5 Essential Things to Clean This Spring

published Mar 2, 2022
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Throughout the winter, our kitchens see the busiest, hardest-working season. Beginning with Thanksgiving dinners and ending with New Year’s cocktails (and all the delicious holiday cookies in between!), every part of your kitchen has been working super hard these past few months. Now, for spring, it deserves a little cleaning TLC!

Here are five kitchen areas that’ll definitely need your attention this season.

1. Take care of a messy oven.

The longer messy oven spills and splatters sit in your oven, the more they get baked on to walls and grates — and the harder they are to clean. Now that the turkey has been roasted, the pecan pie has been baked, and the oozy puff pastry Brie has been toasted, it’s time to address the oven mess. Maybe you tackled a cleaning job before your busy season, but if not, at least these recent oven messes can be handled while they’re relatively fresh. 

We don’t recommend using your oven’s self-cleaner, especially when it’s too cold to air out your house during the process, so set aside some time and put those cleaning gloves on. Check out our smart oven cleaning hacks (such as using a vacuum to clean those crumbs), and don’t forget the oven door and racks. Remember that you can clean your oven with everyday ingredients, such as baking soda and vinegar.

2. Degrease your kitchen backsplash.

It’s easy to forget about cleaning vertical surfaces, including your kitchen backsplash. But with all of the kitchen activity over the last couple of months, there are bound to be greasy splatters all over it. Luckily, the job isn’t too difficult and, dare we say, maybe even satisfying once you’ve got it under control.

Our two favorite methods: using a Magic Eraser or a mixture of hot water, bleach, and powdered Tide laundry detergent applied with a gentle scrub brush then rinsed off (just don’t use this method on natural stone). Cleaning your backsplash will make your whole kitchen feel oh-so fresh and clean!

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

3. Clean out the fridge and freezer.

With all of the make-ahead meals and leftovers during the holidays, your fridge and freezer could no doubt use a reset. As always, cleaning out and re-organizing the fridge and freezer will help you see what you have and what you need to buy, plus in the long run, it can save you time and money by avoiding duplicates. Go for a whole-fridge cleaning, and empty out shelves one by one, toss expired items as necessary, clean the fridge interior before replacing items, and wipe containers before putting them back. Do the same for the freezer. Store items by category wherever you can, and label sections to create an organized system to make it easier to find items.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

4. Wipe down cabinet fronts

Cabinet exteriors are another vertical surface that tend to get neglected. With all of the recent cooking and entertaining, your kitchen cabinet doors could probably use some care. Try using warm soapy water to clean cabinet fronts, focusing your efforts around frequently handled knobs. To degrease wood cabinets, reach for proven winners, such as Cold Pressed Orange Oil Concentrate or TriNova Multi-Surface Cleaner

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Organize and restock the pantry.

Pantry organization isn’t just about making things look good. We all love an aesthetically pleasing pantry, but the most important purpose of pantry organization is making it easy for you to find what you need quickly. After such a busy season, your pantry may have gotten shuffled around and in need of a bit of a facelift.

To impose order once again, take everything out, wipe down shelving, and categorize your supplies. Toss anything that’s expired, take note of what you have and what you might need to replenish, and then replace items by category in the spaces that make the most sense (such as most-used items at eye level). 

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 5 Non-Negotiable Things You Must Clean This Winter