16 Kitchen Cleaning Shortcuts

Get a spotless kitchen without a lot of extra effort with these 16 quick, effective kitchen-cleaning hacks 

kitchen cleaning tips

How to Clean Your Oven
Don’t touch that self-cleaning button! That pre-programmed cycle reaches temperatures so high, it can actually damage the appliance. Instead, put some chemicals to work while you sleep. The folks at Mommysavers love this approach: Put ½ cup of ammonia in a bowl, and set it inside the (totally cool) oven. Do not turn the oven on, but let the bowl sit there overnight, working its magic. Come morning, take a few paper towels and easily wipe any grime or buildup away.

How to Clean a Kitchen Sponge
According to public health organization NSF International, a kitchen sponge just might be the germiest spot in the house, harboring 150 times more bacteria, mold and yeast than even a toothbrush holder. Take a cue from Moms Against Cooties and pop a wet kitchen sponge in the microwave for two minutes. Let it cool for a few more minutes before retrieving it, and repeat every other day or so. (Skip this if your sponges contain any metal.)

How to Clean Your Oven Vent and Backsplash
You know that grimy, greasy film that develops on the oven vent, on top of the microwave, and on the backsplash? It’s basically cooking oil that’s gotten coated with dust and other particles that stick to the grease. Get your kitchen surfaces back to normal in minutes with this trick from The Manly Housekeeper. Wipe them down with a paper towel dampened with mineral oil. Oil clings to oil, so after a few wipes, you'll be able to take a clean paper towel over the surface to remove all the gunk.

How to Clean Your Microwave
No chemicals or elbow grease required. Simply pour white vinegar into a coffee cup, place it in the microwave, and set it for three minutes. Carefully dump the liquid down the drain. Then, with a damp cloth, wipe out the sides, bottom, and top of the microwave.

How to Polish Stainless Steel Appliances 
A staple in most garages, WD-40 also works wonders on stainless steel. Just spray on and rub with a cloth for a spotless shine.

How to Shine Copper Pots
Shine up dull spots on your copper pots (or on any small copper item) by dipping a cotton swab in ketchup and applying. Wipe it off, then polish with a cotton cloth.

How to Clean Kitchen Grease on Clothes
Somewhere in the kitchen (junk drawer, anyone?), stash a small container of baby powder. If any oil or grease splatters on your clothes while you cook, rub a little powder on the spot ASAP. Chalk works, too!

How to Clean Your Blender in 30 Seconds
After your morning smoothie’s done, fill your blender halfway with warm or hot water, and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Put the lid on, and run the blender for about 10 seconds—the suds will build up quickly! Pour out the soapy water and rinse well.

NEXT PAGE: How to clean your coffee maker, your dishwasher, and your cutting boards