How to Effectively Manage Your Deep Clean Kitchen Checklist

Updated on March 29, 2022 by Joseph D. Nielson

Table of Contents

Happy woman wearing gloves and cleaning oven with spray bottle and cloth

A clean kitchen is more inviting, allowing you to cook more meals at home and enjoy fresh and healthy food. However, the kitchen is a hub of activity, and it needs to be deep-cleaned from time to time to maintain its aesthetics and keep it from spreading germs. 

Even with a frequent cleanup schedule, dust and food leftovers can reach hard-to-find places and pile up. You may even find yourself forgetting to clean some areas, especially if you don’t have a clear cleaning plan in place.

A comprehensive deep clean checklist can guide you through your kitchen cleaning routine and ensure you don’t miss any spots.

Why Should You Use a Checklist?

A checklist is a detailed planner to track completed and incomplete tasks when working on a larger project. 

It’s not necessary to deep clean your entire kitchen in one day. To make it more manageable for your schedule, you can use a checklist to know exactly what you have done and what you still need to do. 

This checklist is utterly essential for ensuring that your kitchen is cleaned as thoroughly as possible in the least amount of time. 

How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen

Gather Everything You Need

Proper preparation is essential when attempting to deep clean a kitchen. You don’t want to be halfway through cleaning and realize you don’t have critical supplies, which could halt your cleaning process.

Have this checklist ready, turn on your favorite tunes or podcast, and get ready to start cleaning!

You will need:

  • Trash bags and cans
  • Boxes
  • Step stool
  • Mop
  • Duster
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Dish sponges
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Cleaning solutions for every kitchen area
  • Glass polish
Planner and writing materials

Homemade Kitchen Cleaning Solutions

Making your own cleaning supplies lets you determine how acidic the solution is. You can adjust the ingredients to fit each specific kitchen surface with homemade cleaning solutions. These are the must-have ingredients you need for effective kitchen cleaning:

Baking Soda

Baking soda will work on grease stains and protein messes because it’s not that harsh. This chemical comes in a fine powder that scrubs gently without scratching. You can use baking soda to eliminate foul odors as well. Baking soda is readily available in most kitchens and is more affordable than most proprietary cleaning solutions.

Hydrogen Peroxide 

This is a unique bleaching agent that breaks down into water and oxygen. You can use it to replace chlorine bleaches. When this occurs, hydrogen peroxide releases free radicals that are highly effective against kitchen stains and messes.

White Vinegar 

White vinegar is an excellent descaler. It works well on grease stains and protects surfaces against mold or other alkaline substances. If you’re looking to remove stains in your kitchen, white vinegar is a great solution.

Essential Oils

These are perfect for enhancing the smell of your homemade cleaning solutions.


You will need to do a light decluttering of your kitchen. 

Step 1: Make sure that your countertops are clear from any food or kitchen items. Start at your pantry and carefully place everything on your countertops. This will make everything easier to sort, and it will also give you a chance to organize your pantry efficiently.

Step 2: Look at all the boxes for expiration dates, and get rid of anything expired. If you’ve changed your dietary tastes, place any food you no longer like in a donation box.

Step 3: Remove old shelf liners. Use an efficient duster to remove dust from the shelves. In a bucket, add some water and mild soap.

Step 4: Wet a microfiber cloth with the soap water, then wring it. Wipe the shelves with the fabric and then replace the liners when done. Reorganize the food in the pantry. If you find items that don’t belong in your pantry, put them in their rightful spot in your house. 

Start from the Top

When cleaning an extensive area such as a kitchen, it’s better to start at the top near the ceiling and progressively make your way downwards as you clean.

Walls, Doors, and Windows

Start with all coverings, including window curtains and blinds. You can run them through a wash and dry cycle as you clean.

Use a duster to clear out any dust on the window sill before going in with a soapy microfiber cloth. Dusting before cleaning any glass surface prevents dirt streaks. Rinse the fabric, then clean the window and any other glass surfaces, including the kitchen door (if any), using glass polish.

Woman spraying cleaning solution on window

Lighting Fixtures

This is the perfect time to check your lighting fixtures. If any bulbs are broken or no longer working, remove them and replace them.

Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers

Empty Drawers & Cabinets

Remove everything from drawers and cabinets and leave enough walking space. Put similar items together, e.g., plastic containers can go in the same place and be arranged according to size. This is the best time to eliminate unnecessary things you’ve been hoarding, like unmatching kitchen utensils, containers with no lids, etc.

Create Cleaning Solution

Fill a spray bottle with warm soapy water. You can replace mild soap with a cleaning solution of your choice. Start with the highest kitchen cabinets. If you can’t reach the cabinets, then use a step stool.

Use the Solution

Spray the solution on the cupboard and cabinet tops and wipe with a dry microfiber cloth. Line your cabinet tops with disposable wax paper to make it easier for yourself the next time you clean your kitchen. Then, all you will have to do is get rid of the dusty paper and be left with clean tops.

Clean Items You Took Out

Remember to place everything you’ll dispose of near the door to make it easier to transport to the disposal bin.

Now, clean all the items you took out from the cabinets and drawers. You can choose to hand wash the items or use a dishwasher. Dry all the dishes, pots, and pans after being washed and place them on a dryer rack. You can also dry the items with a microfiber cloth and return them to their designated areas.

Clean Small Appliances

Step 1: Start with small appliances, scrub every washable device with a dish sponge and warm, soapy water, then rinse. Remember to get any accumulated grime on the outside of the 

appliances too. Put these away, drain the sink, and clean the sink’s rubber gasket.

Step 2: When cleaning a coffee maker, pour a mild detergent inside it and fill it with hot water. Let the soapy water sit for about half an hour to remove any dirt and grime. Coffee makers don’t need a thorough wash.

Step 3: Place a cup of water in the microwave and let it boil. Keep the water in the microwave for a minute, remove it, and wipe the now clean microwave with a microfiber cloth. Clean the oven next using oven cleaner or baking soda.

Woman cleaning dish in sink with a brush

Clean Large Appliances

Step 1: Remove everything in your refrigerator, clean the interior, and get rid of any leftovers you won’t eat. Place the empty containers on the sink. Place all spoiled food in a garbage bag.

Step 2: Clean all the shelves and refrigerator doors with a microfiber cloth and remove the ice cube trays. Clear the trays of any old ice cubes, clean them, and place them back in the fridge.

Step 3: Carefully arrange your food items in the refrigerator. The best way to organize them is by placing all related food groups together before cleaning the outside. Remember to get rid of all grease stains.

Step 4: Move your fridge and clean the floor behind it using a mop and a bucket of warm soapy water, then return it. Repeat this process with the freezer.

Step 5: Place any dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run a wash cycle. When clean, wipe the dishes with a clean, dry cloth and place them in their respective cabinets.

Step 6: To clean the dishwasher, use a dish sponge dipped in a cleaning solution to scrub the interior and outside. This removes any stuck food items or grease from the surfaces.

Step 7: Fill a small cereal bowl with white vinegar for a thorough clean and place it in the dishwasher. 

Step 8: Run a wash cycle and let the vinegar freshen the dishwasher. White vinegar is an excellent natural descaler and disinfectant and is excellent at removing foul odors from dishwashers. 

Clean the Sink

Step 1: Start by cleaning the drains. Use a suitable drain cleaner to clear up anything stuck on the drain pipes. Use scented drain cleaners for an even fresher smell.

Step 2: Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the sink. Here, you can use dish soap or baking soda to remove any remaining grease on the sink. You can even mix baking soda and vinegar to make a disinfectant solution. Rinse the sink by letting the water run from the faucet.

Step 3: Wet a clean cloth with vinegar or disinfectant and wipe the faucets and knobs.

Woman smiling while wearing gloves and cleaning stovetop with spray and cloth

Clean Stovetop and Countertops

Once the sink is clean, it is time to clean the stovetop and countertops.

Step 1: In a clean bucket, add warm water and soap. If you have a gas stovetop, remove all the pot grates and drop them into the soapy water mix. For electric ovens, remove the coils and place them in a soapy water mix.

Step 2: Check whether there’s a tray underneath the burners. Some stovetops use these trays to collect solid spillages. Remove the tray, scrub down the surface with a soapy sponge, and then run a wet rug to remove the soap. 

Step 3: Clean the hood fan and hood fan filter. Return the pot grates to the stovetop.

