Clean in 60 Seconds or Less: 17 Tiny Kitchen Tasks That Make a Major Difference

While deep-cleaning is necessary, it’s also time-consuming. Busy schedules aside, devoting hours on end to a kitchen-cleaning marathon isn’t always possible. But fear not, because there’s a solution. Even when you have only minutes to spare, a clean kitchen is possible.

Forget about achieving a sparkling appearance — these 17 tiny kitchen tasks will totally transform your messy kitchen into a tidy space in no time.

1. Wipe down the microwave

Cleaning of Microwave Oven

You’ll be happy you took a minute to wipe the inside of the microwave. | tab1962/iStock/Getty Images

Just like every other appliance, microwaves require a deep clean every so often. Take a minute to wipe it down every few uses, though, and you’ll be left with much less of a mess when it comes to deep-cleaning day.

All it takes is a damp paper towel or cleaning rag, and 60 seconds or less.

Next: This should be a daily task. 

2. Do a quick sweep

Person Sweeping Floor With Broom And Dustpan

Sweep up crumbs in a flash. | AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

It’s a simple task, but one that needs to be done on a daily basis.

Busting out the broom is a surefire way to ensure the kitchen stays in pristine condition. After all, nobody wants to walk around their home in bare feet and catch crumbs in between their toes.

Next: Have pets, will have messy house 

3. Wipe up the dog bowl area

dog behind food bowl and licking with tongue

The dog bowl area can be quite messy. | damedeeso/iStock/Getty Images

OK, pet-lovers, this one is for you. Unless you’re lucky enough to have an entire room dedicated to your dog, chances are, the dog bowls live in the kitchen. If that’s the case, then this is certainly a tip worth following.

Canines slobber, spill food, and make a mess. Thankfully, taking a paper towel or rag to the dog bowl area will make a major difference.

Next: This kitchen staple easily collects clutter. 

4. Tidy up the table

kitchen table in clean kitchen

A clutter-free kitchen table goes a long way. |

The kitchen table is a natural unloading zone. Mail, car keys, and to-do lists tend to end up here, and we totally understand why. But don’t let it get out of control.

Taking a minute to clear the clutter from the table guarantees a tidy space, or at least helps it appear that way. As for the spare room you’ve stashed everything in? Well, we can’t necessarily promise the same.

Next: Bye bye water stains.

5. Wipe down the sink and faucet

kitchen sink

Water marks are an eyesore. |

Even if the sink doesn’t require a major cleaning, water stains are unsightly.

The solution is easy. Simply grab a wet cloth and give the entire sink and faucet a once-over. It only takes a few seconds, but it has a great effect.

Next: This daily occurrence definitely requires your attention.   

6. Clean crumbs off the counter

woman wiping down kitchen counter

Cleaning the counter is quick and easy. | iStock/Getty Images

Whether you grab a sponge or sanitizing wipes, this task is an absolute must. Seeing as crumbs are creatures of habit, they have a tendency to congregate in large groups. This, of course, doesn’t make for a clean kitchen.

Doing a super quick wipe down of all the counter tops, however, will ensure just that.

Next: Nobody wants a stinky kitchen. 

7. Take out the trash and recycling

trash cans at the curb

Even if it’s not overflowing, take out the trash. | JohnnyH5/iStock/Getty Images

You don’t have to wait until the trash is spilling over to take it outside. In fact, getting ahead of your indoor trash and recycling build-up will make for a cleaner kitchen every time.

So, if you’re looking for a quick way to turn your messy kitchen into the cleanest room in the house, just run the trash out. You’ll be happy you did.

Next: Do this tiny task before taking out the trash. 

8. Check the fridge for expired food

Woman with open refrigerator

This task only takes a minute. | djedzura/iStock/Getty Images

Even though the mess is on the inside of the fridge, it’s a door you open often enough, which is why it’s important to keep it clean. While doing a thorough, top-to-bottom clean of the entire fridge takes some time, doing a simple spot check can be done in under a minute.

Before taking out the trash, take a moment to scan the inside of the fridge for anything that’s clearly gone bad. Condiments, produce, and deli meat passed their prime should all be tossed.

Next: A necessary move after you take out the trash 

9. Spray the trash can with bleach

Plastic bucket with cleaning supplies on wood background

A spray of bleach is all you need. | Logoff/iStock/Getty Images

Taking out the trash is the first step. But after that, it’s just as important to make sure the trash can itself is clean. Obviously, germs can fester if you’re not careful.

