1. Why Your Kitchen Needs the Power of Steam
Steamers have the power to blast away dirt and grime with little effort, thanks to the power that these machines provide. The portable steam cleaner Fortador Volt Mini allows you to apply steam to clean surfaces at a force of 101.5 psi. It also heats water to up a temperature of 338 degrees Fahrenheit, well above the boiling point needed to kill organisms that can cause sickness. The Volt Mini comes with a variety of attachments that you can use to seep clean all kinds of surfaces, from exhaust fans and ceiling fans to counters, appliances, garbage disposal, windows and floors. Having a clean kitchen is the first step in having a clean house. Get your entire kitchen beyond clean by following these tips.
2. Eight Steps for a Kitchen Deep Clean
2.1 Dust and Declutter
Clutter can make a kitchen feel messy and dirty. Before you get down to the nitty-gritty, take stock of what is out of place and what can be thrown away. Start in one corner or section of the kitchen and remove everything that is not in its proper place. Recycle papers you don’t need and throw away items that don’t have any use. Take out-of-place items away from the kitchen and place them in a container for later organizing. You can put them in their rightful place after your kitchen is completely clean.
Dust everything, starting from the top and working your way down. Cleaning in this manner makes sense because as you dislodge the dirt at the top, it falls to the next lowest level, and so on. Dust light fixtures and ceiling fan blades, the top of the refrigerator, and any cabinets whose shelves don’t reach the ceiling. Don’t forget to pay attention to the range hood, small appliances that don’t get used often, and the area behind those appliances. Remove small appliances and put them in a safe place to fully clean later after you have deep cleaned the counters with steam. When you have dusted everything, either sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dirt and debris. Move large appliances to get to reach the floor underneath where dust bunnies and general debris accumulates. Once you have tidied up the kitchen, you’re ready to begin the more challenging work of cleaning individual items.
2.2 Clean small appliances
Start with the interior of each. Remove crumbs first from your microwave and your toaster. Run a vinegar cycle through your coffeemaker to remove mineral residue. You don’t need to spend too much time cleaning the exterior of appliances, as steam will do the bulk of the work.
Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to take time to remove any food that may be caked on. Lightly clean appliance exteriors with a microfiber cloth and a solution of vinegar and hot water. If any of your appliances have stainless steel finishes, use an all-purpose cleaner or a solution of dish soap and water instead, as vinegar can strip the finish.
2.3 Wipe Down Anything With a Home on Your Counters
The next step involves giving anything that has a permanent place on your counters some tender loving care, including trays, bottles, containers, a rack of mugs, canisters for various cooking necessities, and handy organizers with cooking implements. Dust them or wipe them down with a microfiber cloth and dishwater. Don’t forget about your dish rack, and while you're at it, throw the mat underneath it into the washing machine for a thorough cleaning.
2.4 Prep the Exterior of Large Appliances
Briefly wiping down the exterior of your large appliances like the stove and oven, dishwasher and refrigerator will help prep those items when you use the steam cleaner on them. For gas stovetops, remove the grills and soak them if they are grimy. Clean electric burners with diluted dish soap, while electric glass stovetops only need wiping down with warm soapy water. The fronts of appliances have the most grime, along with knobs or displays, so don’t forget those areas. Refrigerator handles are another area that require special attention.
2.5 Prepare Cabinets
Empty your cabinets, brush away crumbs and note any sticky areas. Throw out old and expired foods. Wiping down the interiors and exteriors of cabinets at the same time may be more convenient than preparing only the exteriors. Know what your cabinets are made of before you start to use the appropriate cleaning solution. Most cabinets will do just fine with a soapy dishwater solution. If your cabinets are made from unsealed wood, you won’t be able to steam them as the steamer can warp them. In that case, you may need to scrub some areas to get them clean.
2.6 Wipe Down Your Counter and Scrub the Sink
Now it’s time to give your counters and sink the attention these heavily used areas deserve. Work in sections to remove crumbs. Take a thin knife or another thin implement to remove anything caught between the counter and your stove. Better yet, you may even want to move the stove partially out of its space to fully clean the sides of the counters and stove as liquids can drip down the sides and cake on in places you normally don’t see. Remember not to spray a white vinegar solution on natural stone counters as the acid can eat into the finish. Check with the counter manufacturer to see what type of cleaner you can use for deeper cleaning. Buff your counters dry with a microfiber cloth and then head to the next section, leaving the area around the sink for last.
Cleaning your sink with hot steam is easier than you think. If you haven’t already done so, take a knife and gently dislodge any crumbs or gunk that may have lodged itself at the seam of the counter and the sink. Gently wipe down the surface with a sponge and then take a scrubbing cleanser like Barkeeper’s Friend or Bon Ami along with a non-scratch scrubbing pad to scrub away water and mineral stains and make it shine. If you have a garbage disposal, squeeze juice from lemons, limes, or another citrus fruit to keep it smelling nice.
2.7 Empty the Refrigerator
Save this preparation step for last to minimize the time that your food is out of the refrigerator. Take the time to toss any expired container and note where gunk and mold are from the packages you placed in there months ago and forgot. You’ll want to pay particular attention to those spots when you begin steam cleaning. Place all food in a cooler to keep it cold. Remove all crumbs using a wire brush to get into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. As with other kitchen surfaces, you can wipe down the interior with a dishwater solution or use white vinegar and hot water. Soak vegetable, fruit and meat bins if you wish to make steaming easier. You’re now ready to begin disinfecting with your portable steam cleaner.
