Decorating dozens of Christmas cookies and enjoying a delicious home-cooked holiday meal is the fun part – but with every holiday season (especially if you’re housing guests or hosting a party) there are a bunch of kitchen cleaning tasks to tackle as well. Everything from cleaning the oven, to scrubbing the sink, and cleaning and deodorizing the garbage disposal lands on a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Searching for quick and easy cleaning hacks for degriming the kitchen? Look no further than these seven genius cleaning hacks to make those holiday kitchen chores more manageable (and to keep you from acting like a total Grinch).
Deodorize Your Dishwasher
Unfortunately, your dishwasher is not self-cleaning. Before you start prepping for your holiday party, simply place 1/2 cup of Vital Oxide in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will wash away grime and remove musty odors, too.
Degrease Your Oven
Before popping your Christmas turkey into the oven, it’s a good idea to clean it out so that the turkey doesn’t come out tasting like it’s infused with baked-on grease and everything else you’ve made in the oven as of late. If you’re like me and you only clean your oven once every four years, it’s probably pretty grimy in there. Rather than using a noxious chemical-filled ‘easy’ oven cleaner the day before cooking your holiday feast, try this hack instead: Mix one-half cup of baking soda with water to create a paste. Next, spread the paste all over the bottom of the oven, the side walls, and the inside of the glass oven door, but avoid the heating elements. Leave the mixture on for a minimum of two hours, but ideally overnight. Then take a spray bottle, fill it half with water and half with white vinegar and spray it all over the baking soda. The mixture will foam up, which helps to remove the burnt-on food stains from the oven. After leaving that on for another 30 minutes, use a rubber spatula (if necessary) and rag to remove the baking soda mixture. Scrub any hard-to-reach areas and any stubborn stuck on food stains with an old toothbrush. Finish by wiping everything down with a damp cloth. Presto! Your oven is ready to prepare your holiday feast.
Degrime Your Range Hood
Your kitchen range hood is a grease magnet, and as dust latches on over time, the surface gets harder to clean with ordinary sprays. Before your guests arrive for the holidays, try this cleaning hack to have your grimy range hood looking like new: Simply add a few drops of vegetable oil to a cloth or paper towel, and wipe down. It will be clean in seconds!
Deep Clean Your Garbage Disposal
You know what no one wants to hear from their mother-in-law while they’re preparing Christmas dinner? “What’s that awful smell?” Well, dear reader, it’s your garbage disposal. But don’t worry! Cleaning a garbage disposal is quick and easy with this five-minute cleaning hack. The first step is to physically remove any lodged objects. Make sure the disposal is off (or even unplugged if possible) before sticking your hand down there or use tongs to remove any larger debris. Next, pour two cups of ice cubes down the garbage disposal and turn it on, allowing the ice to be crushed by the blades. This will help remove the tougher sludge and debris from the grinding elements. After the ice is crushed, turn on the garbage disposal and flush with hot water for one minute. Then, scrub the garbage disposal inside and out with a scrub brush or an old toothbrush. Lastly, spray the garbage disposal with Vital Oxide to kill any lingering germs or bacteria and to freshen up the drain.
Disinfect Food Prep Areas & Cutting Boards
No one wants a food-borne illness during the holidays, or any other time of year for that matter. While you’re preparing the turkey or beef roast for Christmas or New Years dinner, it’s important to disinfect the area where you’ve preparing the meat, including countertops and cutting boards. There are 200 times more fecal bacteria from raw meat on the average cutting board in a home than a toilet seat. That’s a tough statistic to swallow, considering how often we’re chopping and prepping food on these surfaces. Most people give their cutting board a quick rinse, but raw poultry and meat can leave behind salmonella and E. coli. According to the FDA, salmonella is one of the most common causes of food-borne illness. To totally germ-bust your cutting boards, wash with soap and warm water, then spray with Vital Oxide and let air dry. This gentle, yet incredibly powerful formula destroys 99.999% of nasty bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, in less than 60 seconds. No need to rinse before using again, Vital Oxide is safe to use on food-contact surfaces. To disinfect countertops, wipe down with a wet cloth to remove any food debris, then spray with Vital Oxide and let air dry. Now, you can cross food poisoning off your holiday worry list!
Degerm the Kitchen Sink
A recent study from the National Science Foundation (NSF) found that 45% of kitchen sinks tested were positive for coliform bacteria - a family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E. coli and is also an indicator of potential fecal contamination. The ugly truth is that the kitchen sink is a great place for coliform and other disease-causing bacteria to live and grow since it’s wet and moist. Bacteria feed on the food we put down the drain and what’s left on dishes in the sink. But before you go and light your kitchen sink on fire, try this easy cleaning hack instead: Scrub the sink with a scrub brush and warm water to remove any residue, then simply spray with Vital Oxide and let sit for at least 60 seconds before using again. Vital Oxide will work its magic and destroy any germs or bacteria that are hanging out in your sink.
De-funkify Your Smelly Garbage Can
Take the garbage bag out, wipe down with a wet paper towel to remove any residue, and spray the interior of the garbage can with Vital Oxide to destroy any foul odors and kill any germs or bacteria. Let air dry, then put in a new bag. That’s it!
If you want to avoid a full day of cleaning during the holidays (or any time of year for that matter!), remember that a lot of messes can be avoided with quick preventative cleaning. Give the outside of your appliances a quick spray with Vital Oxide and wipe down with a microfiber cloth on a regular basis. Wipe up spills as they happen, rather than letting them turn into a sticky mess. Clean your oven periodically, ideally more than once every four years. Before you put new groceries into the fridge, clean the shelves and spray with Vital Oxide to disinfect and deodorize the interior. Little bits of effort can save you mountains of time later down the road. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!