TO CREATE A CLEAN-ASA-WHISTLE KITCHEN…
1 Microfibre cloths pick up more dust and dirt than regular cloths and can be a way of reducing the amount of household cleaners you use.
2 To prevent staining of kitchen tops and bench surfaces, consider coating with a protective sealer, particularly if you have a soft, porous bench, such as marble. Depending on use, these coatings should be reapplied every year or two. Regular cleaning should also be as gentle as possible, using your favourite mild kitchen cleaner or a mix of water and dishwashing liquid.
3 Spring is a great time for breakfast smoothies, but washing a blender can be a chore. Instead, fill it up halfway with water, add a few drops of dish soap and blend on low for 10 seconds. Wipe down with soapy water and a sponge then rinse.
4 Scrub the burnt bottoms of your pans by either soaking them in Coca-cola, or for copper-bottom pans, use tomato sauce or tomato paste (a great way to use up leftovers). Apply it to the bottom of the pan, leave for 10 minutes and scrub with a non-scratch sponge.
5 Get labelling and sorting. Labels are a great way to organise your kitchen and recycle your old jars. Put all of your dry ingredients – flour, pasta, baking soda, salt etc – into jars and label them. You can do the same for your spices.
6 Declutter your cupboards by using a curtain rail to hold pot lids on the wall, or hanging pots and pans from the ceiling.
7 Freshen up the air in your kitchen with vanilla extract. Put two caps-full into an ovenproof dish, then place it in your oven for an hour at 150°C. The smell will waft through your kitchen and other parts of your home for about a day.
8 Recondition stained food storage containers by putting them in the sun, which acts like natural bleach and eliminates stains. Clean them and then leave the containers in the sun for eight hours.
9 Clean your stainless steel appliances with glass cleaner or, for a more natural option, flour. Simply apply a dusting of flour to a microfibre cloth, buff the stainless steel and then rinse off the surface.
10 Clean your dishwasher and oven by running a cleaner through the dishwasher and using a special cleaner for the oven. For a natural option, try baking soda for the oven and white vinegar for the dishwasher. You can use a solution of vinegar and water for the fridge, too.