TONS of people look to the spring as the time to get their houses in order, and catch up on those pesky cleaning projects we would all love to forget. For me, when the sun is shining and the windows are open, I just really crave having that sparkly home….the home you feel great coming home to…I’m going to take the next month or so to walk you through the steps to have a TRULY clean home….(Not the “clean enough” home….I’m talking a deep down, fresh, sparkly clean!)

We will start our Chasing Clean Challenge in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home. Sure, we all do the dishes, and spend our fair share of time with the dishwasher or a sink full of suds…We probably wipe the counter or the table every once in awhile (You can only handle the dried up spaghetti so long…) BUT, dirt, grime, and overall nastiness can hide in SO many places in the kitchen…Sometimes I fear that Gordon Ramsey will come through and tell me my kitchen looks like “utter crap” (okay maybe I watch too much reality tv…)

Now, are you ready for this challenge? Hoping you’ll take it with me! I promise to hand out the daily challenges in manageable chunks. You CAN do this! My goal is to provide you with cleaning challenges that can be accomplished during an average nap. =)

We will be spending the next few days in the kitchen, and today we tackle….the stove!

The Project: The Stove

The Steps:

The Oven Drawer

1. Pull out the oven drawer, and remove EVERYTHING! Often, the pans on the bottom of the stack are filled with food debris, and dust and will need a good washing. Do this.

2. Vacuum out the drawer, making sure to pay attention to the corners and back. You may also want to use a disinfectant spray to make sure everything is fresh.

3. Put everything back in the drawer in an organized fashion.Make sure the drawer actually closes with ease!

The Stovetop

1. If you have a smooth top range like me, you’re going to want to remove anything that may be on top. Use a mild cleanser or scrubber to tackle the cooked on food and grease that may be plaguing your range top. I use a range top cleaner from Weiman. Scotch Brite also has a range cleaning tool that I’ve used in the past.

2. If you have raised burners, REMOVE them. Clean out any rims you may have, vacuum the space where they sit, and gently scrub the burners themselves. If you have burner covers, clean those as well, making sure to wipe down any grease that may be on the inside.

3. REMOVE YOUR KNOBS! Take off those stove top knobs and clean them! My knobs have a tendency to collect so much grime and dust. They pop off quite easily, and snap right back on. Wipe them down with a disinfectant and restore them to their original factory shine.

4. Deal with the accessories! If you have a tea kettle that sits atop your stove…clean it! If you have salt and pepper shakers..wipe them down! Throw the spoon rest in the dishwasher. Toss the dish towels in the laundry. You get the idea.

5. Wipe down the oven door, the top of the stove (not the stove top, the actual top!), the handle, the part behind the knobs….give it a good wipe with your favorite cleaner. (I recommend Mr. Clean with Febreeze!)

The Oven

1. If you can take the heat (literally) set your oven to self-clean…HOWEVER, in the summer especially, I have no desire to lock my oven shut and have it clean at 800 degrees for hours on end…SO, vacuum out any bits of chunky food on the bottom, and use a good oven cleaner to wipe out the grease, food spills, etc. Oven fires can happen so easily if we don’t keep the bottom of our oven nice and clean.

That’s it for today! Take the Chasing Clean Challenge, and I’ll meet you back here tomorrow for Day 2!