It’s something that every student dreads: cleaning their student accommodation kitchen. Kitchens are by far one of the messiest and most time-consuming rooms to clean in a house, going through daily use and being subjected to spills, microwave explosions and student house parties. When you’re going home for the holidays or moving out at the end of the year, it’ll likely be the room you worst fear having to tackle.
But half the challenge is just knowing where to start. In a room that’s so messy and often dirty, just thinking about cleaning it can be exhausting. So, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to manage cleaning that filthy student kitchen.
Start with a Quick Tidy
Before you can clean, all that clutter needs to go. Put away anything in the kitchen into its proper place and remove anything that shouldn’t be there. Papers, letters and any other miscellaneous items that have gathered on the table or countertops, move them to another room – or recycle if no longer needed. You’ll be surprised how tidy your kitchen already starts to look just by shifting some clutter.
Wash the Dishes
Don’t lie; your kitchen is likely crawling with dirty dishes and glasses – as are the bedrooms, no doubt. They take up a lot of space and are virtually impossible to clean around. So fill your sink or bowl with some hot soapy water, gather all the dirty crockery and cutlery and get them cleaned up first. Either leave them to dry or hand dry them with a tea towel and store them away, so they’re not taking up countertop room.
Spray the Countertops
Once cleared, you’ll be able to see the state of your countertops. If there’s food caked on there, spray them all down and move on to another task, leaving the cleaner to do its work. If you try to scrub weeks old food off the countertops without leaving the product to help shift the dirt, you’ll likely ruin your sponges.
Empty the Fridge
The fridge can become dirty from spilt containers and bottles and dripping liquid from loose fruit and veg. Go through your fridge and remove anything that’s no longer okay to eat and then take out the drawers or shelves and wipe them down – or soak in the sink if they need it.
Using a spray and a cloth, wipe down any shelves that can’t be removed and the inside walls. Put everything back together and replace all the food that is still in-date. It’s also an excellent opportunity to reorganise how you store your food, making everything more accessible.
Dust the Room
Like any room, the kitchen can get dusty at the top above the cabinets or in the corners. Go around the room’s perimeter and clean the corners with a duster; carefully go over the light fixtures and the tops of the cabinets. The top of the fridge can be a very dusty spot, so don’t forget to get up there. Don’t worry about dust and dirt falling to the floor, as that will be cleaned later on.
Cupboards and Microwave
The cupboards are up next. Remove the canned food and wipe them down in the insides with a cloth and spray before replacing the items. Next tackle the microwave, which is likely to be quite dirty.
Take out the plate to wash in the sink and wipe down the inside walls and glass door with a sponge and some dish soap. You may also need to wipe down the outside, depending on how bad the food splatter is.
Countertops and Oven
By now, your cleaning product should have soaked into the countertops, so they are ready to wipe down. You can let any crumbs or mess fall onto the floor to be dealt with later on.
The oven is likely caked with food and may need specialist oven cleaner. Open the oven up and sprinkle baking soda to the inside of the glass, then add some lemon juice or vinegar. This can help break up any caked-on food or stains. You may need to remove and wash the oven trays and wire racks in the sink and return them good as new.
Appliances and Drawers
Using a cloth and cleaning spray – or just soapy water – go over the outside of the rest of the appliances, like the fridge and freezer. Pay attention to the handles and get rid of any little marks or stains that have developed.
Wipe down the outside of the drawers too. If you want your kitchen to be more organised, you could remove all the cutlery from the drawers, wipe down the insides and replace them in a nicely organised fashion.
Clean the Sink
Now your sink is empty of dishes, rinse it all out with water and use a sponge and cleaning product to wipe it down to remove any stains or grime.
Empty the Bin
Your bin might now be full of everything you’ve thrown away while cleaning. Take the bag out to throw away and give the bin a quick wipe down before putting in a new bin bag.
Tackle the Floor
The floor is by now likely caked in dirt and mess from the cabinets and countertops. Start with a broom or vacuum to remove the debris, then take a mop or steam cleaner to remove dirt and grime. Start in the furthest corner of the room and work outwards. Dump the dirty water outside or down the toilet.
Congratulations! You’ve now cleaned your student kitchen from top to bottom. When you and your housemates work together, the job should be a breeze. If you’re looking for student accommodation in Lancaster for the next academic year, browse our range of properties on our website today.