With spring on the way and the words of Marie Kondo echoing in my head, I’ve been organizing my thoughts into a comprehensive kitchen spring cleaning checklist. So fun, right?

Okay, maybe it’s not fun, but I do think a kitchen spring cleaning checklist will be extremely helpful, since it covers all the nooks and crannies you normally might not consider when it comes to cleaning up in there.

And don’t worry — unlike Marie Kondo’s show, you can take this list one day at a time. No giant pile of all your kitchen belongings to cull in 45 minutes. I mean, feel free to purge those mismatched plastic lids and those reusable toddler bottles your now ten year old has given up…but for now, let’s just stick with some cleaning basics that will make you feel better instantly.

Related: How good are these $3 non-toxic cleaning products? We put them to the test. 

1. Disinfect your cutting boards 

The ultimate spring cleaning kitchen check list: Disinfect your cutting boards

This task never seems to get checked off my to-do list, because when dinner is over, I just want to give cutting boards a quick scrub and throw myself into bed. But given all the germs that can breed here, it’s a good idea to spend a couple hours one afternoon and try one of Jane’s methods for getting cutting boards properly sanitized — as well as following her everyday tips for keeping bacteria at bay.

2. Disinfect your reusable water bottles

I really hope you’re doing this one than once a year, but I’ll still leave it here as a reminder. I know I can get pretty lazy about washing out my Nalgene, especially since it’s basically attached to my person all day and then sitting on my nightstand while I sleep. But these 3 techniques for disinfecting reusable water bottles are so simple and quick, I (or…we?) have no excuse to put off this task anymore.

3. Buy new kitchen sponges

Skura Style antimicrobial sponges: Stylish and practical subscription box idea

Throwing you all an easy kitchen spring cleaning checklist item here — like, really easy. Just queue up Amazon or Instacard and throw a few sponges in your cart because, as you’ll learn in this article, attempting to wash your sponges clean of bacteria is right up there with curing the common cold or inventing a perpetual motion machine.

Liz has been swearing by the sponges from Skura Style by the way, which repel bacteria growth and fade in design when it’s time to replace them. Plus they come via subscription so you never have to remember to buy new sponges again!

Related: Don’t throw it out! We found 11 smart ways to use expired baking soda around the house. 

4. Revitalize burnt cookie sheets

The ultimate spring cleaning kitchen check list: Revitalize cookie sheets

If your cookie sheets get as much action as mine do, thanks mostly to the glorious efficiency of sheet pan dinners, they’re probably looking a little worse for wear. Luckily, these two easy methods for cleaning cookie sheets will get them shiny and back in the dinner rotation, fast.

5. Clean your can opener 

It may not be the sexiest thing you do today (or hey, maybe it will be, because parenting), but I find there’s great satisfaction in cleaning out my can opener. Especially once you start the process and realize just how gross it’s been all this time.

6. Clean your knife block — or just get rid of it.

Better ways to store knives: Magnetic block from Henckels

 

Our editor Kate recently became disillusioned with her knife block, thanks to an article about all the icky bacteria that apparently grows in those deep, dark slots. Yuck. So she’s suggested 3 different, non-gross ways to store your knives that keeps them both accessible and clean.

If you’re really attached to your block, though, I recommend disinfecting it once a month at least. Kitchen spring cleaning is a good time to start.

7. Clean out that fridge!

Oh, my favorite chore!  (Sarcasm.) But thankfully, our contributor Anne has recently offered up clear, helpful instructions for purging your fridge of what’s not going to get used. And then when it’s emptier, it’s so easy to wipe down those shelves and drawers.

As much as I dread this particular kitchen cleaning task, I really do feel so much better opening the door to a clean fridge than one full of puckered lemons, wilted greens, questionable eggs, and way expired baking soda.

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