NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Kitchen KP

Kitchen KP

Today’s kitchens are centers of food preparation, of entertainment, of family activities, of communication between those living in the household and lots of other activities.  All of those activities generate a need for some serious cleaning. It is very important to have a clean and sanitary work area.. Not only is it easier to cook and bake in a clean kitchen, but clean surfaces and storage containers will keep your family healthier and safer.

General Tips

Have a place for everything. It's much easier to use a utensil or appliance, clean it and put it away when it has a home.

Don't mix ammonia and bleach because it will create toxic fumes.

Identify spots in your kitchen that accumulate clutter and take a few minutes every day to clear those spots and place objects in their correct homes.

Try to end each day with a clean, empty kitchen sink. Not only do you eliminate the opportunity for germs to grow overnight on those dirty dishes but you start the day with a clean kitchen.  

            There is a difference between “clean” and “sanitary. Cleaning involves removing food and dirt.  Sanitizing reduces the number of microorganisms. An item or a countertop cannot be sanitized until it has been cleaned.

Quick Fixes

·         To quickly clean burned food on a pan, add some dish soap and 1/2" of water. Bring to a boil, and then let the liquid cool in the pan. The burned food will be easy to remove.

·         When food spills over and burns on the oven floor, sprinkle a handful of salt on the mess. The smoke will be reduced and the spill easier to clean after the oven cools.

·         To clean your microwave oven, mix together 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar and 2 cups of water in a 4 cup glass microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for two to three minutes. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the microwave with paper towels. Repeat as necessary.

·         To freshen the garbage disposal, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of baking soda down the drain, drop in two ice cubes and turn it on. Then run the hot water for a few minutes while the disposal is working.

·         If plastic from the bread wrapper melts onto your toaster, use a little nail polish remover to get it off. Let the toaster cool before you try this.

·         Clean your coffee maker every few weeks by filling the water reservoir with equal parts white vinegar and water and putting it through the brew cycle. Then use clean fresh water and repeat the brew cycle to rinse the machine. Repeat with fresh water two more times.

·         For lime and mineral deposits on your kitchen sink faucet, wrap vinegar-soaked paper towels around faucets for about an hour. This breaks down the mineral scale, and the chrome will be clean and shiny after buffing with a dry paper towel.

Special Cleaning Needs

Marble or Granite Countertops:  For regular daily cleaning of marble or granite, use a mild dishwashing detergent, warm water and a sponge or soft rag. Be sure to dry completely.  To bring a shine to your marble or granite buy a polish specifically made for them.

Wood Butcher Block   A wood butcher block can take much hard wear and tear, be resurfaced or repaired, and continue looking good for many years.  Be sure to season a new butcher block with mineral oil to prevent staining and absorption of food odors.  Warm the oil slightly and apply oil with a soft cloth, in the direction of the grain.  Allow the oil to soak in between each of the four or five coats required for the initial seasoning. Re-oil the butcher block monthly, or as often as needed.  When cleaning your butcher block do not use excessive amounts of water.  Sanitize your butcher block by dipping it in a dilute bleach solution (1 teaspoon of bleach per quart of water) or spray the surface. Allow to air dry. Do not use higher concentrations of bleach as this will dry the wood surface, causing cracks to form and creating places for bacteria to hide.



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