2.8 Steam Clean All Kitchen Surfaces
You can follow almost the same pattern of steaming as you did with preparation, starting from the top down with a few exceptions. Most notably, start with the inside of your refrigerator and freezer so you can put the food back in as soon as possible.
3. Freshen the Fridge
Unplug the fridge before you start and let it come to room temperature Work on the freezer first, paying particular attention to the ice dispenser. Use a slim attachment to focus on removing gunk from the nooks and crannies. Hard water minerals tend to build up in this area, leading to an unpleasant smell. Remove the water dispenser, change the filter and clean it by also using a slim attachment. Wipe down those areas with a paper towel or microfiber cloth after you’re done.
Remove shelves and moveable inserts in both the refrigerator and the freezer. Crossbars underneath glass inserts above bins are particularly prone to spills that can hide along with accumulating crumbs. Make sure these areas are free of food residue before steaming. The steamer’s high temperature and power will dissolve dried on food and mold. Always work from top to bottom, so you don’t have to re-steam areas that you have already cleaned if residue drops down from the top.
Use a small brush attachment or a narrow nozzle to get into tight places and get rid of sticky messes. Follow with a dry microfiber cloth to soak up any remaining water. Wipe down the outsides and insides of bins with a mixture of vinegar and water and dry them before putting them back into the fridge. You can also wipe down bottles and other food containers before replacing them inside the fridge and the freezer.
4. Clean Your Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
Starting once again at the top, steam clean your light fixtures and the blades of ceiling fans, using the smaller attachments. Proceed next to the range hood. These areas may have extra grease on them, so you may want to go over them twice or even apply an extra dose of cleaning solution to stubborn areas. Remove the metal filter from the range exhaust fan, place it on a flat surface with a paper towel underneath and blast steam at it. The grease will come right off.
5. Steam Cabinets Inside and Outside
If you have cabinets made of sealed wood or another type of material that can withstand steaming. Clean them next, working in small sections, wiping them dry as you go along. If your cabinets are made of unsealed wood, wash and dry them quickly. Wipe down the exteriors of bottles and packages of food that you intend to keep and replace them inside the cabinets once they are dry.
6. Steam Clean Windows and Sliding Doors
At this point in your kitchen overhaul, you may want to temporarily stop cleaning appliances and switch to brightening windows and doors, depending on where they are located. If they are near your appliances and counters, steam them now. If not, you can wait until just before you clean the floors. Use the squeegee attachment to get your windows sparkling clean. A word of warning: don’t steam clean your windows when it’s cold outside as the hot soapy water and pressure will cause them to crack.
7. Microwave and Small Appliances
Steam the inside of your microwave next to loosen anything hardened that is still left inside and then clean the outside. You’ll be able to easily wipe away anything that loosens with a microfiber cloth. Do the same with any of the small appliances with permanent places on the counters.
8. Rid Your Stove and Oven of Grease
Even if you regularly clean the top of the stove and e knobs and displays, some grease is bound to remain. Clean this area next, working your way down. Team the stove stop along with the grates and any drip plates. You’ll be able to wipe away grease and grime.
Before you get to the very bottom, open the oven and use the steamer inside, using a long attachment if needed. Ovens get a lot of caked-on and burnt residue that can be tough to clean. Steam will loosen it, allowing you to just wipe it away, all without harmful chemicals. Proceed to the bottom of the stove exterior.
9. Clean the Backsplash and Countertops
Steaming the backsplash, especially tile ones, is a great way to bring new life and restore dingy grout. Move downward from the tile to counters and move the steam cleaner in small sections. Us the detail nozzle to get into hard-to-reach corners and seams. Finish with a microfiber cloth as you work. Now is an excellent time to take out your cutting boards and disinfect them along with the counters, using the same cleaning method to remove any lingering bacteria. Finish by going over the sink and the faucets one more time, paying particular attention to the controls by using a brush attachment to blast away dirt. Avoid using steam on granite as the heat and pressure can damage it.
10. Don’t Forget the Dishwasher
You have one more appliance to disinfect, your automatic dishwasher. The interior can also accumulate food and gunk, especially at the bottom. Door interiors can also collect dirt so pay close attention to those. Use a nozzle attachment to clean the hinges and door interior.
Move to the exterior, working your way slowly from the top down. Steam is appropriate for both regular and stainless steel surfaces. If you have white exteriors, steam will remove years of staining. Stainless steel surfaces will achieve a like-new shine when you wipe them down following steaming with a towel. All drawer pulls, handles and the like will look new again.
11. Give Your Floors New Life
Your steam cleaner isn’t just for carpets. It’s also great for most types of floors, except unsealed hardwoods. Use the cleaner’s mop or brush attachment to make your floors really shine. You can also get behind stoves and refrigerators with long attachments to wash those ultra dirty areas underneath both.
12. Other Areas to Consider
If you have time, consider cleaning the tracks to sliding doors, which are notorious for accumulating dirt, as well as your kitchen garbage cans. Clean both the interior and exterior surface to remove dirt and bacteria and make your trash bin look new again.
13. Tips of Saving Money With Steam Cleaning
The most significant benefit of using steam to clean your kitchen is that it kills harmful bacteria. It also doesn’t leave any residue, unlike chemical and bleach cleaners. As an added benefit, you’ll also save money in the long run with this user-friendly cleaning method as you won’t have to buy all kinds of cleaning products, plus you’ll have your kitchen looking sparkling clean and sanitized in no time.