Even though the pandemic is forcing us to host much smaller holiday gatherings this year, you can still use the season as a time to give your kitchen a good, deep cleaning before or after whipping up those delicious meals. We’ve compiled a few tips to help take your at-home cleanings to new heights using items you can find at your local store.

Oven racks
Take a peek into your oven. If what you see makes you want to slam the door shut, our cleaning experts and the experts over at Kitchn are here to help. Start with your oven racks first. Because of their size, it’s difficult to clean them in the kitchen sink. Solve this problem by putting them in your bathtub on top of old towels to avoid scratches. Then, draw enough hot water to cover the racks and add ½ cup of liquid or powder dishwasher detergent. Give it a good swish to mix the detergent into the water and let the racks soak for at least 4 hours. After that, use a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge to get rid of buildup, rinse, dry and pop back into your oven. Voila!  

Stainless steel
Handprints, animal hair and food  – these particles are likely clinging to the front of your stainless steel fridge. If you don’t have stainless steel-specific cleaners on hand, our service partners recommend putting mineral oil in a bowl and adding vinegar to a spray bottle. Grab some paper towels and a microfiber cloth, too. Then, determine the direction of the grain of your fridge door. You will want to wipe in the direction of that grain for best results. Next, spray the space liberally with vinegar and wipe it off with the paper towel. Last, dip your microfiber cloth in a tiny bit of oil and polish away. The cleaning professionals at Stratos are big fans of microfiber cloths, by the way. They’re versatile, absorbent and machine-washable. We hope Santa brings you a few packages next month, too.

Tile backsplashes
Grouted tile backsplashes, especially those that have aged a bit, can be difficult to clean. Dirt and mold can build up in the grout, causing an unwelcome discoloration. To clean them, simply make a thick paste using three parts baking soda to one-part water. Rub the paste onto the grout. Then, mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the surface. Finally, scrub the tile and grout with a brush to ensure dirt and mold come off with ease. Wipe the paste off once finished. This versatile cleaner will work with all colors of grout, but it’s important to note that vinegar can be harmful to some natural stones such as marble or limestone. If you have marble or limestone, use water in place of vinegar.

Do you have any other cleaning tips and tricks to share with us and other readers? Let us know in the comments below. Happy cleaning and happy holidays!

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