In most homes and apartments, the kitchen gets more use than any other room. Between cooking, eating, and chatting around the kitchen table, it’s the one room you need to keep clean at all times.
But even if your kitchen is super clean, there are some ways to make it even better.
In fact, some cleaning tricks can make you happier.
Ready to learn how? Here are seven clever kitchen cleaning hacks to boost the mood of your apartment.
The first step to cleaning any room is to declutter.
Start by getting rid of anything you don’t want or don’t need. Donate anything that’s in good shape, recycle what you can, and trash anything that’s broken or damaged.
The fewer things you have around the room, the easier it will be to clean. Plus, a neat, organized room is a great way to boost your mood!
Declutter the insides of cabinets and drawers first to free up space for additional things. That way, when you start decluttering your countertops, you have extra cabinet space to hold that blender or mixer that you rarely use.
2. Clean Out Your Fridge and Pantry
Spoiled food smells terrible!
If you want to boost the mood in your apartment, you’ve got to make it smell clean and fresh.
In the refrigerator, toss expired items and leftovers that you won’t eat. Move onto your pantry and do the same.
Even spices have expiration dates, so make sure you look at every item one by one to determine what’s still safe to use. This is something we should all be doing on a routine basis.
To make your fridge and pantry more accessible, add pull out baskets to each shelf. That way, it will be much easier to access items way in the back.
3. Clean Your Windows
It’s always best to clean from top to bottom, and the highest point in your kitchen is probably the top of your windows. Get out the glass cleaner, spray, and wipe down your windows inside and out. When you’re done, open up the blinds, pull back the curtains, and draw in the fresh air.
Sunlight boosts serotonin. Serotonin helps to boost your brain, your appetite, your memory, and your overall function! So let the sunshine in!
4. Wash Your Linens
Textiles absorb odors, so gather up your dish towels, aprons, tablecloths, and curtains and toss them in the washing machine.
Everyone likes the smell of fresh laundry, so having fresh linens in your kitchen will instantly boost the mood (and make it smell oh-so-good).
When you throw everything in the dryer, grab an extra dryer sheet for the kitchen. Why? Because it can minimize the odor of trash.
You can put one in the bottom of the trash bin, beneath the bag, or tape one to the inside of the top lid. That way, every time you open the trash can, you’ll get to enjoy that fresh laundry smell!
If you have an area rug or a floor mat that can be machine washed, toss that in too (though you may want to wash that in a separate cycle). If your rugs aren’t washable, spray them with some carpet cleaner and vacuum them to get all the crumbs and dirt out.
5. Add Some Citrus Scents
There’s a reason why so many cleaning products and soaps are scented with lemons and other fruits. Like sunlight, citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, boost serotonin. Smelling them promotes mental stimulation and makes you feel happier!
Clean your floors and countertops with lemon-scented cleaning agents. Spray the room with a citrus air freshener. Or, cut up some oranges and place them in a bowl on your countertop.
You can snack on them while you’re finishing your cleaning and make the room smell good at the same time.
6. Clean Your Sink With Rosemary
If your kitchen looks clean but still doesn’t smell fresh, there’s a good chance your garbage disposal or sink drain is the culprit.
Odors collect in the sink easily, and running water isn’t enough to clean them out. But you don’t need to use harsh chemicals to get them smelling fresh. All you need is some rosemary, citrus rinds, and a bit of vinegar.
Here’s how to do it:
Chop half a cup of rinds from lemons, limes, or oranges. Chop up two tablespoons of rosemary, fresh or dried.
Put the rinds into the individual slots of an ice cube tray. Add the chopped rosemary on top. Fill the tray with vinegar instead of water and let it freeze as you would if you were making regular ice cubes.
Once they’re frozen, toss one down the drain, turn on the water, and run your disposal. You’ll love the way it smells!
You only need to clean your drain with one “ice cube” at a time, so store the rest in your freezer for future use.
7. Clean Your Dishes and Dishwasher With Vinegar
Vinegar is acidic. And it’s that acidity that makes it such a powerful cleaning agent. It can be used on everything from window to floors, but it works especially well as a natural dishwasher cleaner.
When you empty your dishwasher, do you pull out cloudy glasses or plates with water spots? That’s because hard water leaves marks. 85% of homes in the US have hard water, so this is a problem that most of us can’t avoid.
A little white vinegar can make those hard water stains disappear. Just add a small bowl filled with some vinegar to the top rack of your dishwasher and run it as usual along with your dirty dishes. It will ward off those hard water stains.
You can also use it to clean the dishwasher itself. To do that, just place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run the empty dishwasher on a hot cycle. The vinegar will get rid of any grime or grease that’s stuck on the inside.
With the right products and a little bit of know-how, you can make your kitchen the most mood-boosting room in your entire apartment.
So clean out your fridge and pantry. Clean those windows, wash your linens, and clean the insides of your garbage disposal and dishwasher. Open up your windows, let some sunlight in, and add some citrus scents to make it smell even better.
Just be warned, with a kitchen this clean, you might not want to dirty it by cooking! Instead of making a meal, you might want to make a dinner reservation instead.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at The Charlie with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making The Charlie the place to call home.