by Penny Lynch
When you mention spring cleaning it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the jobs on the list. So here are a few jobs, often overlooked from routine cleaning, and yet they won’t take much more than 20 minutes each.
Degrease The Microwave
Remove the microwave plate and pop it in the dishwasher or give it a soak in a bowl of hot soapy water. Fill a small bowl with water, add a squeeze of lemon, then pop it in the microwave and run on high for a couple of minutes to create plenty of steam. Let it cool slightly, then wipe the interior down with a damp cloth. The lemon acts as a degreaser to melt away any food residue and makes the room smell lovely as well. Give the door and exterior a wipe down with a high quality microfibre cloth.
Often found over a kitchen island or dining table these can be a magnet for grease and dust, particularly if they’re positioned close to the cooking area. Give the shade a gentle wipe with a slightly damp microfibre cloth while it’s switched off.
Grab a cardboard box and fill it with anything in the store cupboard that will soon be out of date. That way, you’ll have a box of items to use first when planning your next meal. Sort tins and jars and if you’ve got 3 packets of walnuts all with a small quantity in then decant them all into one packet and remove the empties.
Cleaning the fridge
Focus on one shelf at a time, take everything out, being sure to bin the leftovers from last weeks supper that has gone mouldy. Place everything you’re keeping into a cool box, then remove the shelf, wash it with lukewarm soapy water and replace. When reloading the fridge think about keeping things in a logical order, for instance, the most used items need to be easily accessible.
Cleaning the oven
No doubt it’s a big job so let’s break it down into 2 parts. Door and shelves first. When dinner is over remove the shelves and place them in the bath or large plastic box. Add boiling water and a large scoop of washing or baking soda and leave to soak overnight. Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and warm water and use to gently scrub the inside of the door. Rinse with clean warm water. Following a soak the shelves just need a rinse off, no scrubbing required.
Cleaning inside the oven
Following the same principle as the microwave tip above, place an ovenproof dish of water and lemon juice in the oven and switch it on to let the degreasing begin. Once the water is bubbling switch it off and let it cool. Then, using a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water, give the inside of the oven a scrub. Rinse with clean warm water.
Often overlooked, it’s a greasy and rather daunting task. Remove the filter and either wash in hot soapy water or replace it, as required. Wipe down the exterior of the unit with a microfibre cloth. Replace the filter and make a note on the calendar to check it again in a few months.