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A sparkling clean kitchen serves as a welcoming space for casual socializing-not to mention making cooking a pleasure.

But keeping this busy space shin­ing like new-and sanitary in the bargain-requires a thoughtful, efficient, and comprehensive cleaning routine.

The action plan for this room not only focuses on removing dirt and grime from the obvious surfaces throughout the room but also disinfecting crucial appliances like microwaves and stoves, as well as food preparation areas.

Always keep in mind that when it comes to handling food, cleanliness is next to healthiness.

Any dining area that complements the kitchen-whether an eat-in area of the same room or a completely separate for­mal dining room – presents fewer cleaning challenges than the kitchen might.

However, it’s still important to clean these areas thoroughly and regularly if you want to create an environment conducive to relaxing and socialising.

Formal dining rooms are usually showcase areas and often the least-used rooms in the house.

The key strategy in these rooms is keeping them from looking timeworn.

A regular sprucing up keeps them looking their best and puts the “formal” back into the room.

The Cooking And Dining Action Plan - Step 1

The Cooking And Dining Action Plan - Step 1
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Pour 2 cups (500 ml) of water into a microwave-safe bowl and put it in the microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes.

This will help to clean the inside of the unit.

If there are spots of caked-on food in the microwave compart­ment, add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of vinegar to the water and run the microwave for at least 5 minutes.

Step 2. Time Your Cleaning

Step 2. Time Your Cleaning
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While the microwave is running, go around the kitchen and dust all surfaces, from left to right, top to bottom.

Spray an all-purpose cleaner on the stovetop (make sure the stove is cool first), the oven door, the refrigerator and the counter tops.

Step 3. Countertops And Appliances

Step 3. Countertops And Appliances
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Take a clean cloth and move from left to right around the kitchen, wiping down the counters and appliances.

While you’re at the stove, wipe any food spills from the burner grates (gas stove) or coils (electric).

Do not scrub the actual surface of the stovetop, because you can scratch it-let your cleaner do the work.

Move any countertop appliances and wipe under them as you go.

When you get to the microwave, make sure the water has cooled for at least a minute.

Dump the water out and wipe down the steamed interior of the microwave.

Step 4. Tackle one section of cabinets each time you clean

Step 4. Tackle one section of cabinets each time you clean
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Remove the contents and spray the inside with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe it down.

Wipe again with a moist, clean cloth, allow the cabinet to dry, and replace the contents.

Step 5. Toss out any old food

Step 5. Toss out any old food
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Chuck out old food in the refrigerator and pick one shelf or drawer to clean.

Spray it with glass cleaner (for light cleaning) or use a stronger, astringent cleaner for heavier cleaning or disinfect­ing.

Freshen up the smell of the refrigerator by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge and scrubbing the sides, door compartments, and shelves as necessary.

Step 6. Attack the stainless steel

Step 6. Attack the stainless steel
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If the stainless steel in the kitchen is looking a little dull, sprinkle baking soda on the surface and give it a rubdown – moving in the direction of the grain­with a moist cloth.

To polish dull chrome trim on your appliances, pour a little baking soda on a damp sponge and rub the chrome.

Let it dry for an hour or so, then wipe down with warm water and dry with a clean cloth.

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Step 7. That sinking feeling

Step 7. That sinking feeling
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Sprinkle the sink with scour­ing powder (unless it’s acrylic or stainless steel, in which case use a cleaner meant for those materials) and scrub it with a nylon pad.

Rinse.

Step 8. Move to your casual dining area

Step 8. Move to your casual dining area
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Like your eat-in kitchen table.

Dust the light fixture, pull the chairs away from the table, and thoroughly wipe up any spills or crumbs from the table and chairs.

Mop or vacuum under the table and move the chairs back.

Clean the rest of the floor.

Step 9. Move To Your Formal Dining Room

Step 9. Move To Your Formal Dining Room
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Move any light furniture to the center of the room.

Move around the room, dusting-from left to right, top to bottom, one section of a wall at a time.

Dust the valances, win­dow frames, wall hangings, and furniture.

Step 10. Vacuum

Step 10. Vacuum
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Now vacuum the perimeter of the dining room.

Return the furniture to its original position.

Vacuum the rest of the room, making sure to vacuum under the table.

(Dry-mop hardwood floors instead of vacuuming.)

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