The Foolproof Kitchen Cleaning Schedule To Keep Your Kitchen Spotless (+ Free Printable Checklist!)
How do you keep a kitchen clean?! Our free printable checklist breaks down a daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule that will make it easy to keep it looking spotless.
For most families, the kitchen is undoubtedly the hub of the house – it’s not only where food is prepared and eaten, but where the mail gets dumped, homework gets done, art projects are created (hello, slime!), and where people generally congregate to chit chat and hang out. As a result, it is always one of the dirtiest rooms in the house, and as busy moms, we know how hard it can be to keep it clean day-after-day-after-day.
As it’s our mission at What Moms Love to make your busy lives easier, we’ve teamed up with Cascade pure essentials to help you tackle the kitchen disaster zone once and for all. With our free printable Kitchen Cleaning Checklist, we’ve broken down cleaning tasks by what needs to be done every day vs. every week vs. every month…and even some things to do each season.
Simply print it out, keep it handy, and check off as you go. It will help keep you accountable (and checking off those boxes is oh-so satisfying), and ultimately save you time (and stress!), so you can focus on what matters most: your family.
Read on to learn how to download the checklist, more details about each task, and general kitchen cleaning tips (including roping in your kids to help!).
PIN for when you’re ready for a sparkling clean kitchen!
First, go ahead and download our free printable Kitchen Cleaning Checklist by CLICKING RIGHT HERE — the PDF will open automatically for you to print.
We suggest laminating it with these easy sticky lamination sheets so you can use a dry-erase marker to check-off each task as you go. But simply printing and using a pencil works too. Just make sure to keep it in a spot that’s easily accessible so you can keep track as the day/week/month progresses.
Taking a little time at the end of the day to tidy and spot-clean your kitchen will lessen your load when it comes to the monthly deep clean. It also makes you feel pretty darn good to have your morning cup o’ joe in a clean and organized space.
Clear counters of clutter and relocate anything not in its proper home – clutter is your arch nemesis when trying to clean your kitchen, so tackle it first by moving any items that landed on the countertops/table to their appropriate place.
Load and run dishwasher – pile in the dishes as they get dirty, and run when full. If you use the right dishwasher detergent, you can save time and skip pre-washing.
We recommend our new favorite, Cascade pure essentials, which can clean tough stuck-on messes like baked-on foods for a consistent clean (because nothing is worse than having to waste time re-cleaning when it’s already been through the dishwasher, right?!). And we love that Cascade pure essentials is made with bio-based* ingredients and free of phosphates and chlorine bleach – especially when you consider that it’s washing the cups your kids drink out of, forks they put in their mouths, and plates their food goes on. Using the Cascade pure essentials ActionPacs will give you that dependable clean you can feel good about.
Empty dishwasher – one of our least favorite tasks, but essential for keeping the dirty dishes out of the kitchen sink. Luckily it is a task that is easy to teach to your kids, and we’ve found that they seem to enjoy it far more than we do!
Hand wash pots/pans or anything not dishwasher safe – keep these items in the sink and tackle in bulk.
Empty trash/recycling bins as needed – keep extra trash bags in the bottom of the bins so replacing the bag is quick and easy.
Wipe down countertops, stove top, backsplash, sink and faucet + kitchen table and chairs/stools – use warm soapy water and rinse with a damp sponge or cloth. Don’t worry about sweeping any crumbs directly onto the floor – you’ll take care of those with the next step…
Sweep floor – keep a dustpan and broom handy and have this be the last task of the day.
Doing the daily tasks will keep your kitchen in good shape, but there are certain things that will need extra attention on a weekly basis. Some may prefer to pick a day and do them all at once, others may choose to tackle a different item each day – we say do what works best for your schedule (and don’t be shy assigning some of these tasks to your kids as part of their weekly chores!)
Disinfect countertops – once a week remove everything from your counters and give them an extra deep clean, making sure to get into grout lines and corners. Don’t forget the back splash too!
Wipe down exterior of all appliances – give extra attention to the handle-area where germs and fingerprints tend to hang out.
Scrub sink – tackle any stains that don’t wipe away and take extra time to remove any build-up around the drain.
