How to speed-clean your kitchen (because life's short)

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Lifestyle Eva Solo Modern kitchen
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We all have those days where nothing seems to be going right. Add on top of that a messy kitchen and a message from a friend saying that they’re dropping by for a visit within the next hour, and nobody will blame you for feeling a bit… murderous. 

But before you do something you’ll regret later, take a deep breath and switch into problem-solving mode. Adding blood splatter to that already messy white kitchen will only worsen the situation, so let’s rather fix it! 

Of course the best is to have a regular cleaning routine for your kitchen; but for now, this quick cleaning guide will ensure a decent culinary space in 20 minutes or less. 

Let’s start!

1. Your cleaning supplies

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones Harvey Jones Kitchens Classic style kitchen
Harvey Jones Kitchens

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones Kitchens

First things first: your required tools to ensure a clean kitchen. All of your cleaning items need to be kept together in one spot (perhaps in a cleaning bin/basket) to ensure easy access for you. 

Here’s what you’ll need:  

• A microfibre cleaning cloth (this will collect that dirt and grime much better than standard cloths). 

• All-purpose spray (a water bottle with 50/50 vinegar and water and some lemon or grapefruit essential oils ought to do the trick). 

• A microfibre polishing cloth.  

• Dish soap / dishwasher detergent.  

• A scrub brush for dishes.  

• A toothbrush. 

• A broom/dustpan or vacuum.

2. Tackle the food items

Any food and drink on the counters need to be relocated back to the fridge or cupboards. And leftovers need to be stored in air-tight containers in the fridge. 

homify hint: Keep extra rubbish bags at the bottom of your bin to make sure it's never left bagless.

3. Next up: dishes, pots and pans

Lifestyle Eva Solo Modern kitchen
Eva Solo


Eva Solo

After scraping all the dishes as clean as possible into the bin, either place them in the dishwasher, or the sink filled with warm, soapy water. 

Larger pots and pans can be filled with soapy water and left to soak on the countertop.

4. Pick up the rubbish

Pull out waste bins Urban Myth KitchenStorage
Urban Myth

Pull out waste bins

Urban Myth

All garbage items need to be tossed into the bin. Remember to move all recyclable materials into a pile to be put away separately. 

From kitchen planners to gardeners, homify can help you with the expert of your choice; see our professionals page for more details.

5. Pick up all miscellaneous items

Not all loose elements in the kitchen can go in the rubbish. Stuff that don’t belong there (i.e. a book, a sock, unopened post) needs to be put into a basket (and removed out of the kitchen) to be dealt with later.

6. Clean all surfaces

Bring that all-purpose cleaner and wipe/microfibre cloth closer, and spray down that table and countertop(s). Start from one side of the kitchen and work your way to the other. 

Look out for any messes on the cupboard doors and wall surfaces that you can wipe down as well.

7. Wipe down the appliances

Berkshire Kitchen homify Kitchen

Berkshire Kitchen


Tackle your appliances next. Spray down any streaks or messes with water (or your cleaning agent of choice), and follow this up with a microfibre cloth wipe-down.

8. Do the dishes

The Old School House | A Contemporary Family Kitchen in East London Humphrey Munson Classic style kitchen
Humphrey Munson

The Old School House | A Contemporary Family Kitchen in East London

Humphrey Munson

It’s not the most fun job, but someone’s got to do it! Wash those dishes in the sink (if you don’t have a dishwasher, that is) and place them on a drying rack or towel on the counter to drip dry (if there is nobody home that can help you dry). 

Afterwards, wipe down any soapy splatters in the sink / on the faucet.

9. Clean the floor

Do a quick once-over of the floor using your broom or vacuum. 

homify hint: Part of your regular cleaning routine should be to make that kitchen sink shine.  Fill it with very hot water, add one cup of regular bleach, and let it soak for one hour. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Scrub it with some baking soda, and rinse thoroughly again. Add some shine with a glass-cleaning spray, like Windex. Dry thoroughly.

10. Clean the dish cloths

ferm LIVING Image Photos ferm LIVING KitchenAccessories & textiles

ferm LIVING Image Photos


Rinse out your dish cloths and hang them up to dry. Place them in the laundry if dirty.

If you have any dirty scrub brushes or sponges from cleaning the dishes, they can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning.

11. Take out the rubbish

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones Harvey Jones Kitchens Modern kitchen
Harvey Jones Kitchens

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones Kitchens

End your cleaning frenzy by taking the rubbish and recycling outside. Now you (and your kitchen) are ready to receive that guest with open arms! 

Here at homify, we are all about making your life easier, which is why we are sharing with you these: 10 Cleaning Mistakes You're (Probably) Guilty Of.

Did we miss out any crucial cleaning steps?

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