The Ultimate Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Say what you will about it, nobody can deny that the kitchen is one of the most important parts of the place you live. Sure, we spend more time in our bedrooms, living rooms, and – lately – home offices, but without the kitchen a house is not a home. 

The kitchen is the place where nourishing meals are made, family traditions and memories are started, and creativity is expressed for those who love to cook. It’s also a utilitarian room, and takes a heavy load of work – sometimes messy work. 

Whether you’re aiming for TV commercial levels of clean or just want to improve your tidiness habits in each room of your home, it helps to have a kitchen cleaning checklist of which tasks to do (and how often). 

For many reasons, it’s important to keep your kitchen clean, not the least of which is personal health and safety. Let this kitchen cleaning checklist, broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, help keep one of your home’s most important rooms clean and safe for many meals to come.

Kitchen Cleaning Tools

Before you get started tackling your kitchen for that much-needed cleaning it deserves, it helps to make sure you have everything you’ll need.

Having the right cleaning tools is as important as having a checklist with all the chores you need to tackle. This saves you time and makes the cleaning session run smoothly. Below you’ll find a list of all the supplies you’ll need to leave your kitchen sparkling. 

  • Dish soap 
  • Soft sponge or scrub brush
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Baking soda for tough stains, weird smells and burnt-on messes 
  • White vinegar
  • Sweeper
  • Abrasive sponge (for stubborn spots, scuffs, smudges and stains)

Daily Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Having a daily kitchen cleaning checklist is a must for three reasons. One, it will help you create a cleaning habit; two, you won’t accumulate chores; and three, it will help you maintain your kitchen tidy – and sanitary – throughout the week.

Deal with the Dishes

Whether you use a dishwasher or wash dishes by hand, set a time in the day to deal with the dishes. You don’t want to wake up the next day with a pile of dirty dishes sitting in your sink.

Wipe and Sanitize Countertops

Grab a cloth and brush away any debris from your countertops. Then, grab a sponge, add warm water and soap, and scrub your countertop to remove any dried stains. As an alternative, you could use a spray or chemical wipe to ensure your counters are sanitized.

Wipe Out and Clean the Sink 

It’s common to wash food down the sink, so the first thing you’ll do is to remove any leftover food; you can wash smaller debris down and run the garbage disposal to clear the system, if you have one. 

Then, grab a soft sponge, dampen it, and add a few drops of dish soap. Scrub the sides of the sink and then remove the soap with hot water. 

Wipe Down the Cooktop 

You want your cooktop to be free from splits, splatters, and smears by the end of each day. The cleaning process is quite simple. Just add a few drops of dish soap to a damp microfiber cloth and start wiping down the cooktop. This will remove all the grease and grime. Remember to rinse the cloth multiple times while you’re cleaning so you don’t leave soap residue on the cooktop. 

Tidy Up Stray Items 

Cleaning your kitchen isn’t just about washing dirty dishes. It’s also about having everything in the right place. Pick up anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen and put it in its proper home.

Sweep the Floor

Give your kitchen floor a quick sweep every day, preferably at night to keep debris and dust at bay. 

Weekly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Once a week, take your kitchen cleaning a little further. We’ve devised a kitchen cleaning checklist with all the spots that require weekly attention- remember you’ll be doing these tasks in addition to the daily ones.

Sort through Leftover Items in the Fridge

Most homeowners have hectic schedules, so it’s easy to get your fridge overflowing with leftovers from the meals you’ve made and ordered. Set aside 10 minutes and do fridge inventory. Anything more than a week old should be tossed. If you have leftovers in good condition, you can freeze them for a future meal or add them to this week’s meal plan.

Clean the Outside of Appliances

It’s time to get rid of those greasy fingertips on your fridge, microwave, and any other appliances. Wet a microfiber cloth and add a few drops of liquid soap. Then wash the surfaces gently. Make sure to always use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the surface. 

Clean inside the Microwave

Your microwave is another appliance that easily gets dirty. Luckily, cleaning it is quite simple. All you need is a microfiber cloth, white vinegar, water, and a bowl. Fill the bowl with warm water and add two spoons of white vinegar. Then, place the bowl inside the microwave and heat it on high power until it comes to a boil. 

Let the bowl sit for at least three minutes so that the steam loosens the food. Open the door and remove the bowl and the turntable. Then, grab a damp microfiber cloth and wipe down the ceiling, sides, and edges. Wash the turntable and then place it back again. 

Deep Clean the Sink

Your kitchen sink is one of the dirtiest places in your home. If you don’t properly clean your sink, bacteria can build up, and even odors can start to form in it. 

