This cleaning checklist will only take 15 to 20 minutes of your weekend and will have your kitchen sparkling again in no time.

By Samantha Lande
November 27, 2020
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We've all been there. It's been a super busy week where you barely have time to groom yourself much less make your kitchen sparkling. So you put off the cleaning until the weekend.

Then, you wake up on Saturday morning and remember the daunting task that lies ahead – cleaning your kitchen. Before you hide back under the covers, realize that getting your kitchen in tip-top shape doesn't have to be an all-day project. In fact, there are many tasks that you can do in 15 to 20 minutes that will make your kitchen feel livable again.

We talked to some cleaning experts that help you get organized and focused to make the most of your cleaning time. Here's a checklist of what you should do.

1. Get out the laundry basket.

Yes, we know we are talking about cleaning the kitchen here. But we also know that over the course of the week, many random items end up in the kitchen that simply don't belong.

James Conner, VP of Operations at Molly Maid, suggests taking a laundry basket and putting in it everything that doesn't belong in the kitchen. "When you're finished in the kitchen, return these items to their rightful homes," he says. Pull the trash can over and do the same thing getting rid of any paid bills or junk mail sitting around your kitchen.

2. Tackle the sink.

We know it's easy for dishes to pile up from last night's dinner or meals throughout the week, but a full sink can often be the most unsightly thing in your kitchen. First load the dishwasher with anything that can go right in (and if it's already full, empty it, of course). Next tackle those pesky hand-wash items so you can clear the entire sink.

3. Break out the baking soda.

Leanne Stapf, Chief Operating Officer at The Cleaning Authority, recommends tackling the actual sink next, "by applying baking soda on a damp cloth, wiping down the sink [stainless steel] and counters to help remove any odors or stains." If you have a white sink, "you can also quickly clean with a mixture of three tablespoons baking soda, one tablespoon dish soap, and ¼ cup warm water to restore that perfect white finish," she says.

Baking soda can also be great for other things, so use it to "wipe away the burnt part of tonight's dinner on the stovetop by sprinkling baking soda over the mess. Grab a damp sponge and scrub until the burnt bits are gone," says Stapf.

4. Clean those floors.

Once you've tackled the sink and countertops, focus your efforts on the floor. Sweep and vacuum to get all of the crumbs up. "Once a week, tack on mopping to the end of your kitchen cleaning routine," says Conner.

5. Stop the stink.

Before you end your quick clean, you'll want to show your trash can a bit of love. After all, it is where we throw our slinkiest items. To clean it, Stapf recommends, "Take a half vinegar to water solution, and wipe the can down. This will help get rid of any lingering odors from the trash."

Every other week you'll want to make sure to clean out your fridge of any stinky food (and wipe down those shelves every few months, too).

Extra Credit

If you are feeling extra motivated one Saturday morning, there are a few deep cleaning things you can add into your routine, even if it's only once a month, or for some once a year.

Conner suggests wiping down the front of each appliance and all cabinet doors once a month. If you are feeling overzealous, "Empty your cupboards and wipe down the shelves. Focus on any sticky spots you find. Consider lining your cabinets with shelf protectors to prevent damaging the wood. Finish by wiping down the doors and hardware," he says. This is something you'll only need to do one to two times a year.

Don't forget about your appliances. They don't need love more than a few times a year, but make sure to clean both the big and small ones, including the dishwasher. "The easiest way is to run an empty cycle with a bowl of vinegar on the top rack," says Conner.