Clean Your Kitchen Quickly And Effortlessly With These Time-Saving Tips

Cleaning your kitchen can take a long time. After cooking or baking, you have burnt food stuck on pots, a grime-splattered microwave, or a flour-covered counter. But if you know the right hacks, you can clean your kitchen quickly. Some hacks even prevent messes in the first place.

Homeowners have invented plenty of time-saving techniques. They can wash a bottle without using a brush and clean an oven overnight while they’re sleeping. If you want to save tons of time, read these handy kitchen cleaning hacks.

Clean Your Blender In Minutes

A blender is dirtied with a kale, spinach, apple, and honey smoothie.
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With grooves in the glass and sharp blades, blenders are hard to clean. There’s a way to clean your blender quickly and easily, but you’ll have to do it right after you make your smoothie. If the food dries, this technique will fail.

First, fill your blender halfway with warm (not boiling) water. Add some dish soap, and blend it for two minutes. After, rinse it with water. If a few things remain stuck, blend it again with only hot water inside.

Throw Out Scraps Without Dirtying A Bowl

A plastic bag covering a bowl is filled with food scrap.
@CNET/Twitter
@CNET/Twitter

When you’re chopping vegetables or cracking eggs, you’ll have leftover stems, shells, and skins. If you don’t have a trash can near you, you can toss them into a bowl, but that bowl will get dirty. To prevent this, cover the bowl with a plastic bag or wrap.

Drop your scraps into the plastic-covered bowl. When you’re done, lift the plastic, tie it, and throw it out. Your bowl will remain clean! However, if you place animal products into the bowl–like eggshells or meat fat–wash it anyway. You don’t want dangerous bacteria on it.

Sanitize Your Sink Drain

A person cleans a sink drain by pouring baking soda into it.
@Sulekhadtocom/Twitter
@Sulekhadtocom/Twitter

If your sink drain begins to smell, you can sanitize it with a DIY drain cleaner. First, boil water and mix it with a tiny bit of dish soap. Pour it down the drain. The soap and warm water will dislodge grease and make it easier to dismantle.

Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Then, add one cup of distilled white vinegar or lemon. The baking soda should react and bubble. After waiting for five minutes, pour more boiling water down the drain (this time without soap). Viola! A fresh sink.

Freshen Your Microwave Within Minutes

A person places a bowl of water and a lemon in a microwave.
@TimeforyouM/Twitter
@TimeforyouM/Twitter

If your microwave smells, you can get rid of the odor and loosen the gunk at the same time. You just need a bowl half-filled with water and one lemon. Cut the lemon in half, and juice both halves into the water. Place the remaining halves inside the bowl as well.

Then, microwave the lemon water for three minutes. Let it sit for five minutes. The steam will dislodge any gunk or sauce stains that have hardened onto your microwave walls. Afterward, wipe off the residue. It’ll smell like new!

Wash Bottles With Rice

A YouTuber pours dry rice into a bottle to clean it.
The Hartford/YouTube
The Hartford/YouTube

Irregularly-shaped bottles such as travel mugs, vases, and some glasses can be hard to clean. To save time, just add rice to your cleaning solution. Fill the water with warm water, a handful of rice, and a tiny amount of dish soap. Then, shake!

The rice will scrub the hard-to-reach areas without scratching the glass. You can also use this method for vases, baby bottles, and toothbrush holders. Remember that you don’t have to stuff the glass with rice; a little goes a long way.

Sanitize Wooden Cutting Boards

Fresh squeezed lemon halves sit on a wooden cutting board.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Because you can’t soak wooden cutting boards or run them through the dishwasher, they are notoriously hard to clean. However, you can clean them with lemon and salt. The lemon’s high acidity will disinfect the cutting board without damaging it, and the salt will scrub in the nooks and crannies.

Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze the first half onto the cutting board and discard it. Then, sprinkle coarse salt over the board, and use the second half of the lemon to wipe it. Remove all the rest with a damp paper towel, and you’re done!

