Winter is almost over (finally!) and that means spring is almost here! If you live in the Northeast like I do, you’re probably excited to put away your heavy sweaters and boots, go out for a walk in the park, and have some fresh fruit to snack on other than apples and oranges (or maybe that’s just me!). If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, spring may not feel like such an exciting time, but it’s still the perfect time to refresh yourself and your surroundings by doing some spring cleaning. Not to mention that Passover is right around the corner, and if you do your spring cleaning now, you’ll save some time prepping for the holiday.
When it comes to cleaning your kitchen, you probably have the basics down: wipe down the counters and shelves in the refrigerator, wash the sink, and clean off any stove-top splatters. This may suffice on a day-to-day basis, but over time you’ll be missing many important steps in the cleaning process. And for Passover you need to be extra vigilant when cleaning the kitchen. Here are some of the key steps for spring cleaning your kitchen:
- Wash down all of the kitchen countertops, including backsplashes and walls around the sink and stove. You never know where food and soapy suds splatter!
- Run the dishwasher empty and clean the outside of the dishwasher and its handle.
- Set the oven to self-clean and wash the oven racks in the sink.
- Clean the stove top thoroughly. Take all the burners off and wash every removable part.
- Go through the refrigerator. This is one of the most important steps. Remove every item in the refrigerator and clean the shelves and crisper drawers with warm soapy water and dry with a clean towel. Once the crisper drawers are dry, line them with clean paper towels. Sort through the items you removed and throw out items that have expired or haven’t been used in at least 6 months. It’s easy for condiments to pile up, so be sure to discard duplicates. You’ll also want to toss the foods that are not kosher for Passover. Next, return all the items back to the refrigerator in an organized fashion. Clean the door and handle of the fridge to make sure there are no sticky fingerprints lingering anywhere!
- Clean the freezer. Just like you did with the refrigerator, remove all items from the freezer and clean the shelves and/or drawers. You’ll be surprised how many crumbs may be lurking underneath all that food you keep in there! Although food can be preserved in the freezer for quite some time, you don’t want to store stuff in there forever! Use this chart from the USDA as a guide:
- Wash the sink like you would pots and pans – scrub it from all angles to make sure there’s no grime anywhere to be found.
- Microwave a cup of water with lemon for 1-2 minutes and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then use a damp cloth to wipe down the walls, ceiling, inside of the door, and tray of the microwave.
- Empty and clean the inside of all cabinets and drawers, including utensils and pots and pans.
- Mop the floor. When you’re done mopping, put a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door to the kitchen. Tonight may be a good night to go out to eat!!
When you’re all done with your cleaning, fix yourself a nice cold lemonade spritzer, put your legs up, and welcome in the spring air!