How I Clean My Kitchen

Want to know the secret to cleaning a kitchen? Me too. What I’ve learned over the years is that cleaning a kitchen thoroughly can be done really well in a decent amount of time with a good method and the right products and tools.  Recently, we’ve been doing these ‘Clean With Me’ videos and they’ve been a hit!  People just love watching a space move from disaster zone status to pristine.  In the video, I demo my ‘3 wave’ method for cleaning and some good general kitchen cleaning practices.  I recommend watching the video, but let’s do a little exploring into my methods, shall we?

dirty sink

dirty countermessy kitchen

The Three Wave System

In this video, as with any of my ‘Clean With Me’ videos, I use my ‘three wave’ system.  I talk about this a lot in our content, and that’s because it just works.  I’ll review each wave’s purpose and how it applies to cleaning a kitchen.  Why a wave?  Well, I needed a name for this method and when I thought about it, a wave sweeps a surface in a very consistent manner, leaving it clear for the next wave.  Plus it’s a nice visual and I think when it comes to cleaning, daydreaming about a beach and ocean isn’t a bad thing.

emptying garbage

Wave One

The first wave involves decluttering, getting rid of garbage and tidying any space.  It’s nearly impossible to clean a cluttered, messy space – at least not without feeling really overwhelmed and wasting a bunch of time.  Instead, have a laundry basket for misplaced items, a garbage and recycling container handy and work your way around the room in a clockwise motion so that you don’t forget anything as you tidy.  In the kitchen, I also took this opportunity to place dirty dishes in front of the dishwasher and left loading until the end, so that I didn’t waste time.  I placed boxes, containers and bags in their rightful homes.  I hand washed a couple of items including my French press and blender jar and set those aside to dry.  Now, I don’t have to think about dishes or any clutter and can get rolling with the second wave.

load dishwasher

Wave Two

This involves the actual cleaning; polishing, dusting, disinfecting.  I take a few microfiber cloths, a spray bottle filled with my disinfecting all-purpose cleaner and I also keep baking soda handy for any tough spills or stains.

clean counter

Starting at my same starting point as I did in wave one (for this, I used the fridge), I spray the stainless steel and clean my way around the room working top to bottom.  As I move onto a new section, I’ll move anything on the surface out of the way to an area that I have not cleaned yet (the floor, or the counter surface beside me) to clear the space for the best possible clean.  Next, I spray the top cupboards, the backsplash, the counter and the lower cupboard fronts.  If I notice anything is particularity challenging, I’ll sprinkle baking soda over the surface and allow it to sit for a few moments (and I actually do this before I start the second wave, to allow the product the full opportunity to dwell and work its magic). I wipe repeating the same order, top cupboards, backsplash, counter, lower cupboards, then wipe each item over the floor or an unclean surface and replace it where it belongs.  Done.

Working this way section by section yields efficient and beautiful results.  Tossing crumbs onto the floor is a great time saver when you consider your precious time wasted running to the sink or garbage each time you find a Cheerio.  The floor gets cleaned in the third wave, so go ahead and dump on it!  The only area you don’t clean during this wave is the sink, and that’s because you’ll need to keep using it throughout your work – why bother cleaning it several times?  We’ll leave that to wave three.

Wave Three

The third and final wave involves cleaning and polishing the sink and faucet, emptying the garbage and recycling and cleaning the floors.  Since I don’t need to clean anything (for the moment) so the sink is safe for polishing.

cleaning a sink
I spray it well and sprinkle in some baking soda, then scrub for a moment including the drain and drain covers and rinse with hot water.  I I finish up with polishing dry using a fresh microfiber cloth.  Next, I’ll empty the garbage and recycling containers and replace bag liners as necessary.  Finally, the floors.

sweeping floor

I sweep the floor first, working my way from one end of the room to the other and repeat the same pattern with a mop.  Quick note, try to plan your mopping strategy so that you mop yourself out of the room instead of into a corner!  While the floor dries, you can stare at your pristine kitchen, even if it is indeed only clean until the moisture evaporates off the tiles.

clean kitchen

It took me just over 30 minutes to take my kitchen from fraternity house fab to magazine ready using this system.  It’s amazing and since I’ve started using it, my cleaning has become faster and better without question.  I recommend watching the video so that you can see the three waves in action and start crafting your own strategy as you watch me execute mine.  And, let me know your whole kitchen cleaning secrets in the comments, I always learn so much from you!

pin image kitchen

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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.