Special Kitchen Cleaning Challenges

Rout the dirt and bring sparkle to the kitchen with these cleaning tips for ovens, stove tops and sink and counter areas.

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Homemade Baking Soda Cleaner DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sink and Under-Sink Area

Sanitation is the name of the game when it comes to cleaning sinks and the areas beneath them. Moisture, food waste and the hygiene challenges of meat and poultry preparation mean that the wet area of the kitchen can become a happy breeding ground for bacteria. Under the sink, drainpipes and garbage disposal units harbor germs and odors. The presence of moisture combined with holes necessary for plumbing fixtures creates an attractive home for insects, mold and mildew.

Spray and Wipe: Use a disinfecting all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle to clean sink surfaces, fixtures and rim. Rout dirt from the base of the faucet or around the rim, with a cleaning toothbrush and then wipe dry with a cleaning cloth.

Get Tough: If stubborn deposits or stains require an abrasive cleaner, use powdered cleanser on ceramic sinks but only inside the sink. It's too hard to rinse powdered cleanser from sink rims or countertops.

Keep the Shine: For stainless-steel sinks, use a paste of baking soda and water applied with a cotton cleaning cloth, or use a commercial product specially formulated for cleaning these sinks. Avoid powdered cleanser; its abrasive qualities can scratch the surface of the steel.

Out Stubborn Spot: Use full-strength white vinegar to tackle water spots in the sink. Spray or pour it on generously, let stand and then rub the spots with a scrubbing pad.

Clean and Fresh: Under the sink, clean the cabinet walls, doors and the cabinet floor with a disinfecting all-purpose cleaner. Wipe them dry with cleaning cloths, and then leave the cabinet doors open for at least two hours, to permit the area to dry completely.

Microwave Oven

Because microwaves cook food from the inside out, there's less heat buildup to harden foods inside the oven. Take a gradual approach to microwave cleaning.

"As in the game of life, the best defense against stove-top dirt is offense. Wipe up stove spills immediately."

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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