Sparkle & Smile

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Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Deep Cleaning the Kitchen – Part 2


Deep cleaning the kitchen is a large undertaking with many smaller projects that need your attention.  Try to break down this deep cleaning project in to smaller bites so you don’t become overwhelmed.  That’s why we used two blogs to cover how to deep clean the kitchen and everything in it. If you missed Part 1, click here.

How to clean the oven

Before starting to clean the oven, do a little research and find out if you have a self-cleaning oven and if it still works.  If you’ve ever used oven cleaner or abrasives inside your self-cleaning oven interior, you may have damaged the oven walls, making the self-cleaning feature less effective.  Manual cleaning can also damage the fiberglass gasket that seals the door. So the self-cleaning option is always the best if you can use it.


If manual cleaning is necessary, the safest and most effective method uses baking soda. When cleaning the walls and floors of your oven, make a paste of baking soda and water and “paint” all the oven surfaces. Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and spray the surfaces covered with the paste. When the surfaces are sprayed with the vinegar the baking soda will foam up. The vinegar is activating the lifting action of the baking soda which will remove baked on debris. Continue to spray the oven walls and floors every 10 to 15 minutes. Let the paste sit for at least an hour and then wipe the surfaces clean. Rinse the oven walls with warm water and a microfiber cloth.

Oven racks can be cleaned with Barkeeper’s Friend and a sponge. If you have some really difficult spots you can use a pumice stone to remove them.

How to clean the stove top

Gas burners – Use the same technique used inside the oven on gas top grates. Place the grates in warm water mixed with a de-greasing dish detergent and let them soak for 30 minutes. Rinse them off and “paint” them with the baking soda mixture.  Spray them with the distilled white vinegar and let them sit for an hour or so. Rinse them with warm water and a microfiber cloth. Scrub difficult spots with Barkeeper’s Friend or the pumice stone.

Electric burners – The drip pans on an electric stove can be very difficult and time consuming to clean.  If there’s a heavy build-up of baked on food and grease, you may want to just invest in some new ones. But if there’s only mild to moderate build-up there are a few options to tackle the job.  Remove the drip pans and place them in hot water and dish soap so they can soak for at least an hour. Then place them in a zip lock bag filled with distilled white vinegar and let them soak overnight.  The next day remove them and scrub the tough spots with some Barkeeper’s Friend and a green scrubby sponge. Don’t use a  pumice stone on the drip pans as it will scratch.


Glass stove top – The best trick to clean burn spots is a flat razor. Use a new razor and make sure to hold it at a 45-degree angle. Scrape underneath the build up until you feel the razor gliding over the glass. Use some baking soda and a scrubby sponge to loosen stubborn spots and then use the razor to remove them.

How to clean the dishwasher

It seems a little strange to clean something that cleans, but there are two parts of your dishwasher that need your attention so it will work better. The first spot is the food trap that’s found in the base of the dishwasher. This trap captures food, debris and even pet hair. The trap is either a mesh filter or a tray that can be completely removed and cleaned. The food trap can be the cause of a smelly dishwasher. Food that gets caught in the trap will continue to breakdown and rot with each wash cycle which is why it needs to be a part of your deep cleaning.


The other spots that need to be deep cleaned are the seals around the door, the soap dispenser and the rinse-aid compartment.  Dish washing detergent can build up on each of these seals and create a film that prevent the dishwasher from being water tight. Wiping all these areas with distilled white vinegar will remove the “ick” and keep the seals working the way they should.

How to clean the garbage disposal


There is nothing worse than a stinky disposal. Rotting food on the disposal blades is usually the culprit.  You can remove this buildup by placing ice cubes or frozen lemon peels into the disposal and then running it with cold water until clear. The other smelly spot in your disposal is the underneath of the rubber splash guard. This can be cleaned with baking soda and a toothbrush. Remove the rubber splash guard and sprinkle the guard with baking soda and scrub it with the stiff brush. Rinse with soapy water and replace the rubber guard.

How to clean the kitchen sink


Using a stiff toothbrush, scrub around the faucet and also where the sink connects to the counter top. If you have a sink that is mounted under the counter top, there is a hidden rim that needs your attention.  Use a toothbrush and baking soda to get up underneath this rim. The area gets splashed with food and soap that can build up with mold and mildew.

Follow these tips every quarter and the job becomes easier over time using these tried-and-true techniques that are the most effective and efficient tips on deep cleaning the kitchen.

Follow the link to read Deep Cleaning the Kitchen – Part 1.

For more great green cleaning tips from our DIY Green Cleaning expert, visit

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