Vacuum and mop floor – with spills, splashes and constant traffic, kitchen floors get dirtier faster than any other room in the house. Give them a quick vacuum or sweep to remove any crumbs and then mop clean.
Wipe baseboards – use a soft rag or dryer sheet to remove unwanted dust from your baseboards.
Clear out expired food from fridge – go through your refrigerator and toss any old leftovers or food that is past its “best by” date.
Sanitize or change sponges – to sanitize, place your wet sponge into a bowl with 1/2” of water and put it in the microwave on high for 1 minute (let sit for several minutes before taking out); alternatively, grab a fresh new sponge.
Change towels/dishcloths – toss old ones into the laundry and replace with clean.
Tackle stubborn stove-top stains – after wiping, use a powdered scrub that won’t scratch on any stains that need a little extra elbow grease.
Spot-clean frequently used cabinets – use warm soapy water or your favorite all-purpose cleaning spray to clean the handles and surrounding area on cabinets you constantly use, including the trash pull-out.
Wipe down switch plates, doorknobs and picture frames – use disinfectant wipes to kill any nasty lingering germs on light switches and knobs, and remove excess dust from any hanging frames.
Despite your daily/weekly cleaning efforts, there are still some areas of your kitchen that may get overlooked until the grime really starts to build up. That’s where the monthly deep clean comes into play – it will get rid of any built-up dust, dirt and stains, so it stays looking squeaky clean.
Wipe down all cabinet doors/drawers – start with your top cabinets and work your way down, making sure to include all the hardware. Open up cabinets and wipe the inside of the doors as well.
Wipe down inside of appliances, including:
- Fridge/Freezer: wipe all shelves/drawers and around seals
- Microwave: Use warm soapy water to wipe the interior, including the inside of the door. If you have caked-on residue, place a dish of water in the microwave and turn on high for 3 minutes. Let stand (with door closed) for 3–5 minutes. The steam will loosen any food stains and make it much easier to wipe clean.
- Dishwasher: yes, even your dishwasher can use a clean every so often! Wipe the inside of the door, around the seals and do a sweep of the bottom to remove any larger food particles.
- Oven: Remove the racks and use warm soapy water to clean the walls, bottom and inside of the door.
Dust top of refrigerator and cabinets – prevent a thick layer of dust from forming by wiping the top of the refrigerator and above your cabinets (if they don’t go all the way up to the ceiling) with a duster or wet cloth.
Deep clean stove-top including gas-burner grates – wipe down your cook-top, soak and scrub any gas-burner grates and covers, and remove any stove-top knobs to wash.
Clean vent hood (including filters) – use a cleaning spray formulated for the material of your hood and wipe clean. Remove filters and soak in hot water + dishwashing liquid. Use a scrub brush to loosen any stubborn grease particles then rinse. Leave to dry before replacing.
Clean/disinfect trash bins – remove the trash bags and clean the exterior and interior of all trash and recycling bins with disinfectant spray.
Clean/disinfect kitchen sink drain and garbage disposal – use a disinfectant spray and toothbrush to scrub around the edges of the sink drain.
Pour ½ cup white vinegar into your garbage disposal + 2 lemon quarters. Turn on the hot water and then start the disposal. This will not only sanitize the disposal, but make it smell lovely and lemony as well.
Scrub base of faucet with toothbrush – grime can quickly build up at the bottom of your faucet, so grab a toothbrush or other narrow scrubber, and wipe it away before it sticks for good.
Refill soap dispensers – Top up your dish detergent and hand soap pumps.
Flush out inside of coffee machine – create a solution of 1 cup white vinegar + 1 cup water and run through your machine. Rinse by running a few additional cycles with just water.
Clean windows and window treatments – using a window cleaning spray, wipe clean inside of all windows; Dust or wipe with a damp sponge any window treatments if applicable.
Re-organize and re-stock pantry – take inventory of pantry items that are running low and add them to your shopping list. Re-organize items to keep shelves looking tidy, and food easily accessible.
Inventory freezer items – go through your freezer and toss anything too old, and take note of what needs to be eaten so you can incorporate it into your upcoming meal plans.
