The Season When Your Kitchen Needs Extra Cleaning

Cleaning and the kitchen go hand in hand. There are always crumbs to sweep, cooking splatter to wipe, and bacteria-filled sponges to throw away. It is the room that makes or breaks a house. With several major appliances and daily use, the kitchen is prone to messes. While it might feel like you're already cleaning it too much, during the warmer weather months, this central room needs extra love.

Spring cleaning may have had you scrubbing floors and pulling out the refrigerator, but summer cleaning means looking out for pests and mold. Summer may be a time for vacations, but it's also when the kitchen requires more disinfecting. Thanks to the hot climate, this room attracts bugs and bacteria just as much as guests with ice cream and grilled meats. However, with simple tips on how to best clean your kitchen, you can keep a pristine cookhouse all season long.

Hot weather means more cleaning

During summertime, you may be tempted to shower more frequently due to the stickiness and sweatiness caused by increased temperatures and humidity. Your kitchen faces a similar fate. "This raises the value of cleaning as microbes need three growth factors to thrive: food source—like organic soils and skin oils—moisture, and warmth," Allen Rathey, director of the Indoor Health Council, explained to Real Simple. A hot kitchen has all three factors, making it a breeding ground for germs.

"Around the sink and drains, and touchpoints on appliances, tables, and counters all need more cleaning in the summer," Rathey continued. High temperatures may lead to the development of mildew in appliances like the dishwasher and garbage disposal. Plus, while you're on vacation, insects are hard at work. Flies flock to wet sinks to lay their eggs. Ants that invade your picnic date may also follow the crumbs to your cabinets.

The fridge isn't immune to the summer soil either. Due to the temperature, food can rot faster. Every time you open the fridge, cool air leaves, making your goods susceptible to spoilage. Along with minimal everyday cleaning hacks to keep your home tidy, there are easy steps to deep clean your kitchen's worst problem areas during the summer. And you won't have to cancel your cruise to keep the room free from mildew, critters, and rotten veggies.

How to clean the kitchen in the summer

To prevent pests from breeding in your sink drain, you only need vinegar and baking soda. Sprinkle in one part baking soda, followed by a slow pour of two parts vinegar. The mixture will bubble. After 15 minutes, wash away the solution with boiling water.

For your garbage disposal, lemon wedges, salt, and ice should do the trick. Insert the citrus slices into the disposal with thick salt rocks and ice, then turn it on while running cold water. This should kill all the germs while leaving a lemony scent. It's also important to take out the kitchen garbage every day. Spraying the bin with bleach weekly can help eliminate odors and pests.

After clearing out the fridge and throwing away everything past the best-by and expiration dates, it's time to sort the cabinets. Keeping the pantry free of crumbs will help avoid critters. Remove all items, check dates, and throw away any rotten goods. Then, use a vacuum to suck up any debris on the shelves. Soapy water will remove bacteria, and vinegar will eliminate grime. Don't forget to dry with a microfiber cloth. A clean kitchen is essential for a wholesome summer.