To avoid a totally disgusting trash can in your home, simply spray some bleach or another hard-hitting cleaning product into the trash can. Let it sit and wipe it out before putting the next trash bag in.

Next: This no-brainer task will help you in the long run.

10. Soak pots and pans in the sink

Dirty dishes in sink

Try dunking your dishes in soapy water instead of leaving them out. | ikrents/iStock/Getty Images

Not quite ready to tackle the dirty dishes but eager to get the stove top cleared? Don’t worry, we get it. But rather than leaving dirty pots and pans sitting on the range, get ahead of them by sticking to this simple, pre-clean-up tip.

Toss the dishes into the sink and soak them in hot water and soap. It’s an obvious path, but one that’s sometimes skipped over.

Next: This preventative tip often comes in very handy.  

11. Use aluminum foil in the oven

fresh salmon with asparagus

You’ll have to do less major oven cleaning. |

This is more of a preventative move, but still, it applies. Stick to aluminum foil in the oven, and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run.

Simply toss some aluminum foil into the oven underneath your food, and Voila. Clean-up will be a total breeze.

Next: If this area isn’t clean, it’s all too noticeable.  

12. Wipe down the back splash

Kitchen backsplash accent

A clean back splash goes a long way. | hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images

Back splashes are basically ground zero for unsightly splatter. And in the heat of the mid-cooking moment, all that splatter often goes unnoticed. Naturally, the longer you wait to clean it, the more stuck-on it becomes.

So, get in the habit of wiping down the back splash daily, or at least a couple times a week. It may not seem like it at first, but this move really does make a major difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen.

Next: Don’t let these pile up on the counter. 

13. Unload the dish rack

Dishes and Tableware

Put things in their places. | Alain de Maximy/iStock/Getty Images

If you don’t have a dishwasher, then you know what we’re talking about here. We, too, understand just how deceiving a dish rack full of clean dishes can be. After all, the dishes are clean, so what’s the big deal?

Well, despite how clean they may be, a pile of dishes sitting on the counter is always an eyesore. So do yourself a favor and put them away ASAP.

Next: Incorporate this task into your morning routine. 

14. Rinse the coffee pot

Man pouring coffee

Don’t leave the coffee pot to fester all day. | ktasimarr/iStock/Getty Images

Plenty of people love their coffee, so it makes sense that a coffee pot would sit out all day. But it’s not a good look. Even though you’re only using your coffee pot for its intended, one-and-only purpose, it’s still important to keep it clean.

So, rinse it out and toss it on the drying rack.

Next: This appliance is small, but mighty — and sometimes grimy. 

15. Wipe down the toaster oven door

bread in toaster

This appliance gets dirty easily. | fusaromike/iStock/Getty Images

The toaster oven is arguably one of the greatest kitchen inventions of all time. It makes cooking, reheating, and toasting an absolute breeze. But they tend to get dirty, and it shows.

If your toaster oven lives on the kitchen counter, you know just how unsightly it can be. With each use, that clear door becomes browner and browner. So, when it gets to that point, take a minute to wipe it down with a damp towel and maybe a little cleaning solution.

Even if you don’t have time to clean out the entire thing, having a clean toaster oven door will make a huge difference.

Next: This literally takes just a few seconds. 

16. Replace dingy dish towels with fresh ones

kitchen towel

A fresh towel can make a huge difference. | chikaphotograph/iStock/Getty Images

Dish towels tend to get grimy relatively fast. And often times, we don’t replace them as regularly as we should. But here’s an opportunity to seriously revamp the look of your space within no time at all.

Simply toss those dirty dish rags in the laundry, and throw some fresh ones on the rack. Your eyes and hands will be happy.

Next: Hop on top of the counter to knock this task out in less than a minute.

17. Dust on top of the cabinets

woman on her knees on white kitchen

Don’t let dust collect up there. | nathan4847/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re one of the many folks whose kitchen has tall cabinets that almost reach the ceiling, but not quite, then listen up.

As we all know, those pesky cabinets can be hard to reach. So, hop on the counter one or twice a week and take a duster to the area. It only takes a minute and helps keep dust bunnies at bay.

Read more: Oprah Reveals Her Best Secret Ever to Removing Stains 

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