If you’re familiar with CMS lingo, you’ve probably heard me say the word MIA before, and I don’t mean missing in action! At Clean My Space, MIA stands for “Most Important Areas.” And as the name suggests, these are the areas that I like to focus on when I’m cleaning because they count the most for me. 

Knowing your MIAs is the key to how to clean fast. And when it comes to the kitchen, knowing how to clean fast is clutch because we spend so much time cleaning kitchen messes! Think about it; three meals a day adds up to a lot of cleaning. So that’s why I want to share my kitchen cleaning tips and tricks, so we can all get the heck out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. 

I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen because it means I have to face dishes and countertops before I’ve even had my tea. That’s why I’ve developed a quick and easy 10-minute kitchen cleaning routine. This is something I can do every day to keep my kitchen looking good and to ensure I never have to wake up to a messy kitchen!

loading the dishwasher

1. Dirty Dishes

After a full day, you probably have a bunch of dishes, lunch containers, utensils, pots and pans, that kind of stuff, all piled up. I start by clearing all the plates—I throw food into the compost bin. Then, I load everything into the dishwasher and turn it on. That way, I wake up to clean dishes. And if anything needs to be hand washed (think knives, cutting boards, etc.), this is the time to do it.

If you’re spending a lot of time on dishes, I recommend you check out my article, 12 Essential Products to Perfect Your Dishwashing Routine. If you’re not using the right sponges, soap brushes, and more, your dishwashing routine can take way longer than it should, and nobody wants that.

2. Kitchen Counter Organization

Something people often overlook in their cleaning routine is decluttering. Decluttering is something that can take minutes but make such a huge difference to the appearance of your space. I actually have a whole article series called 10 Things to Toss on decluttering different parts of your home. 

For kitchen counters, the same principles apply. I put away anything that I’ve taken out to cook with or use during the day. I like my counters to look neat and clutter-free. I also line everything up parallel or perpendicular to the edge of the surface, which adds a clean symmetrical look—it really does make a big difference. Finally, I’ll give the counters a quick wipe-down with my DIY all-purpose cleaner.

clean the counters

3. Spot Cleaning

Now that I have dishes and counters out of the way, I look for those glaring, gross areas that need a quick touch-up. We’re not talking about a complete cleaning here; we’ll just tackle the really obvious things that catch your eye. 

I pay special attention to glass and stainless steel that have fingerprints, drip marks, or splatters. For this quick cleaning, I use a really simple DIY recipe: one cup white vinegar and one cup of water. I put that in a spray bottle and use it for this spot cleaning. Check out my article How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances for more information.

4. Clean the Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink is like the bed of the bedroom—if the sink is dirty, the whole kitchen looks dirty. Just like if the bed isn’t made, the whole bedroom looks dirty. I always wait until the very end to clean my sink because (obviously) I’m using it throughout this cleaning, and I don’t want to clean anything twice. 

For my 10-minute cleaning routine, I just give the sink a wipe down and toss any food into the compost. When you’re doing a more thorough cleaning, read my Sink Cleaning Secrets for how to give your sink a good deep clean.

5. Take Out the Garbage

The last thing I do in my 10-minute kitchen cleaning routine is a garbage check. If they’re just about full, whether it’s regular garbage or compost, I know that it’s time to empty it. There’s nothing worse than a kitchen that smells like garbage!

If your kitchen is still smelling ripe after you toss the trash, that’s a sign you need to clean your garbage can. Insert groan here as this is no one’s favorite chore. But when the time comes, I have you covered with my article How to Clean Your Garbage Can.

How to Clean the Kitchen 

If you clean your kitchen daily, you can avoid having to do a huge clean at the end of the week. Plus, it’s way more relaxing to enjoy a morning coffee or tea in a clean kitchen than beside a pile of dirty dishes. 

If you spend more than 10 minutes on this kitchen cleaning routine, you might need to deep clean your kitchen and reset the space. But keeping up with regular maintenance cleaning will help you and your space feel so much better!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Hi Melissa thanks for your 10 minutes kitchen routine tips, I love to cook but not on the cleaning part. This article definitely improved my cleaning or at least faster than before. Keep it up!

  2. Hey, Melissa! I also have a 10-minute kitchen cleaning routine, although it’s more like 15 minutes. The only difference is that I do it in the evening because I don’t like to go to sleep knowing that the kitchen is messy. Also, I usually don’t have a lot of time in the mornings.
    I don’t have a dishwasher so I have to wash dishes with hands. But that’s not really a problem as I love to do it. What’s interesting is that I hate to clean just one mug, for example. I need much more than that so I could have that desire to do something.
    But otherwise all those things you mentioned in the article – it’s how I do it 🙂

  3. Hi Melissa and Chad and baby! I have been watching your YouTube channel for quite a while and love your videos and recommendations! I hope that you have a trick for this problem:
    I recently received an Instant Pot as a gift. I truly LOVE it to prepare meals. What I do not love about it is that the silicone lid sealing ring tends to take on the smell of whatever has been cooked in the pot in the past. So far I have only used it a handful of times and the ring is already pretty bad. I have tried removing it and washing, storing it with the lid inverted with a sachet of baking soda as well as soaking it in a glass baking dish of water with vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. Still no luck. Unless I can find a successful way to treat this ring that is only 2 months old, I think that I am going to need to buy a couple of replacement rings and only use this one for the more fragrant, savory dishes. Help!

  4. Melissa you gave a demonstration on how to clean carbon from pots and pans. You had one pan you said you purchased for your demonstration that you said could not be cleaned. That pan can be cleaned very easily … but you may need to go to the garage to clean it, but it could save the cost of buying another pan, and that ugly one still has YEARS of use left in it!!!! Okay it’s simple … spray carburator cleaner or brake cleaner on the ugly scorched on varnished carbon, let it set 5 minutes and it will wipe right off. Sometimes it will wipe right off with out sitting at all. Seafoam should work too, but seafoam may cost more than the pan. HA! You still owe me that KISS!!!????


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