The kitchen is the one room in my house I demand stay clean that continually thwarts me. Of course, having little kids does not help. They put food smudges on walls, crumb the floor, and on occasion dump spices all over the counter when no one is looking to create an awesome dirt track for their cars. My kitchen cleaning problems may not apply to just every parent, but they have taught me a bit about keeping a kitchen clean with young kids in the house.
Sweep, and sweep often
I probably grab the broom and sweep my kitchen at least five times a day. It takes all of five seconds to sweep any crumbs up, and then spot clean any drops or sticky spills, but both steps can prevent things like ants and mice from deciding your kitchen is a great place to hang out. As a rule, if you have young kids sweep at least once a day, and mop at least once a week. Once a month, I also take a butter knife and sponge and clean the perimeter of the floor.
Keep up on the dishes
Another common pest attractant homes with kids often have is a dish pile. You certainly don’t have to jump up and do the dishes as soon as you eat, but as you cook, clean as you go, rinsing or putting things in the dishwasher if you have one, so that when you are done cooking, there is less to leave sitting. Get in the habit of always rinsing dishes after you eat, whether you put them in the dishwasher or actually wash them or not. These habits also make cleaning the kitchen a less daunting job.
Keep a spray bottle of cleaner ready
I prefer use natural options such as vinegar water, partially because it’s environmentally friendly and kid-safe, and partially because actual spray cleaner is expensive. Having a spray bottle and dry rag sitting on my counter, or in an easily accessible cabinet, makes for quick finger smear clean-ups. I also spray counters down to disinfect once a day. I found this to also deter pest activity. The vinegar kills scent trails things like ants and spiders use wiping out any past knowledge they had of tasty crumbs found or prey that feeds on tasty crumbs.
Empty the trash once a day
Even if my trash isn’t full, once a day I pull out the bag and walk around my kitchen and house finding more stuff to fill the bag. On occasion I do end up with a partially full bag, but I keep a small trash can to help prevent bag wasting. Kitchen trashes, which often hold leftovers-more so when you have kids, can begin to smell quite quickly, mold, harbor bacteria, and attract pests. If you find your kitchen trash is consistently not full once a day, way to go on your waste control, but get a smaller trash can. It will save space, and lead to a cleaner kitchen.
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