My #1 Tip for Keeping your Kitchen Clean

We are a family of five, my husband and I and our 3 teenage children. Over the years there have been girlfriends, boyfriends, billets, international students and extended family who are here quite often, and guess what…they are all hungry! 😉 I cook a lot. I don’t always love it, but when I’m organized and know what we are eating I don’t mind it and in fact I usually enjoy it. There is still one thing that always needs to happen….keeping the kitchen clean.

I sometimes will do a big cook day, preparing meals for the freezer so that during busy times or when I feel a need for a break, there will still be something here for everyone to eat. These are times that my kitchen is really put through the test and keeping the kitchen clean feels like a never-ending situation.

By either cooking every night or having a big cook day I have figured out a few things that work for me in the kitchen and help me from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I have one simple tip that I think makes all the difference in me having a clean kitchen every morning, and not wanting to sob in the corner after preparing 14 freezer meals. No…it’s not wine. It’s really simple…but so effective…can you guess?

It’s a sink full of hot soapy water. 🙂

That’s right…no fancy equipment or supplies required…just fill your kitchen sink with hot soapy water with your dish soap of choice. Fill it up as soon as you start cooking…in fact it’s often the first thing I do! You are now on your way to having your kitchen clean by the time your meal is finished.

I clean while I cook. Waiting for your sauce to simmer? Use that time to wash any utensils or dishes that you used during the prep. I have a dishwasher, but most of the things I use while cooking, especially mixing bowls, pots and pans, etc, I wash by hand.

Any time I have a minute while the food is cooking, I wash up anything on the counter, and also use my dishcloth in the soapy water to then wash my counters. Once the meal is cooked and we have dished out, I also try to get those pots and pans or skillet, in the sink to soak while we are eating. Then after dinner, it’s usually just a quick wipe and tidy and the kitchen is cleaned up for the day.

I also found this adorable, reversible dish drying mat recently from Winners that I LOVE! How cute is that?

I’m not sure if everyone does this, but I have rediscovered how easy this one simple tip makes clean up, and the joy I feel over having a clean kitchen greet me each morning. I don’t always have tulips on my windowsill, but those certainly add a nice touch and something pretty to look at while I am at the sink. 🙂 It’s the little things.

Do you do this? Do you walk away from the kitchen after getting another meal ready, not able to face it for another minute? Try starting with a sink full of hot soapy water and see if it makes keeping the kitchen clean up any easier. It works for me. 🙂


  1. I do this as well. It makes it SO much simpler to clean up after the meal. I am working on training hubby and the girls to do the same!
    Love your tulips. It really is the simple things….I had a beautiful bunch of tulips I received for Easter….and my evil cat ate them.

  2. I love this idea. I have never thought of it in this way before, and sometimes have felt overwhelmed at the end of a meal. I am going to try this today. (I have some baking to do, too!)

  3. Excellent strategy for kitchen pre…during … And post meal prep… Much easier when one has a system … Is organized ….and methodical …. Oh! And self discipline …. All learned skills, unless one’s ADHD talent steps or OCD!😘

  4. Sometimes I do wash as I wait for something to cook, other times I go back and clean up after we eat our meal. I do think though that if I had the sink already filled with hot water it would be so much easier to just throw them in there!

  5. I do wash as I wait for something to cook sometimes, other times I go back and clean up after we eat our meal. I do think though that if I had the sink already filled with hot water it would be so much easier to just throw them in there!

  6. Great tip! I do try to wash dishes as I use them. My husband doesn’t share the same philosophy … which makes life kinda frustrating sometimes!

  7. When I worked as a caterer, the first thing we always did when we arrived on a job site was turn on the kettle and fill the sink with hot soapy water. 🙂

  8. Ha! This could be easier than leaving the mess for husband and teenager to clean up. That involves letting go of the idea that they “should” do it, and instead involving them in the process somehow.

  9. I am so happy someone else does this, I thought I was the only one. 🙂

    It stresses me out seeing a pile of dirty dishes, we never go out for the day or go to bed at night without having an empty sink. I cannot start cooking if it’s full for that exact reason of I like to be able to wash the item and put it away instantly or at least wash it and throw it in the dishwasher to get the clutter out of my way. Way less stressful!

  10. Love this tip! Also loving rhat reverseable towel you have as well. I find that when I clean as I go, it always makes things easier for me afterwards!

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