ll be wiping down your worktops more than you can believe over the Christmas season, but take the time beforehand to give them some TLC. This will make sure that they remain looking stunning after the onslaught of Christmas.
Marble and Granite
These are sealed stones, so check that the seal is still intact. Drop a small amount of water on your worktop. If it pools into droplets, the seal is sufficient. If it spreads, then your marble or granite seal is compromised. This means that your worktop could be susceptible to staining and damage. You can reseal a marble worktop yourself, or bring in a professional. Clean with a Ph neutral cleaner or mild dish soap and buff dry.
Quartz worktops are manufactured using around 94% quartz crystals mixed with resin. This means that they have an integral seal that makes the surface super hard wearing. As there is no ongoing maintenance required for a quartz worktop, you simply need to regularly wipe down the counter with water and a microfibre cloth. An extra buff to dry off will leave your quartz worktop looking spectacular for your guests to admire.
Remove limescale with a vinegar and bicarbonate of soda mix. If your sink has a granite or marble worktop surround, be wary of letting acidic liquids like vinegar sit for long periods. This can cause damage so keep your sink cleaning contained. If you use a washing up bowl, make sure that this, too, is cleaned. Pop the drain covers into your dishwasher to remove all the grease.
Your kitchen floor is going to experience a lot of traffic over the festive season. So clean it thoroughly at the start, and you’ll find it much easier to maintain. Vacuum first and then mop using the correct solution for your floor type. Mild cleaners are generally best, so use a gentle dish soap or a weak vinegar solution. Stone floors, similar to stone worktops, can be damaged by acidic solutions so stay clear of vinegar. Most flooring materials do not like to be soaked, so either wring a microfibre mop thoroughly, or spray lightly and dry mop.
Having spent the time to fully clean your kitchen prior to Christmas you can sit back and enjoy the benefits. The room will be much easier to maintain over the season, and you’ll enjoy both working and entertaining there. Imagine your guests enjoying a mince pie from a platter on your quartz worktop and remember that it’s worth the effort!