If cleaning your kitchen always seems like a journey of epic Lord of the Rings proportions, you’re not alone. You may not have a team of men, dwarves and hobbits at your disposal but these mighty kitchen cleaning tips will always have your back. Here are 12 tips for cleaning your kitchen that will not only save you time and effort, but also a little money!

1. 2-Step Oven Cleaner: No need to buy harsh chemicals or use the self-cleaning option on your oven that will make the whole house feel like a sauna. Simply place a bowl with a ½ cup of ammonia in your completely cool oven overnight. Wipe off all the grim easily the next day with a few paper towels. Done!

2. Fight Oil With Oil: The greasy residue that collects on your kitchen backsplash is cooking oil that has collected dust to create a mess that is pretty hard to get rid of. If you’re a fan of natural cleaning products, stock up on mineral oil. Take a cloth with mineral oil and wipe the greasy areas then repeat with a clean cloth. The residue will come off with exactly zero elbow grease.

3. Easy Microwave Cleaner: Microwaves are notoriously hard to clean because they are both tiny and prone to explosive messes. Use another natural remedy to this problem by microwaving a coffee cup of white vinegar for three minutes then wiping the microwave down with a clean, damp cloth.

4. You Already Own Stainless Steel Cleaner: Chances are, you have some WD-40 in your garage but it also works double duty as a stainless steel cleaner. If not, hopefully you have a lemon and some salt in your kitchen. Sprinkle the salt onto your stainless steel sink and scrub with half a lemon. Stains come off instantly and leave a fresh scent. Bonus!

5. 10-Second Blender Cleaning: Spare yourself the hassle of taking apart your blender (and danger of cutting yourself) to clean it. After enjoying your icy beverage or smoothie, fill the blender half way with warm water and just a couple of drops of dish soap. Blend with the lid on for 10 seconds then rinse. That’s all she wrote.

6. Wave Bye Bye to Burnt-On Food: Cleaning burnt pots is perhaps the most infuriating thing ever, especially if they are Teflon-coated and you can easily damage them by abrasive scrubbing. Next time you have a sticky burnt mess on your hands, fill the pot or pan with warm water and throw in a dryer sheet to soak. In just a few minutes, it will be ready to wash and the scorched food will come off with ease.

7. Under The ‘Fridge (Not a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Remix): Believe it or not, you don’t have to wait until moving day to clean underneath your refrigerator. If you are sensitive to dust, this should be a regular undertaking but it doesn’t have to be a back-breaker. Grab a pair of old pantyhose and roll them onto a broom or mop handle. Swipe underneath the fridge with the “hosed” end to push the dust and food particles out into the open so they can be easily swept up.

8. Freshen Up Your ‘Fridge: Keep the inside of your refrigerator smelling so fresh and so clean but also, you know, safe for food because that’s where your food lives. Take a spray bottle and fill it with two parts water and one part white vinegar with a little bit of lemon oil for a refreshing scent. Empty out the whole shebang, spray with your homemade mix, then wipe it down. It’s a little labor intensive but at least you don’t have to do it every day.

9. Deep Clean Your Cutting Boards: Remember that lemon and salt treatment for your stainless steel sink? Double up the fun and apply it to your wooden cutting boards! Again, this is not something you have to do every day but it’s pretty easy and does not require a fancy, expensive cleaner.

10. Microwave Your Kitchen Washrags: Say what? Yes, washing your washrags always works to keep things sanitary but in between washes (before they get downright dirty with food stains), give them a good microwaving to kill lingering bacteria. Rinse your rags, wring them out, then place them in the microwave for three minutes. Let them sit until cool then hang dry for a clean you can trust without waiting for laundry day.

11. De-Gunk Kitchen Cabinets: You may think you know how to clean kitchen cabinets until you notice the outsides getting dingier and greasier over time. Remember, fight oil with oil. Take soft-bristled toothbrush (that you don’t use) and scrub gently with mineral or vegetable oil to get rid of stubborn residue lightning fast.

12. Clean Your Coffee or Spice Grinder: If you don’t want to mix your coffees or spices, do a quick palette cleanse by adding stale bread or uncooked rice to your grinder and give it a few pulses. This will loosen up all the built-up powders so they will all come out with a good shake into the trash bin.

Sources: AllYou, Cosmopolitan, Apartment Geeks, Emlii

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Briana Hernandez
Briana is a shopaholic whose newest obsession is matching top-and-skirt sets (but she also can’t resist a good jumpsuit). She loves rock music, horror movies and is an all-around pop culture junkie. She is, without fail, always down for karaoke. Her blog, Mamafierce, is a chronicle of personal fashion, body positivity and the adventures of motherhood. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three-year-old son and tortoiseshell cat, Divvy.
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