Empty crumbs from toaster – unplug your toaster and empty the crumb catcher at the bottom. If yours doesn’t have one, simply tip it upside down over the sink and shake.
Deep clean cutting boards – the cut marks on cutting boards can be a hotbed for bacteria growth, so make sure you sanitize them regularly.
Plastic boards can be placed in the dishwasher and run on the hot-rinse cycle. Again we like to use Cascade pure essentials to get the best dependable clean.
Wooden cutting boards can be cleaned with a paste of baking soda and water – work it into the board’s surface, wait 5 minutes, then rinse well.
At the start of every new season, plow through this list to ensure that your kitchen stays in tip-top shape!
Wipe inside of cabinets – remove all items from cabinets and drawers and wipe clean.
Deep clean fridge interior – remove all items from your fridge, checking expiration dates as you go, and toss anything that’s old or never used. Take out any removable shelves or drawers and wash in warm soapy water, then dry and replace. Wipe all surfaces and put back food. If your fridge has a water filter, check to see if it needs to be changed.
Clean/vacuum behind fridge including condenser coils – pull out your fridge (careful not to scratch your floors) and unplug it. Now locate your condenser coils. They are typically at the very base of your fridge and covered with a grate. Remove the grate and vacuum the coils using a small brush attachment. You’ll likely be surprised how dirty the coils are! When they’re clogged with dirt and dust they can’t release heat as effectively, forcing your compressor to work harder that it’s designed to – thus using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge. Replace the grate then vacuum the entire area behind the fridge. Plug it back in and slide into place.
Clean oven – remove the racks and soak/scrub in warm soapy water. Follow your oven’s owner manual on how to use the self-clean function, or give the interior a good deep clean with a little elbow grease.
Scrub “toe kick” area of cabinets – the base of your cabinets (where they meet the floor) can often catch dirt and debris that doesn’t necessarily get picked up during daily sweeping or even weekly mopping. Use a scrub brush to flush out the dirt and remove any scuff marks.
Dust/clean light fixtures – give your lights a good dusting and then wipe down with a damp cloth.
Sort/purge junk drawer – every kitchen has one! Go through and throw away anything you don’t need (to make room for next month’s junk!)
Check expiration on spices and oils – do a quick inventory of your spices and oils to see if any need to be replaced.
Change coffee machine water filter – if your coffee machine has a water filter, pop in a replacement.
Re-organize food storage containers – go through Tupperware containers and match with corresponding lids. Recycle any that are missing lids or are cracked.
Start at the top – when cleaning, always start at the top (in the case of the kitchen, this is generally the top cabinets) and work your way down to the floor. This way any debris that falls while cleaning won’t have to be re-cleaned.
Keep your cleaning supplies organized and easily accessible – keep a caddy under your kitchen sink (or in another easy-to-access place) with all of the cleaning supplies you need, including sponges, cloths and disinfectant spray. Then it’s ready to quickly grab when it’s time to clean up.
Make it fun – although cleaning is generally not looked at as a “fun” task, take it as an opportunity to listen to your favorite music, an audio book, a new podcast or even learn a foreign language. The time will pass more quickly when you’re not thinking about all the things you’d rather be doing.
Divide and conquer – you’re not the only one using the kitchen, so the cleaning shouldn’t fall squarely on your shoulders, right?! Assign some of the tasks on our Kitchen Cleaning Checklist to your partner and kids so everyone pitches in.
Give yourself a break – for the days you schedule some of the longer, deep cleaning tasks on the “Every Month” or “Every Season” list, give yourself the night off cooking and order in. Because let’s face it, after you spend the time to leave your kitchen looking spotless, the last thing you want to do is make a mess cooking!
If you haven’t already, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD our free Kitchen Cleaning Checklist printable!
Thanks again to our sponsor, Cascade pure essentials, for making a dishwasher detergent that offers a powerful, dependable clean with a simplified formula we can feel good about using with our families.
*1/3 biobased ingredients
Megan is an Art Director and Designer living in Massachusetts with her husband and two kids. She’s always on the hunt for inspiration, good ice cream, and lost binkies.
Check out more of her incredible designs at meggallimore.com