The 7 habits of people who always have a clean kitchen revealed - and how to make them work for you

...so that's how they do it

black and white kitchen
(Image credit: Neptune)

You know the type, their kitchen sink is always gleaming, floors are shiny and they’re not in the least bit afraid to show you the inside of their oven. Working out how to clean a kitchen (and the rest) while juggling work, errands, exercise and family time is HARD.

Cleaning expert, Joyce French from HomeHow has revealed the habits of people who always have a sparkling clean home, so you can finally crack how it's done.

blue kitchen with and island and white subway tiles

(Image credit: Neptune)

1. They buy the right kitchen tools, and keep them close by

It's easy to get carried away when shopping for the best cookware set, but you do not need a dozen pots and pans, bakeware for every kind of cake, or extra cutlery ‘just in case’. Although our teaspoons always seem to go missing, just us?

Avoid clutter by separating essential, everyday items from things you use now and then. Streamline your stuff and use clever kitchen storage ideas - keeping items neatly in a cabinet or displaying them decoratively around your kitchen with hooks and rails. 

2. They make sure the trash and recycling containers are big enough

A no-brainer, but a really easy mistake to make, especially if you've inherited a trash can. An overflow of recycling and trash will make your kitchen feel cluttered, and constantly maneuvering around the bags can be hazardous too. 

A small bin will need taking out more frequently, but a little and often approach feels less overwhelming than carrying a massive bin bag out. If you don't have space for a bin in your kitchen cupboards, buy a bin that you don't hate looking at to leave out.

dark blue kitchen with a rug and island

(Image credit: Neptune)

4. They clean as they cook

You know the drill - instead of leaving all the cleaning until you’re done cooking, clean as you go along. Set out a large empty bowl and throw in vegetable peels, wrappers, and eggshells so that all rubbish is contained and easily disposable. 

Fill your sink with hot, soapy water and throw in dirty dishes along the way to soak. If your meal requires baking or simmering, use this time effectively to clean your dirty dishes. Before you know it, you will clean as you go without really thinking about it.

4. They reorganize the fridge, freezer and pantry after every big grocery run

Filling every inch of your fridge, freezer and pantry can lead to forgotten foods, produce that has deteriorated, cross-contamination and foul smells. 

An easy way to maintain an organized fridge, freezer and pantry is to clean them out every time you get groceries. It sounds simple, but before your grocery shop, look and see whether you already have the item. 

pale blue kitchen with white walls

(Image credit: Neptune)

5. They embrace time-saving cleaning hacks

People who have clean kitchens are not cleaning from sunrise to sunset. Instead, they know how to use their time effectively and use easy kitchen cleaning hacks. For instance, to clean your microwave in five minutes you can fill a measuring jug with water till the halfway point. 

Add half a lemon and put on high for three minutes, ensuring to use oven gloves when removing the bowl. All the grease and grime will easily wipe away, leaving you with a sparkling microwave in no time. 

6. They load and run the dishwasher before bed

Starting the day with an empty dishwasher sets you up for success. Load and run the dishwasher before you go to bed, and then unload it while the coffee brews. This way, you can start every morning with a clean and peaceful kitchen, making the rest of the day easier. 

Breakfast dishes can go straight into the dishwasher, instead of leaving them to pile by the sink. Building these habits into a morning routine and night-time routine can help you stick with them.

7. They spot clean throughout the day

A deep clean, vacuum and mop can feel like an overwhelming chore, which is why you need to break it down into manageable sections. The best way to do this is by spot cleaning throughout the day. 

Glance around the kitchen. Are the blinds dusty? Does the crumb tray on your toaster need to be emptied? Is the floor messy?

 A spot clean should take seconds and is used to maintain a spotless kitchen, ready for a deeper clean when you have more time. Simply grab a wet cloth and wipe the affected areas or give the floors a quick sweep. 

A little daily maintenance is much less daunting than a deep clean. There are countless things we'd rather be doing than cleaning the sink, but with simple habits, you can keep your kitchen feeling calm and orderly when life feels generally upside down. 

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in January 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.