How many families have gotten used to the mantra of “I’ll cook, you clean”? It may have been a great division of labor over many previous years, with the cleaner at least getting the benefit of a delicious meal without having to lift a cooking finger, but times have changed. Kitchens are different, that division of labor is often different, and labor-saving devices like the washing machine have taken away of lot of time spent scrubbing dishes clean in the basin.
But kitchens don’t clean themselves. Today it’s perfectly possible to have a kitchen that’s easy to clean and will free up more time for the family to be together to pursue more enjoyable leisure activities.
Looking for low maintenance
Kitchens get dirty. It’s unavoidable when there is cooking being done. Making the kitchen as low maintenance as possible when it comes to cleaning is an ideal that is not difficult to achieve. It all comes to saving time, whether it’s dealing with surfaces for preparation or cookers, ovens and other appliances. Looking at window coverings, flooring and storage is also an important part of making a kitchen easy to clean.
Counter tops can get messy very quickly if they’re not cleaned regularly. Tiles may look good but require scrubbing and, when necessary, grouting, time-consuming jobs. Using stainless steel, laminates or quartz are easy clean options that don’t need sealing, and if they are cleaned down after each use can be maintained in good condition with minimal work and will last for a long time.
No matter how hard the cook tries there will always be splashes from cooking on a gas or electric hob or when using an oven or microwave. Whether it’s from boiling water or oil that drops little greasy particles onto surfaces – and these can easily spread to counter tops as well as the appliance surfaces – it’s essential to be able to clean them up quickly.
A back splash of back-painted glass that can be effortlessly washed down will protect the wall behind, and appliance surfaces should always be wiped down before oil and fat begin to coagulate and need more time to clean off.
Ovens and racks can swiftly be wiped down with warm, soapy water once they have cooled enough, and getting ovens that pyrolize can make a real difference as the pyrolization process generates enormous heat so the deposits for cooking can be wiped clean when cooled.
Curtains and blinds can retain the smells of cooking after a time and no matter how powerful an extractor fan is it won’t always remove all the smells. Curtains can be washed and blinds cleaned, but an effective way to cut down on kitchen cleaning time is to install plantation shutters.
Hard-wearing, made of wood and other materials and available in many different colors to suit a kitchen’s overall color scheme, they are a versatile alternative to blinds and curtains. Adjustable louvers allow in as much or as little light as required, they can be custom made to fit any size or shape of window, they add style to a room and just need to be wiped down to keep them clean.
Sheet vinyl or linoleum flooring are ideal materials in terms of making cleaning them simple. Damp mopping is all that’s needed as there are no grout lines to worry about. Hardwood floors look great and are not difficult to clean, spills and splatters should be wiped up immediately so there may be additional mopping to do to preserve the floor’s quality and look.
It’s often forgotten how important good storage is within a kitchen – and it’s often forgotten in other rooms of the home as well. Whether it’s storing pots and pans, small electrical appliances, plates and serving dishes and cutlery it needs to be thought through. Putting cooking utensils close to where they will be used saves time, and creating space for them in a rollout drawer means they are easy to access and to store back again when they are cleaned.
Keeping receptacles away from cooking splashes means they don’t have to be cleaned, and having plates and dishes within easy reach in cupboard makes getting them out and putting them away a good time saver.
Plan the kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most – if not the most – important rooms in the home. It gets a huge amount of regular use so it’s sensible to plan its so that everything is accessible and everything in it is easy to clean.
Photo via Pexels