We all know that a dirty home can put a damper on your mood, but did you know that a dirty kitchen can even affect your appetite? According to one study, participants who spent time in a messy, disorganized kitchen were more likely to overeat due to their rising stress levels.

In other words, curbing the chaos in your kitchen is always a good idea!

Of course, spending time on the most efficient cleaning tactics is also a smart move, as this ensures that you’re spending less time on the job. Let’s go over some common kitchen cleaning errors you’ll want to avoid to make the room sparkle and shine faster.

1. Cleaning in the Wrong Order

You might think the order in which you clean your kitchen doesn’t matter, but you’d be setting yourself up for a lot more work!

Cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom is always the most efficient method. Otherwise, dirt and debris can fall from a higher surface to a lower one you’ve already cleaned, meaning you’ll have to clean it again.

Make sure you start with any higher areas you want to clean, such as cabinets or countertop appliances, before moving to the counter and stovetop. Cleaning the kitchen floors should always be the last thing you do.

2. Using Only One Towel

Dish towels can be convenient, all-purpose cleaning tools, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on just one of them.

Even if you’ve soaked it in a cleaning solution, that single cloth can pick up hordes of bacteria as you move from one area to the next. This is especially true if you need to avoid cross-contamination from areas where you’ve prepared meat or fish. You’ll also want to avoid reusing the towel you clean your kitchen sink with, as research has found that this area is even dirtier than a toilet.

The same is true of your kitchen sponges, which are hard to clean and carry a lot of bacteria. Be sure to throw out dirty sponges and replace them on a regular basis instead of trying to get them clean.

Switching to a clean towel every now and then ensures that you’re actually removing germs, food particles, and other unsanitary items instead of just spreading them around.

3. Avoiding the Kitchen Sink

Since we’ve brought up the kitchen sink, it’s time to talk about another common mistake: skipping a deep cleaning.

In most households, a lot of food waste passes through the kitchen sink. Though most of it heads down the drain where it belongs, some of it will get caught around the garbage disposal.

This leftover food, combined with moisture, can create the perfect atmosphere for mold growth, which is the last thing you want in your kitchen. It’s also a breeding ground for foul odors.

Adding a quick sink cleanup to your usual kitchen cleaning checklist can help you remove this food waste fast. All you’ll need to do is clean the garbage disposal by running it with a few ice cubes, baking soda, and lemon slices.

4. Not Cleaning the Dishwasher

Because your dishwasher churns hot, soapy water through its interior, you can be forgiven for not knowing that it needs a cleaning of its own!

When you spend time cleaning kitchen appliances, don’t leave the dishwasher out. Instead, grab some vinegar, baking soda, or bleach and use these tips to run your dishwasher through a cleaning cycle.

5. Cleaning Hot Pots and Pans

Cleaning as you go is a smart move when you’re cooking a meal. This kitchen cleaning routine can help you avoid dry, set-in food residue that can be hard to scrub away.

However, you’ll want to avoid cleaning that steaming-hot pot or pan until it has had time to cool. This is the case no matter what material your pot or pan consists of.

When you run cool water over hot cookware, it goes through thermal shock. This can cause your pot or pan to lose its effective heat conduction over time. It can even cause it to warp or break!

As a general rule of thumb, wait at least an hour until your pot or pan has cooled to room temperature before cleaning it. 

6. Cleaning Cutting Boards Wrong

Unless you have dishwasher-safe cutting boards, you should never put one into the dishwasher! Wooden cutting boards are prone to warping and cracking in the high-moisture environment of a dishwasher. Even plastic cutting boards tend to warp in the appliance’s high heat.

You might think that washing a cutting board by hand with dish soap is the way to go, but this option isn’t very effective. To the naked eye, your cutting board may look clean, but microscopic particles can cling to the tiny cuts in the board.

To get your cutting boards clean, the best option is to soak them in a bleach solution, though you can also try natural bleach alternatives. You can use two tablespoons of bleach per gallon, or you can opt for one part white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to four parts water. After the board has had a chance to sit in the solution for a few minutes, rinse it off and let it air dry.

7. Skipping the Handles

In the age of COVID, this error happens less often than it used to. Still, many homeowners forget that handles, knobs, and switches often hold a lot of grime, food particles, and bacteria.

Take some time during every kitchen cleaning to wipe down surfaces like the handles and buttons on your appliances, knobs on your stove, drawer pulls, light switches, and faucet knobs. You can do this with any kitchen cleaning supplies, though you may want to use a tech-safe option for any electronic appliances.

Avoid These Common Kitchen Cleaning Errors

Everyone loves a clean kitchen, but a few common kitchen cleaning errors can make your job a lot harder. With the tips above, you can avoid these mistakes for a faster and more efficient cleanup, allowing you to make your kitchen sparkle and shine.

Of course, if you’d rather leave the cleaning to the pros, Golden Maid is here to help! We’re proud to offer our quality service to homeowners throughout the Milwaukee area. To learn how we can help, contact us with questions or request a quote today.