Save Your Baking Counter

A baker pours flour into a bowel.
Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Baking guarantees messes. Flour, salt, and sugar WILL get all over your counter. For easy cleanup, stir your baking mixture over a cutting board. The debris will land on the board, and you can easily wipe it off afterward.

If you don’t want to use a cutting board, cover your counters with plastic wrap. This is even less clean-up since you can pick up the wrap and throw it away. You’ll still have to wash the dishes, but you won’t need to mess with the counter.

Remove Burned Bits Without Soaking

The bottom of a pot is burnt.
rochelle hartman/Flickr
Anne Worner/Flickr

Burned food clings to the bottom of pots, and many people soak the pots to dislodge it. But you don’t have to. Instead of soaking, heat the pot again. When the metal warms, pour in some vinegar and let it sit for a bit. Use a brush or spatula to scrub off the debris.

If you have stainless steel pans, use baking soda instead. Mix equal parts of baking soda and warm water. After it becomes a paste, use it to scrub the bottom of a pan. The baking soda is less acidic and abrasive than vinegar.

Clean Your Oven While You Sleep

An employee inspects a client's oven.
Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images
Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images

If you want to quickly wipe down your oven, let the cleaning solution work its magic overnight. You don’t even have to turn the oven on. First, remove all the racks from the oven. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with around three tablespoons of water to create a paste. While wearing gloves, coat the inside of your oven.

Close the oven, and go to bed. After 12 hours, the grime should loosen enough to wipe away. If the paste hardens, spray it with some vinegar and let it bubble. Then, wipe your oven down.

Rid Your Mugs Of Coffee Stains

A YouTuber demonstrates how to remove coffee stains from a mug by pouring baking powder inside.
eHow/YouTube
eHow/YouTube

Do you have coffee and tea stains inside your mugs? Join the club. Those won’t disappear, no matter how hard you scrub with soap. But you can remove them with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda into your mug, and add a tiny bit of water. You only need enough to form a paste.

After mixing your paste, scrub the mug. You may need a brush or mesh bag to do this. Baking soda works because it’s slightly abrasive, and it can dig into the nooks and crannies of your mug.

De-Crumb Your Toaster

A picture shows a white toaster.
DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images
Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Although toasters are one of the hardest appliances to clean, you can remove all the crumbs within ten minutes using this hack. First, unplug the toaster. Then, remove the crumb tray. Most toasters have a tray on the bottom that gathers crumbs. Removing that is easier than turning the toaster upside-down.

You can clean the tray quickly with warm water and soap. Dry it thoroughly before putting it back in. Then, wipe down the outside with warm, soapy water. If your toaster is stainless steel, buff it with a bit of vinegar. That’s it!

Prevent Garbage From Smelling

A woman throws away waste into her kitchen trash can.
Dustin Shum/South China Morning Post via Getty Images
dani0010/Flickr

Kitchen trash bags become smelly quickly. After all, they accumulate raw, spoiled, and cooked food that’ll stink within hours. To freshen the smell, place a few drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball. Drop the ball into the trash.

If your trash keeps smelling after you take out the bag, it’s time to clean the can itself. Use a hose and a toilet scrubber to reach the dirty nooks. Afterward, you can place a cotton ball with essential oil on the inside of the can, before you put the bag in.

The No-Soap Coffee Maker Cleanse

A person pours vinegar into a coffee maker to clean it.
@MJaffrie/Twitter
Daniel Moyer/Pinterest

If you don’t clean your coffee maker along with the pot, it may develop mold and bacteria that could make you sick. To disinfect the entire machine, pour three cups of white vinegar and six cups of water into the maker’s reservoir. If your machine is small, switch the ratio to one cup of vinegar and two cups of water.

Run the coffee maker. When the cycle finishes, turn it off, and let the solution sit for 15 minutes. Afterward, run two cycles of plain water. This will remove the vinegar taste and leave a clean coffee maker.