First, from half a cup of baking soda down the drain to deodorize your sink. Then, spray all-purpose cleaner, grab a sponge and scrub your sink. After you’ve scrubbed the sink, grab a cloth and rinse it with warm water. Finally, run some hot water down the drain to remove the baking soda you poured initially.

Sanitize Sponges

Sanitizing sponges is essential to keep your kitchen clean and safe. Sponges are like magnets for bacteria. Considering you use sponges to clean other appliances and parts of the kitchen, you need them to be sanitized. Otherwise, you’d just be spreading bacteria all over the kitchen. Sanitizing sponges is very simple: just boil them in hot water for five minutes, or saturate the sponge and pop it into the microwave for 60 seconds. (Note: you must make sure your sponge is wet – a dry sponge will catch fire in the microwave!)

Mop the Floor

Move any furniture from the kitchen and mop the floor. Mopping is essential to remove stains and splatters as well as for keeping all the dust at bay. 

Replace Dish Towels with Clean Ones

No one rule fits all when it comes to how often you should change your kitchen towels. It mainly depends on how much you use them and what you use them for. As a general rule, change them once a week.

Empty the Trash

Like kitchen towels, you may need to empty the trash more than once a week, depending on how big your family is, how much waste you generate, or even when your city picks up household trash.

Monthly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

In your monthly kitchen cleaning checklist, you’ll deal with the spots that get neglected, either because you don’t see them or because they take longer to clean. Don’t forget: these tasks should be done once a month in addition to the daily and weekly tasks already discussed.  

Inventory Pantry Items

Take a good look at your pantry and evaluate all the items. First, remove what’s outdated and what you won’t eat (you can donate these items to a shelter). Then, take note of what needs to be restocked.

Clean Out the Refrigerator and Wipe Down Shelves and Drawers

Most people just put things in the fridge – as long as the items fit and you can find them, then it’s okay, right? With this approach, things can get messy pretty quickly. 

So, first things first, you have to empty the fridge. Just pull everything out and get it on your counter. Then, remove the baskets and shelves. Now, spray an all-purpose cleaner on the interior of your fridge and let it sit. Do the same with the baskets and shelves. Grab a microfiber cloth and wipe down the fridge’s interior, working from top to bottom. Next, take a damp sponge and tackle each shelf and basket. Rinse the shelves and baskets with water, dry them, and put them back in the fridge.

Clean the Oven

While it’s probably the most-hated task by homeowners, cleaning the oven must be included in your deep clean kitchen checklist. Don’t worry, though. We’ll try to keep it simple but effective. 

First, remove the oven racks. Grab an abrasive sponge or a scraper and remove any buildup. Then grab a paper towel to clean the grime you removed. Now make a cleaning solution; four parts baking soda, one part dish soap, and one part water. Then stir it up until a thick paste forms. Apply the paste on the sides and door of your oven and let it sit for a few minutes. 

Next, remove the drawer and wipe down any of the debris. Spray some all-purpose cleaning solution and give it a good scrub using a sponge. Then, use a wet microfiber cloth and rinse the drawer. 

Now get back to the oven. Grab a bowl of water and a sponge, and scrub the inside. Finally, use a damp cloth to rinse the inside of the oven. Don’t panic just yet. 

Clean the Dishwasher 

Cleaning your dishwasher is a piece of cake. All you have to do is measure a cup of white vinegar. Then, open your dishwasher, dump the vinegar in the bottom, close it back up, and run the longest and hottest cycle that you can. And voilà! Your dishwasher will look brand new.

Wipe Down Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Cabinet doors and drawers can get really greasy. To clean them down, just get a microfiber cloth wet, and wipe everything down. You can use a toothbrush to remove pesky stains or splatters.

Degrease the Top of Cabinets and Refrigerator

To clean the top of your cabinets and fridge you’ll need a stepladder. First, dust the top using a damp microfiber cloth. Next, spray a generous amount of all-purpose cleaning solution on top of your cabinet and fridge and let it sit for a few minutes. Get another microfiber cloth wet and wipe clean the surfaces. Repeat until all the cabinet and fridge tops are clean.

Clean and Sanitize Trash Can 

Last but not least, you have to clean the trash can. To disinfect your can, pour in a little bleach, add some water and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe down the inside with a scrub brush. Finally,  rinse with warm water and let it dry before putting a new bag in.

Yeah, we know: this is a lot. But for many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and also an important area to keep clean for your family’s health.

While you can definitely start to tackle the daily tasks on your own, you might want help with the weekly and/or monthly tasks – and we can help with that if you don’t want to do them!


  • Jacob W. Bailey

    Jacob is the Cleveland-based founder and CEO of Summit Maids, a local cleaning company with a mission to make a mark on its community by providing good jobs to more than 1,000 people.

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