15 Creative Tricks to Make Kitchen Cleaning a Cinch

A chef’s kitchen is the site of countless culinary triumphs -- and even more clutter-filled cleanups. Thwart chaos in the kitchen with Martha's 15 most creative cleanup tips from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook."


Create a Consolidated Cleaning Caddy

In lieu of crowding a cupboard with haphazardly strewn cleaning agents, build a cleaning caddy to house your essential items. Martha's recommended cleaning caddy components include paper towels, microfiber cloths, a toothbrush, scouring pads in white and green nylon, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum polish, soft white cloths, kitchen brushes, a selection of fresh and old sponges, mild dishwashing soap, all-purpose household cleaner, mild abrasive cleaner, baking soda, white vinegar, glass cleaner, and gloves.


Watch Your Wooden Cutting Board Usage

Due to their porous composition, wooden boards are more susceptible to bacteria left over from meat preparation, water damage, and mold. Instead of vigorously scrubbing wooden cutting boards to remove bacterial residue after each use, relegate your wooden cutting boards to tasks that do not involve poultry, meat, or excessive moisture exposure.

Corral Clutter with Cups

Stylized small containers can creatively corral loose odds and ends. Make cleanliness a creative endeavor by dividing your minute kitchen items into charming cups or saucers for each drawer. The result is aesthetically pleasing and promotes a pristine kitchen.

Give Dirty Dishware a Salty Scrub

If the remnants of your latest culinary masterpiece are stubbornly clinging to your cookery, rub down the pot or pan with a dry sponge and salt for a spot-free surface.

Use a Baking Soda Boil for Patchy Pots

Baked-on food need not be the bane of your existence. Boil ¼ cup baking soda with several cups of water, and allow the pot to sit for an hour, then remove spots of food with a nonabrasive cooking utensil.

Give Glass a Perfect Polish With a DIY Solution

Wipe glass cabinets with a solution of one part white vinegar and one part warm water for sparkling surfaces.

Keep the Coast(er) Clear

Constantly cleaning residue rings under bottles and glasses is not an optimal use of time, nor is it a pleasant task. Keep rings at bay and remove one step of your daily regimen by placing countertop items on coasters.

Banish Burn Spots with Boiling Water

Unsightly burn marks on pots and pans are no match for Martha’s miraculously simple remedy. Soak the affected pot overnight in a solution of cold water and 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt. In the morning, gradually bring the water to a boil to dissolve all burn marks.

Pop a Cork for Cleaner Knives

Dip a clean wine cork in mild dishwashing liquid to gently buff away knife stains. Alternatively, use a cocktail of lemon juice and coarse salt to treat the stain.

Keep Wooden Kitchen Tools Mildew-Free with Bleach

Water can warp wood and cause mildew. Instead of soaking wooden kitchen tools in water, dampen a cloth with a solution composed of ten parts water and one part chlorine bleach to thoroughly cleanse wooden implements.

Remove Microwave Residue with Heated Water

Deeply ingrained stains on your microwave will melt when faced with this neat trick. Heat a microwave-safe dish full of water on high for three minutes, and allow the container to sit for a subsequent five minutes. Wipe the microwave interior’s softened stains down with a soft cloth or sponge.

Dissolve Kitchen Clogs with a DIY Solution

A clogged kitchen sink is no cause for concern. Simply pour a concoction of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain before covering tightly with a damp rag or drain plug. Allow five minutes for the solution to disintegrate the clog before flushing the drain with a kettle full of boiling water.

Refresh Your Garbage Disposal with an Aromatic Cocktail

An abundance of food particles left to linger in your garbage disposal can make for an unappetizing aroma. Give the garbage disposal a fragrant, deodorizing treatment with ground citrus peels or vinegar ice cubes.

Kill Odors with a Caffeine Kick

Cleaning may address most malodorous substances, but some simply linger even after a thorough scrubbing. Solve a refrigerator scent issue by spreading fresh coffee grounds on a tray to be placed inside the closed appliance. Once the offending aroma has vanished, remove the tray.

Content courtesy of Martha Stewart.