The kitchen is the heart of the home, where food is created and where friends and families get together. This is why kitchens are designed nowadays in modern homes and in renovations more as a ‘living space’ instead of just a room to cook in. As one of the most used places in the home, it also means it is the space that needs the most cleaning and maintenance.
We are able to neglect the maintenance of other rooms in the home and not suffer such bad consequences, but the kitchen requires active maintenance. The kitchen is the place that we prepare our food, so somewhere that really does need looking after. A dirty and under-maintained kitchen can lead to a build-up of dirt, grime, bacteria, and other unwanted things such as pests, fires, and clogged pipes.
It is believed the best kitchen practice is to have a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance checklist. This enables everything to be cleaned when it needs to be, which can put your mind at ease that your kitchen really is a safe space to live in. This article explains five important kitchen maintenance tasks which should be added to your maintenance checklist to keep everything working smoothly.
1. Clean the Surfaces as You Go
Cleaning the kitchen surfaces is a task which is a good practice for general hygiene. This includes mopping up things such as spills as soon as they have happened. The Food Standards Agency estimates that there are 2.4 million cases of foodborne illness per year in the UK. This is why it is so important to regularly disinfect the surfaces on which you prepare food, so that you do not become ill.
It is important to purchase the correct cleaning tools. As a general rule, it is discouraged to use harsh chemicals on kitchen surfaces, as it is where you prepare food, so you do not want to use anything which may cause stomach irritation. Instead, mild cleaning solutions like diluted dish soap are great to tackle the job.
2. Have a Place for Everything
As well as clean surfaces improving your mood, productivity, and the aesthetic, they make it easier to clean properly. This is important to stop the build up of dirt and grime around these objects. Identifying all non-kitchen related clutter and putting it back where it belongs, whether it be in the lounge or the bedroom, this can make a huge difference to the overall tidiness of work surfaces. Cleaning around objects that are lying about is not enough!
As well as this, it is important to have a place to store all of your kitchen appliances and utensils when you do not need them. Having a cutlery drawer for all your cutlery and utensils, having a cupboard for your glasses and mugs, or a drawer for all of your tea towels really does make a big difference in making it much easier to tidy things away.
3. Ensure Appliances Are Running at the Correct Temperatures
When appliances are a few years old or they are used a lot, they can become unknowingly faulty to the user. Something that commonly happens is appliances such as fridges, freezers, and ovens not running at the correct temperatures. For example, you may think your oven is cooking something at 180 °C, but actually it is running 20 °C lower, leading to the incorrect cooking and potentially causing food poisoning. This is similar to fridges and freezers, whereby food is not being stored at the correct temperatures and bacteria is continuing to grow.
Thermometers can be bought to hang in your appliances to see whether they are working correctly, at the correct temperature. This maintenance check is important when using appliances. This simple maintenance trick of checking the temperatures can potentially save you a lot of stomach upset if the appliances are not running at the temperatures they say they are.
4. Maintain Your Drainage Systems
Problems with your drainage systems generally become noticeable when it is too late, such as an overflowing drain or a smell coming from the sink. This is why it is important to proactively maintain your drainage systems as a preventative measure. Using a drain guard to stop debris going down the sink or regularly using a drain cleaning solution to wash away any food or oil that may be down the sink can be effective in stopping the clog before it is too late and you need to call in a professional.
It is also important to be careful with what you are putting down your sink. Drainage Care UK, who help homeowners with blocked drains in Southampton, recommend not putting cooking grease down your sink which can cause major drainage issues, instead it is best practice to put them in a sealed container and into the bin.
5. Clean the Inside and Outsides of Your High-risk Appliances
It is extremely important to clean your appliances, this stops the build-up of dirt and bacteria. The build up of dirt in a high-risk appliance, such as an oven, can be extremely dangerous. There are about 37,000 house fires a year in the UK, the majority of which are caused by electrical equipment misuse, mainly cooking appliances. This means cleaning appliances is of great importance. Other appliances such as a microwave, toaster, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, and stove top also need regular cleaning, around once a month or if there is a noticeable build up of dirt.
Ready to Maintain your Kitchen?
As the kitchen is such an integral part of the home, it is important that it is clean, tidy, and everything is working. Following these five simple maintenance tasks will allow for a healthy and happy kitchen. There does not need to be a deep clean every day, instead it is useful to make a plan of what needs to be done when, this will help you to organise the maintenance of your kitchen and help visualise and motivate you to do so.
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