Monday, March 17, 2014

39 Monthly Clean Home Challenge: Wipe Down Cabinets/Appliances

Welcome back to the Monthly Clean Home Challenge daily task!  I am on a quest to maintain a clean and organized home in less time and the goal is simple; four daily tasks, four weekly tasks and one additional quick task each week day. 

In no particular order, here are the individual tasks I am tackling each day this month:
  1. Make cleaning supplies
  2. Cycle clean appliances
  3. Clean out cars
  4. Clean out microwave
  5. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
  6. Wipe down trim/doors
  7. Clean out one drawer
  8. Clean out fridge
  9. Clean out freezer
  10. Vacuum under furniture
  11. Vacuum mattresses
  12. Clean oven
  13. Clean out one closet
  14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
  15. Wash windows
  16. Scrub grout
  17. Clean out one cabinet
  18. File paper piles
  19. Purge bathroom toiletries
  20. Clean out pantry

Today I am chatting about the extra task:  Wipe Down Cabinets/Appliances

Well friends!  We are officially over halfway through our exciting monthly cleaning challenge, and I am loving the results and excited feelings I am gaining over our clean house!

Although I was completely wiped out today, I still managed to get my kitchen cabinets and appliances wiped down!  In a total of ten minutes to boot!


From a distance, our kitchen cabinets always look pretty clean.  But up close... oh boy.  Things were looking a little "loved" I will say.  Loved because our family really uses and abuses our kitchen; it is the hub of the home after-all.  And all of that abuse plus two furry dogs, equals dirty and dusty cabinet fronts.  It's about to get real up in here!


This is the cabinet right by our stove.  It is the highest traffic cabinet in the kitchen, it holds all of our daily dishware.

This one is low to the floor, see how dog hair and dust collects in the cracks of the door inset?


And I vacuum the faces and wipe these babies down at least once per month, often times more!

Sometimes I wish I had dark cabinets to hide this grime, but then I probably wouldn't think twice to clean what I couldn't see.  So I guess the light color is a blessing in disguise.

The process of wiping down the cabinets is exactly the same as it was for wiping down the doors and trim.


More of the 1 cup distilled water, 1 tbsp castile soap and 10 drops lemon essential oil recipe, paired with a clean microfiber rag.  For the appliance fronts, the half distilled water, half vinegar combo leaves them gleaming and streak free.

I started out by running a slim bristle vacuum attachment along all of the cabinet crevasses.


Then just sprayed down the entire face of the cabinet and wiped it all down, including the very top edge where more dust collects.


I also make sure to do a really good job getting around all of the hardware where majority of the fingerprints show up.


When all was said and done, 15 cabinet doors and 8 drawer fronts later, and the rag was telling the story of the importance of this task.


As I mentioned, the appliances get a quick spray of distilled water and vinegar and wiped down with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.




The vinegar is great for stainless, it always glistens and smiles after a good cleaning.  For extra polishing, I occasionally use the olive oil trick I shared here.  A reader also mentioned baby oil works wonders as well.


Because before and after photos are always fun, even when it is just about getting rid of grime, here are a few of the cabinets from today's ten minute cleaning spree.



Such a quick and easy and very necessary task.  And once again, the kitchen smelled so fabulous and lemon fresh!  Although it was hard for me to face how dirty our cabinets had become, I am happy to close the door on this task!



Looking for something?  Check out my favorite cleaning products below:


These are all cleaners/products that work for us and our current home finishes.  It is important to research the cleaners prior to using them on your specific counter and flooring selections.

39 comments:

  1. What is lemon oil recipe? Is that just lemon oil you buy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura,

      The lemon essential oil is part of the cleaning solution recipe. For the cleaner I use:

      1 cup distilled water
      1 tbsp castile soap
      10 drops lemon essential oil

      Hope that clarifies things a bit. :) Thank you!

      Delete
  2. Jen, I'm SO loving this clean home challenge!!! I just had to tell you...
    I was out of town last week & ended up getting sick. To pass the time, I went back and started reading your blog from Day 1!!! It was so fun & I learned a LOT. By the time I got home, I had a lot of inspiration to do & try new things. You are always so kind & patient with your answers to our questions, even sometimes when people are negative. I found myself wanting to write a positive comment each time to respond with how much your blog has meant to me!!! Thanks again for all you do :-)

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    Replies
    1. That is so very sweet Emily! I really appreciate it! I hope you are feeling better now, and I am so happy to hear that you are learning from the series.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  3. I didn't think my cabinets {really} needed this cleaning... but I was {really} wrong. I am so thankful to be following along because, wow! My kitchen is feeling a little fresher tonight. ;)

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  4. Hi Jen,
    I just wanted to know, why do you use distilled water?...does it make a difference?
    Keep posting...you give me such inspiration for my house of 5.
    Thanks:-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. With five kids and a small dog, my white cabinets like yours, receive a lot of "love" lol. I'm always amazed (and a little grossed out) after I clean the cabinets with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

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  6. Hi Jen! I love reading your blog posts, they're so inspiring!
    I was wondering if the essential oils you use are available at any stores? I've been looking at my local Target, but no success. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah!

      I find them on Amazon, but you can also find them at some natural food markets. I just updated the bottom of the post with product links, so hopefully that helps.

      Thank you!

      Delete
    2. Hi Sarah S.
      I was having a hard time finding the oils as well. I live in NY and found them at my nearest GNC and VitaminShoppe stores. Amazon.com is great as well. Hope that helps.