Polish A Stainless Steel Sink With Flour

A photograph shows a stainless steel kitchen sink.
Daniel Thistlethwaite/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Daniel Thistlethwaite/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

If you have a stainless steel sink, you may have noticed that water droplets become visible over time. Return its shine by using flour–yes, the flour that you bake with. First, clean the sink. Sprinkle baking soda and wipe it with a damp sponge to remove debris while not scratching the sink.

After you wash and dry the sink completely, sprinkle flour on it. Only 1/4 cup will do the trick. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then buff it with a soft, clean rag. Your sink will look as good as new.

Soak Up Grease With Bread

lemon shrimp cooks in a pan with a slice of bread.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Greasy pans are hard to clean. If you leave them for a while, the grease will harden and become a burden that you may need to soak overnight. Instead of leaving a greasy pan soaking in the sink, place a slice of bread inside it.

The bread will soak up the grease more effectively than a sponge. To save time, wipe down your pan with a bread slice and throw the slice away. Trust us–this will save you so much time and dish soap.

Divide Your Drawers

A kitchen drawer is organized with sections.
It’s Sewn/Pinterest
It’s Sewn/Pinterest

If your tools clatter around every time you open your drawers, divide them into sections. Buy some drawer organizers and stick them inside. You know those dividers that separate silverware? Those can also work for other kitchen utensils.

If you don’t have drawer organizers, make some yourself. Put some plastic containers without lids inside the drawer. Although they may move around a bit, they’ll separate your tools and make drawers easier to navigate. Your friends will be impressed by your organization!

Organize Your Lids

Container lids are organized with a wooden dish rack.
Gabriela Coelho/Pinterest
Gabriela Coelho/Pinterest

If your lids are cluttering your pantry or pouring out of your cabinets, you need to organize them. There are several methods you can use. One is to stack your lids in a dish drying rack. The ridges will stack lids vertically so you can see all of them and easily reach one.

Another space-saving tip is to seal all of your lids inside a container. If you hang your pots, you can install hooks to hang your lids as well. Get creative, and you can keep your cabinets clean.

Group Pantry Foods Into Tubs

A pantry divides food into plastic tubs.
Rubbermaid Products/Flickr
Rubbermaid Products/Flickr

A foolproof way to organize your pantry is to group smaller containers into larger containers. Buy baskets or tubs with labels and store all of your pantry foods in there. For example, include a basket of pasta noodles and sauces. Add a basket of snack foods, too.

When you reach into your pantry, you’ll know exactly what is where. Trays, tubs, glass plastic containers–all of them can organize your pantry. Plus, air-tight containers will make nuts, dry noodles, and grains last much longer than a cardboard box.

Hang A Tension Rod Under Your Sink

Spray bottles hang on a tension rod underneath the sink.
Diane Davies/Pinterest
Diane Davies/Pinterest

Many people use the cabinet under their sink for cleaning supplies. While it makes sense, the spray bottles can quickly clutter the space. Hang a tension rod inside your cabinet to save room, and hang the bottles on it. It automatically looks cleaner!

If you can’t hang a rod, use the cabinet doors. Get a hanger that fits over a cabinet door for extra storage space. Your extra sponges, wet wipes, and dish soap will be there as soon as you open the cabinet.

Scrub Cast Iron Pans With Sea Salt

A person pours coarse salt into a cast iron pan.
Jeannine Daunais/Pinterest
Jeannine Daunais/Pinterest

Contrary to popular belief, you can clean cast iron pans with a small amount of soap. But soap won’t remove bits of food from the crevices of the cast iron, and the taste may linger on the pan. Instead, scrub your pan with salt.

Pour one cup of coarse salt into a warm cast iron pan. Use a damp, folded towel to rub the salt into the crevices. Afterward, rinse the pan with warm water and let it dry. The antibacterial properties of salt will clean the pan without soap.