Step 4: Spray disinfectant on the countertops, wipe them with a soapy cloth and then dry them with a dry cloth.

Polish All Exterior Surfaces

Cleaning surfaces with soapy water and disinfectant isn’t always enough to return them to their original shine. Use a dry cloth to wipe every surface until it is visibly shinier. 

Pro tip: to get the perfect shine, clean along the grain of the surfaces and not against it.

Clear the Trash

Remember to recycle your waste by putting everything you’re getting rid of in the correct garbage bins. Place any trash and garbage bins by the door as you clean. You should also clean the trash cans in the kitchen and place them upside down outside the house to dry out excess moisture.

For products that need to be donated, find community shelters that may need extras and drop them off. Ensure you aren’t taking expired food products to donation sites.

Final Cleaning Portion

Hang Curtains 

Once the curtains are done drying, please return them to the windows. 

Wipe Dining Set & Other Components

If your dining set is in the kitchen, wipe the kitchen chairs, table, and stools. This is also the perfect time to disinfect them. Place all dirty kitchen towels and microfiber cloths in the washer. Find all electric outlet covers and light switches and wipe them. Look for all knobs, including on cabinets and drawers, and clean them as well.

Sweep the Floor

Next, sweep the kitchen floor. We don’t recommend vacuuming because debris may get caught up in the machine and damage it. Mop the floor using warm soapy water. You can use proprietary cleaners or make a homemade cleaning solution, and this is the best time to remove stains and clean the grout.

Man sweeping kitchen floor

Apply Floor Conditioner

When you’re done cleaning your floor, apply an appropriate floor conditioner. There are several conditioners, including granite, tile, and floor polishes.

Refill or Replace Kitchen Items

Fill up or replace the necessary kitchen items, including salt and pepper shakers, hand soap, dish soap, dish towels, and aprons.

How to Ensure That You Stick to Your Deep Cleaning Checklist

Keep Checklist Handy

We recommend printing out a checklist like this one to have a physical copy on hand. This way, you can use a pen to mark or cross off each item, which will keep you focused and efficient. But if you prefer to take the digital route, remember to keep the checklist handy on your device.

Clean Spills Immediately

Although you may need to follow a schedule for many cleaning steps, you don’t need to wait until the scheduled cleaning time to clean spillages. The good thing about cleaning as the spill occurs is that your surfaces won’t stain, and it’ll be difficult for dirt to pile up.

Declutter Whenever Possible

It would help if you also decluttered as you go. We understand that some items have sentimental value, but a cluttered kitchen is aesthetically unappealing and can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Clutter also takes up much-needed storage space.

Take it One Step At a Time

Take on each kitchen area one at a time. Some chores may be tedious, and you may feel the need to skip to the next step. We don’t recommend doing this. The advantage of the checklist is the step-by-step arrangement.

Routine Kitchen Cleanup Tips

A deep clean doesn’t happen every day, and you’ll need to set up a regular cleaning routine so that your deep clean isn’t too much work. There are many small things that you should be doing in your kitchen daily that can make a big difference. 

Do the Dishes: Try to do the dishes and wipe down the countertops after every meal. Dirty dishes and countertops are a breeding ground for bacteria, so get them out of the way as soon as possible.

Keep Documents Away: It’s easy to let mail and essential documents hang around the kitchen, but accidents happen, and you may lose vital information. Place all paperwork in designated drawers away from the kitchen.

Clean the Floors: Vacuum the kitchen floor regularly. If there’s a big mess, sweep and mop the floor instead.

Keep Sink Dry: Always clean the kitchen sink and dry it after washing the dishes or making a meal.

Line Your Trash Cans: Line your trash cans with trash bags to prevent kitchen waste from sticking to them.

Final thoughts

A routine and checklist is an excellent way to efficiently clean your kitchen and keep your house in tip-top condition. 

This article gives you an easy step-by-step guide to cleaning your kitchen without any stress or hassle. All you need are a few cleaning supplies and a little bit of time, and you can easily restore your kitchen to a nearly brand-new state. Don’t forget to clean daily so that your kitchen builds up less dirt and debris over time. 

A sparkling clean kitchen will uplift your food and motivate you to cook delicious meals every day! 

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!