      Delete
  7. I'm always amazed at how fast you get to complete each task. For this particular one, and altough I have a pretty small kitchen, I'd have spent no less than 30 minutes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I play music and work quickly. I would much rather be playing with the kiddos than cleaning so it motivates me. :)

      Delete
  8. Wow! Just ten minutes? You are really fast at cleaning.... Your cabinets looks great, thanks a for sharing all of your cleaning tips.

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  9. Jen, I read your blog every day and love it! I want to start making my own cleaning products too, but I don't have a clue where to purchase the lemon essential oil.

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      I find mine on Amazon. I just updated the end of the post with links to all of my favorite supplies. Hope that helps!

      Thank you!
      Jen

      Delete
  10. Thanks for sharing! I try and get this task done at least every other month (It's just the two of us) but it's so essential! I think I need to make a cleaning plan like you have mentioned.
    x
    Lightandsweetblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love your blog! Where do you get your spray bottles? I always seem to have issues with mine.

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  12. Great tips as always Jen. I have dark cabinets and you' be surprised how easy fingerprints and streaks show up.

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  13. Dark cabinets don't make much difference. Mine seem to show. The dirt just as much if not more as any light dust really shows up on them. So frustràting how dirty they get all the time as yes kitchens really take a beating!

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  14. Hi Jen! I love your tip about vacuuming your cabinets! I am wondering what kind of vacuum cleaner you use and whether you would recommend it.
    Thanks! - Marisa

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marisa!

      We use two vacuum's, and love both equally.

      We have one that we use for general daily cleaning {carpet, rugs, cabinets, tight spaces, etc..} and it is the Dyson DC41 Upright: http://amzn.to/1g7y0Vx. For under furniture, our hard floors, furniture, stairs and ceilings, we use the Dyson DC44 Stick Vac: http://amzn.to/Nf38FD

      xoxo!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and recommend a vacuum. I really appreciate it. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!! Please keep up the GREAT work. Popping on over to your blog is such a bright spot in my day!! :)

      Delete
  15. I so need to do this. Maybe after work tonight... :) Thanks!

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  16. I love getting so many cleaning tips from you, and your kitchen cabinets look immaculate! Why do you use distilled water though?

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  17. I love this series! Will you be posting recipes and ingredients for all the cleaning products you make? I find myself searching your posts for recipes. Pretty please.....

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    Replies
    1. I do try and mention what I am using for each task within each post, but I can see about doing a round-up of favorites with simple to follow recipes in a one-stop spot. :)

      Delete
  18. For once I'm ahead of the game! Woohoo! (I had just wiped down all our kitchen cabinets & appliances just a couple weeks ago). I'll probably do a quick clean of stove-top and interior of microwave today to make sure they are up to par. Especially since I have a crockpot meal cooking today...it's always nice to have a sparkly kitchen! :-)

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  19. Ridiculous question ahead! When you say "distilled" water do you just mean filtered water?

    Loving this cleaning series. It's just what we needed to keep our own booties in gear for spring cleaning. (Now, if spring would just show up!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kat!

      I purchase large gallons of distilled water at the grocery store. I not only use it for cleaning, but in my iron and coffee maker as well. There are added minerals in our tap water {and we have very hard water}, so it is better for our cleaners and electronics to use the distilled water.

      From what I have read the minerals in tap water can inhibit cleaning. I figure it just reduces any chance that it will leave residue on what I am cleaning or build-up in my bottle.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. This is such a great tip! I have finally gotten around to cleaning our coffee maker and have noticed a huge build up of (what I assume to be) mineral residue from using tap water...filtered tap water, I might add...that I have been unable to remove so far. I plan to start purchasing distilled water for these things. And even paying to use distilled water with vinegar is still super cheap compared to what you would pay for store-bought cleaners!

      Delete
  20. Hi Jen! Sorry if I repeated this comment, but I think it may have gotten lost in cyberspace. Do you make a fresh batch of your castile soap/water/essential oil cleaning solution each time you clean, or do you keep it around until you run out? I wasn't sure if it makes a difference. I was able to find the same essential oils you use at GNC, which was awesome because I didn't want to wait to get them in the mail :) These posts have really inspired me to clean, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how little time these important (and often neglected) tasks really take!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rachel!

      I continue to use it all until it is gone, and just store it under our sink. Doesn't seem to go bad before I make my way through the bottle. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  21. Hi
    Do you have any recommendations for painting a large wall that has some different textures? We remodeled our kitchen and ended up knocking down a wall. The big wall now has slightly different texture on one end. My husband tried retexturing so it would match but it is "off" in some areas. Have you ever run across any thing that you can add to the paint to make the texture equal? Do you have a glass top stove and if you do what do you use to clean the top? Thanks Love your blog. Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane!

      I am not personally familiar with that particular scenario. I know they make spray textures, could you use that on either part or over the entire wall and sand it down even?

      As far as the stove top goes, it is just a regular finish and I use water/vinegar to wipe it down daily.

      xo!

      Delete
  22. Hi Jen,
    I have Cappucino coloured cabinets, shows everything...I have to vaccuum them every week. I know you are considering a kitchen reno, I love them, but they are high maintenance. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for the tips :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me know! I will be sure to consider that as we pick out kitchen finishes. :)

      Delete
  23. Do you wipe your counters off daily with the all purpose cleaner or just the vinegar and water? making some cleaners and not sure which one to make the most of!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly keep both nearby, but find myself reaching for the water/vinegar combo most frequently. It disinfects and since it works on the stainless garbage can and fridge as well I can wipe everything down in one quick swoop.

      xoxo!

      Delete

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