Tips on how to keep your student kitchen spotless

Article writen by: Naomi
15 December 2021

One of the biggest challenges for most university students is getting used to their new independent life. It is hard to adapt your schedule to ensure that your accommodation is taken care of. I am sure that most people like to live in a clean environment but might not know how to approach cleaning since they might not have had this task at home or simply haven’t been taught.

Fear not! I have put together this article for those who may need help with their kitchen cleaning; I hope to bring more articles focusing on different areas of the house if you would like to see more! I am currently a Leicester university student; I live in the Student Beehive residence in Leicester; it is a studio, so I have all my utilities available for me. Although my room has limited space, I made sure to maximise its use as much as possible so that I could have everything I needed at hand. At the end of the day, it is the way you adapt to a place that can make a massive difference. My mom taught me how to clean, and she has always been the very neat and organised type, so it all got pushed into me!

The Kitchen
You must remember to keep your kitchen clean because you will be handling food here; it is easy to forget to wash your hands and just make food. Remember that it might lead you to eat germs previously on your hands. It is best to avoid infections and food poisoning, so do not lazy out of cleaning your kitchen. The best number of times to deep clean your kitchen, in my opinion, is once a week. Nonetheless, I suggest always making sure that you leave your kitchen clean after use. It could lead to marks remaining on your stoves and other surfaces, which is not ideal when renting a place out. To help, with this guide I have taken some pictures from my dinner today to illustrate how you could properly clean your kitchen out after use.

Doing the dishes
So here is my sink with everything I have used tonight to cook; with clearly a handful of stuff to clean...

Leicester student kitchen sink before cleaning

Personally, I do not fill up the sink to let my dishes bathe. Instead, I scrub them up well to ensure everything is cleaned up and no bits remain attached. I have a small cleaning station connected to the wall (bought in IKEA) where I keep my Fairy washing up soap, my sponge, a microfiber cloth and a scourer. This makes sure that everything is in one place and easily accessible to me while also being kept away and not in the way. I suggest investing in buying some essential products, like a sponge, a scourer, a microfiber cloth and some good washing up soap. You can easily find these at many convenience stores like Savers or Pound Stretcher.
I first lay out the dirty dishes on the side to make space, splurge some soap on the sponge, and start scrubbing the plates neatly, ensuring no food residues are left. If you are uncertain, just pass your fingers on the plate, and if you feel bumps, there are some left. When it comes to metal items and stuck food, this is the time to use your scourer; put some soap and water inside it, and then scrab with the scourer to make sure everything is cleaned up. Now that everything is washed, I put the dishes to dry on my drying rack; it is a "Joseph Joseph" rack I have found in TKMaxx. This is an excellent brand, and it was a lucky find for much cheaper than retail price. Investing in a drying rack will make your life so much easier when it comes to the dishes! This is because you can just leave your dishes to dry up and collect them once they are dry; it looks tidy, and usually, they have ways to drain the water back into the sink, like mine.
Now that you are done using your microfiber cloth to soak in the water around your cleaning station by wiping it around the area. This will ensure that you leave everything dry and avoid accidentally wetting your clothes or other dishes. Squeeze all the water out and then let it dry.

Leicester student kitchen sink after cleaning

Deep cleaning your kitchen surfaces
It’s time to now clean up the kitchen properly! Put on your rubber gloves, roll up your sleeves and grab your best cleaning products! I bought mine at the beginning of the term in September. They are still lasting me now that the term is almost over, so spending a few pounds on getting these would be a significant investment. Like the other products I mentioned before, you can find this pretty much anywhere, from convenience stores to supermarkets. This is a multipurpose kitchen cleaner: its primary purpose is to remove grease and disinfect, but it also leaves some nice shine. You can spray it on your kitchen surfaces, then grab a sponge and scrub gently so that you don’t damage them. You can use a light to help yourself if you can’t see the stains well; most fans have one incorporated! Another product you can use is bleach: I am sure you have come across it before, but it’s convenient in many areas of the house! It helps to disinfect surfaces, especially your sink. Be cautious with its use as the smell is pungent! Some are allergic to it, including me, giving me a blocked nose and great headaches, so if you want to stay safe, wear a mask or cover your nose when using this. Spray it on the surface and leave it for a minute, then you can wash it off thoroughly with water. Make sure it’s gone as you might contaminate your food with it, which is not advisable.

Kitchen cleaning essentials

Cleaning your fridge, oven, and microwave
Now that your surfaces are done check out your other electricals! It is easy to forget that the fridge, microwave, and oven also require cleaning. For your oven, first, make sure the glass is clean inside and outside; the inside usually gets dirty when cooking, and some grease can remain on it, making it oily. To solve this, use the kitchen cleaner on the stains on the inside and then use glass & windows cleaner on the outside to give the glass some good old shine. This will make it look nice and shiny! Depending on how you use your oven, you might need to clean the grids as the food can get stuck on them! To solve this, take the grids out and wipe them down, ensuring no bits are stuck.
On the other hand, if you use trays, make sure you clean them regularly, which is easiest if you wash them right after use. The dirt can become tough to remove if you keep it for an extended time. To clean the tray, bring it to the sink and fill it with hot water, then splurge some soap inside and let it sit for 5 minutes so that the bits can soften. Once the time is over, take your soapy sponge or scourer and scrab it until the surface is clean and smooth.
The microwave is very similar to the oven as food may splash on the walls; to clean this, you only need to wipe up the stains with a cloth or a kitchen roll! However, there might be tough stains that could have been left uncleaned; if you find it hard to remove them, make sure to use a product like a kitchen cleaner or an all-purpose cleaner! You can wash off the plate in the sink in case it has been stained, too.
The fridge is another appliance you should take care of and try to clean once a month; sometimes, there might be leaks of liquids or products and dirt accumulating. It is straightforward to clean! All you must do is remove all your food products and slide them off the shelves, leaving the fridge bare. Then you can take either a microfiber cloth or a kitchen tissue and clean off the inside of the refrigerator; do not forget to wipe the shelves before inserting them back in! Lastly, it might be a good idea to also do a check-up on your food’s expiry date when you decide to clean up your fridge – two birds with one stone!
Other considerations for keeping the kitchen clean

There are other things you could do to keep your kitchen clean!
An example of one is investing in a kitchen carpet to put near your cooking area. This is significantly helpful if you are a messy cook; it could avoid spilling water on the floor or accidentally staining it with sauces! You can always reuse the carpet for different areas once you move to another place. You can find them relatively cheap in many stores or online. Another consideration is investing in a handheld hoover; this product is essentially a hoover you can leave in charge and then use freely. This can be useful for people who live in residence or university accommodations, where you have to share a hoover between many. It is convenient to have a hoover always there for you, plus our rooms tend to be small enough to be able to use the handheld hoover even for cleaning off the floor. It’s definitely more accessible as it’s yours, and it will always be available, especially when you end up having a mess of crumbs on your desk from a snack! You can find them online or even in physical stores like Argos and Curry’s PC World.

Final words of advice
At the end of the day, we all have different tips and tricks to keep our spaces clean and organised! My level of cleanliness might differ from yours, so as long as you feel comfortable living in your space, that is what matters. However, remember that it is advisable to leave your accommodation clean because you are renting. Some stains may permanently damage your room! It is always best to avoid this from happening by cleaning up! I hope my article has been helpful to you. I can bring around another one about cleaning other spaces of the house, such as the bedroom or the bathroom. Remember: it is trial and error! Sometimes we will make mistakes, like all the things I’ve broken accidentally .

 

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