Spring sunlight is wonderful, but now that we have 13 hours of daylight per 24 hours, it’s also showing the parts of our home that need a good spring clean!
Often you’ll notice it first in your kitchen, as the bright early morning light reveals what the winter daylight conveniently hid away. So, we’ve put together our top spring cleaning tips, and a reason why getting to the very, very back of your kitchen cabinets might yield hidden treasures…
Start with the windows
Cleaning windows is often a case of “being cruel to be kind”! Cleaning windows will let in more light, which will show you just how much you may have to do to get your kitchen sparkling clean. So, clean ground floor windows yourself, or get a professional team to do the whole house, and let the light flood in.
Love your lighting
Talking of light, you’ll probably be amazed at just how dirty or dusty your kitchen light fittings have got over the winter. Vacuum down shades and ornamental lights, and gently wipe over ceiling lights (when the power is turned off, of course).
Effective oven cleaning
This has to be one of the messiest kitchen cleaning jobs, but it is so satisfying when the inside of your oven gleams rather than glowers! For those of us without self-cleaning ovens, there are commercial oven cleaning kits available. Alternatively you can also do it yourself with a paste made from baking powder, or book a mobile oven cleaning service and let the professionals do the work for you!
Sparking stove tops
For many of us, cleaning the top surface of our stove is the easy bit. Getting a winter’s worth of grease off the burner supports is trickier. Often the easiest way is to put them into a sink, spray them with normal kitchen spray cleaner, leave for an hour, rinse off with hot water, and repeat a couple of times. Or ask your oven cleaning service to do these as well!
Sniff your fridge!
A clean fridge is a joy every time you open it. So, make time to really clear it out. Keep food in coolers while you empty the fridge and give it a good wipe down with baking soda solution. Don’t use commercial cleaners or sprays, as this will taint the fridge and any food within. Once the food’s back in, fill a small open dish with more baking powder and pop it on a middle shelf, to absorb any strong smells. Replace every month.
Bright backsplashes and clean countertops
Time and glass backsplashes will always look better for a good clean with a degreasing cleaning spray or similar. However, such methods may not be suitable for your countertops, especially if they are made from natural stone or wood. So, clean carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or call us for advice. If in doubt, only use mild soap and water and don’t let any countertop get too wet. It’s also a good time to check if your granite countertop needs resealing, or if your laminate countertop is lifting and needs replacing.
Cleaned ceilings and washed walls
You may not consider that your kitchen ceiling would be dirty, but remember, every time you open an oven door or lift the lid on a pan, steam and hot air rises! So, make time to wipe down walls and ceilings, and test a small area of paint first if you want to use some form of cleaner, just in case.
Kitchen cabinet care – external
Your kitchen cabinets have probably been splashed, splattered and covered in sticky fingermarks that never quite got cleaned off properly. Now is the time to really give your cabinet doors a good clean, but just as with your countertops, take care what you clean them with. Solid wood doors, for example, require different care to high gloss finishes. If in doubt, call us here at Verbeek Kitchens – we’ll be happy to help with ideas based on our 40+ years of experience.
Clear out your food storage cabinets
First of all, ensure every square inch of countertop is available – you’re going to need it. Open a cabinet where you keep your packaged, tinned and dried food supplies and take out items one at a time. Check the:
- “Best-before” date: this is the durable life of a product. If you use it within the time period and store it in appropriate conditions, the quality of the food in terms of taste, freshness and nutritional value will be preserved. A best-before date is no guarantee of food safety, however. Equally, foods with an anticipated shelf life greater than 90 days, such as dried pasta, do not require a best-before date. Remember that best-before dates only apply to unopened packaging: once the packet is open, the shelf life of the product may change according to conditions in your kitchen.
- “Packaged on” date: this is used on food packages where the content have a durable life of less than 90 days. A packaged on date must be accompanied with further information on the durable life of the products.
- “Expiration” date: this is for products with strict compositional and nutritional specifications, such as diet foods, supplements, etc.
Separate the foods that are within date and are usable, and put on one side of a countertop. The other side is for all the foodstuffs that are no longer in date, have been open for far too long, or have lost their piquant, like curry powder and spices.
The chances are, the further you go back into your cabinet, the older food packets will get! However, don’t throw out anything that is still in its packaging. Put these to one side. Wipe out the inside of the cabinet, dry, and replace all the food still in date or that has durable life left.
Now for the foodstuffs that are out of date. Check just how old they really are, and if we’re talking a famous name and a product pre the year 2000, there is probably a food packaging collector out there who would love to buy it! For ‘younger’ packaging, check for promotions linking to movies such as StarWars or events such as the Olympics, as there are collectors for these items too.
Don’t actually open any cardboard packaging as this will significantly lower its value. If the packaging is still intact but the contents are open, take the contents out, then unfold and carefully flatten the packaging. This includes any bags!
Selling vintage packaging online
Check eBay and other sites for sales listings of your item, and be prepared to be amazed: a small 1970s Royal pudding box, missing its side panels, was being sold for $12 at time of writing! To best sell any packaging you have, take well-lit photos against a plain background and write a short description for each item. Remember to calculate the postal costs too. You must make it clear that the sale is for the packaging only and any contents should not be consumed or used in any way.
While you’re at it, also look under your kitchen sink, in your basement and garage for other old packaging and products, especial soaps and vintage cleaning products.
Another great source of fascinating vintage packaging are the kitchen cabinets of your senior relatives. So, why not do them a good turn by cleaning their kitchen, clearing their cabinets, and splitting any profits from packaging sales!
Time for a new kitchen?
If your kitchen is way past its own best-by date, come and visit us at our showroom here in London, ON. Our team can show you the latest kitchen designs in our showroom, and share their expertise on the hottest kitchen trends and colours.
No need to book an appointment; just come in and see us during opening hours.
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM