How to deep clean a small kitchen according to experts

All the expert-approved deep cleaning advice you need for your small kitchen

A small galley kitchen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to tackling the task of deep cleaning a small kitchen, whether it’s a compact galley kitchen or it’s part of a teeny tiny kitchen diner, there are a selection of steps that cleaning experts always recommend taking. 

Because, while you might assume that a quick wipe-over would be enough to keep a compact kitchen fresh and clean, it actually takes a lot more than that to properly clean a kitchen, regardless of how small it is. 

We chatted with a selection of experts, including a professional cleaning expert and a private maid service, about the best ways to approach deep cleaning a small kitchen, as well as all the best small kitchen ideas for creating an easy-to-clean space. Here’s what they told us. 

How cleaning experts tackle deep cleaning a small kitchen

Admittedly, there are lots of kitchen cleaning hacks that you can try, but how can they be specifically used in small kitchens? And what steps does it take to actually deep clean the space, rather than just tackling the normal daily cleaning tasks? This is what the experts have to say. 

1. Get your supplies together

A caddy of cleaning products

(Image credit: Canva)

Getting your cleaning supplies together before deep cleaning your kitchen is an essential step, especially as it will help to streamline the entire process. 

Shlomo Cherniak, owner of Cherniak Handyman Services, says: "Before you start deep cleaning your kitchen, gather the supplies you'll need. This may include cleaning cloths (these microfiber cloths from Amazon are a great option), a vacuum (like this Miele vacuum from Amazon that has incredible suction), dish soap, vinegar/warm water solution, specialty cabinet cleaner or cleaner with orange oil, all-purpose cleaner (like this Lysol all-purpose cleaner from Amazon), and baking soda (optional)."

The truth is that deep cleaning can be seriously hard work, so picking out cleaning products that make the process easier is a worthwhile step to take. 

Take the time to think about the cleaning products that could work well in a more compact space, such as this flat-headed mop from Amazon that is flexible enough to fit into even the most compact of corners and comes with over 12,000 five-star reviews, or this under appliance flexible cleaning tool from Amazon

Shlomo Cherniak
Shlomo Cherniak

Shlomo Cherniak is the owner of Cherniak Home Services, and is a professional, reliable, and affordable handyman, offering a wide range of services including an expert-led cleaning service. 

2. Start with a clear space

A small kitchen with wooden counter tops

(Image credit: Canva)

Once you've got your supplies organized, the next step is to focus on removing any mess or clutter from the space. Decluttering a small space doesn't have to be a challenge. 

Muffetta Krueger, Cleaning Expert and Founder of Muffetta Domestic Assistants, says: "Begin by removing items from countertops, cabinets, and drawers. Discard expired or unused items and organize the remaining essentials. This not only facilitates the cleaning process but also enhances the overall functionality of the kitchen."

If you're keen to understand to declutter without getting overwhelmed, it can be helpful to focus on just one area to declutter at a time. 

Muffetta Krueger
Muffetta Krueger

Muffetta Krueger is a cleaning expert and founder of Muffetta's Domestic Assistants.

3. Ensure that you’re utilizing space

A kitchen cupboard with storage baskets

(Image credit: Canva)

It's not technically a deep cleaning tip but it's a super helpful factor to consider when it comes to organizing your small kitchen and ensuring that it remains neat and ordered. 

Vanessa Terra Bossart, CEO and Founder of Sparkling Clean Pro, says: “Utilize space efficiently. Organize cabinets, making items easily accessible and reducing clutter.” 

As a team, we're well versed on the issues that come with living with clutter in a small space and, as a result, have tested out a wide range of kitchen organization products. One of our favorites for compact kitchens with limited cabinet space is these Joseph Joseph self-adhesive pan lid holders from Amazonthat can be stuck to the inside of your cupboard doors and used to neatly store pan lids. These hook-over cupboard door caddies from Amazon are also a great buy, as are these stackable fridge organizers from Amazon

Still looking for some more kitchen organizing inspo? We've rounded up a selection of all the best small kitchen organizers

Vanessa Terra Bossart
Vanessa Terra Bossart

Vanessa Terra Bossart, is a Brazilian Business CEO and founder of Sparkling Clean Pro, Sparkling Clean Agency, and Green Living Cleaning Supplies.

4. Be mindful of spots that can be overlooked

A kitchen sink with hand soap and a plant

(Image credit: Canva)

The reality is that, even in small kitchens, there are areas that tend to be overlooked when it comes to cleaning. 

As someone who recently moved out of a home with a tiny kitchen, I can wholeheartedly attest to that. While doing the dreaded "move out clean" I found so many areas of my kitchen that had been unintentionally overlooked. 

Don't forget to look at those areas that are not usually visible, such as underneath the faucets, around and in the sink drain, underneath kitchen counter handles, and on top of the wall cabinets. When it comes to deep cleaning, paying attention to all of these areas in your kitchen that you usually forget to clean is vital. 

A really great hack for getting into tight areas, like under kitchen counter handles and in all the nooks and crannies of faucets is to twist a multi-purpose cleaning wipe around the point of a cocktail stick, and use the point to clean those tight spaces. For this, these Lysol wipes from Amazon area great pick. 

For ensuring that your sink smells nice and fresh, this sink refresher powder from Amazon is a great buy. 

5. Focus on each appliance

A kitchen stove top

(Image credit: Canva)

If there's one thing that it's easy to forget when deep cleaning a kitchen, it's making the time to focus on each appliance individually. 

Krueger says: "Clean appliances inside and out. For the refrigerator, remove shelves and drawers for a comprehensive cleaning. Use a mixture of water and mild detergent for wiping down surfaces. Don't forget to clean behind and beneath appliances to eliminate hidden dirt and grease."

Cherniak adds: "Deep clean your appliances, including the refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher. Remove any detachable components and wash them separately. Use appropriate cleaning solutions for each appliance."

Admittedly, some appliances are easier to clean than others. While knowing how to clean a fridge tends to be fairly simple, the process of cleaning an oven can be a far more stressful affair, though we have tested Easy Off heavy-duty oven cleaner from Amazon, which has over 9000 five-star ratings from shoppers, and have found it to be super effective at cutting through grease and grime, significantly speeding up the oven and stove cleaning process. 

6. Don't forget the cabinets and drawers

A pair of kitchen drawers with crockery in

(Image credit: Canva)

Cleaning the kitchen cabinets and drawers can be time-consuming, but if you get the approach right it doesn't have to take all day. 

Krueger says: "Wipe down cabinet doors, handles, and drawer pulls. Consider using a wood cleaner (like this wood cleaning spray from Amazon) for wooden surfaces and an all-purpose cleaner for other materials. Take the opportunity to line shelves and drawers with fresh liner material (like this super sweet daisy print material from Amazon)."

When cleaning out cabinets and drawers that will store food, cutlery, or crockery, make sure to use food-safe cleaning products, like this Mrs Myers multi-purpose cleaning spray from Amazon that has over 85,000 five-star reviews.

7. Give the sinks and faucets some love

A kitchen sink with a tap

(Image credit: Canva)

Out of all of the appliances in your kitchen, the sink and faucet probably get the most use. So taking the time to properly clean them is essential. 

Krueger says: "Scrub the sink thoroughly, paying attention to the faucet and handles. For stainless steel sinks, a mixture of water and mild dish soap works wonders. Consider using a toothbrush to reach tight spots around the faucet."

Cherniak says: "Pay attention to crevices and seams where dirt and grime can accumulate. Clean the faucet as well."

For getting into all of the tightest crevices, these slim-line brushes from Amazon are a great buy. 

It's also important not to forget to clean the kitchen sink drain, as well as the rest of the sink. Drains can release a bad odor if not properly cleaned, so making sure to clean the drain (this Green Gobbler drain cleaner from Amazon comes highly rated and has over 4000 five-star reviews from shoppers) is important for ensuring that your kitchen remains odor-free. 

8. Don't forget the floors

A kitchen with hard wood floor

(Image credit: Canva)

Admittedly, the floors of your kitchen get a lot of use and, as a result, are probably more prone to wear and tear than the rest of the space. So cleaning floors regularly is important. 

Krueger says: "Vacuum or sweep the floor to remove loose dirt and debris. Mop with a suitable floor cleaner (this Fabuloso floor cleaner from Amazon is my personal go-to), and pay extra attention to corners and edges. If applicable, consider applying a floor sealer (like this floor sealer spray from Amazon) for added protection."

A really great tool that can work wonders on both hard floors and carpets is a steam cleaner. The great thing about this form of cleaning is that using a steam cleaner couldn't be simpler: all you need to do is fill the tank with water, plug it in, and you're away. 

Fancy giving a steam cleaner a try? I have the Shark Life Away 2-in-1 Pro steam mop from Amazon at home and, honestly, it's incredible. 

9. Give the windows some TLC

A window with a plant in front of it

(Image credit: Canva)

One area of the kitchen that it's easy to overlook is the windows. But if you're going to properly deep clean the space, giving the windows a good clean is an essential part of the process. 

You might have noticed that the windows in your small kitchen have become a little sticky. Knowing how to clean windows that have a sticky coating on them (usually caused by airbourne grease) can be tricky, luckily there are a range of products, like this Windex spray from Amazon, that can help to quickly remove the residue coating windows. 

10. How can you remove dirt from kitchen tiles when deep cleaning?

A kitchen with tiles walls

(Image credit: Canva)

If there's one job that takes a lot of elbow grease, it's removing dirt from tiles and grout. 

Bossart says: “Scrubbing grout and tiles can transform the look of a kitchen. A small brush and a mixture of vinegar and water do the trick.”

As a team, we test out lots of cleaning products, and one of our favorite go-tos for cleaning grout is this handheld electric cleaning brush from Amazon.


How can you remove grease from your kitchen when deep cleaning?

Knowing how to effectively remove grease from kitchen appliances can be tricky. 

Bossart suggests: “A mix of baking soda and dish soap works wonders for stubborn grease. It's practical and eco-friendly.”

For easier cleaning, use a self-dispensing dish brush (like this ScotchBrite dish brush from Amazon) to clean grease from appliances. 

Can you use natural cleaning products to deep clean your kitchen?

Knowing how to deep clean a small kitchen can be a little more difficult than you might think. With the amount of tasks that need to be tackled, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. 

As a starting point, Cherniak says: "Deep cleaning a small kitchen can be done effectively by following a step-by-step process." 

It's a good idea to start by getting all of the cleaning products you'll need together, and then take some time to declutter the space by having a clear out of any unwanted clutter, before reorganizing the space. Once you've done that, you can then start the cleaning process. For ease, start at the top of the kitchen (think: the tops of the cabinets) and work your way down, cleaning the floors last. That way, any dust or dirt that gets wiped onto them will only need to be cleaned once. 

We have a helpful kitchen cleaning checklist that's great for if you like to tick chores off as you go. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.