The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in your home and often the most loved by those who enjoy cooking and entertaining. Unfortunately, sometimes, we love it so much that we cause damage and wreak havoc in our beloved spaces.
These all-too-common kitchen blunders can quickly change your beloved space into disrepair. We contacted Peter Hansen, Co-Owner of Sparrow Estate Management with over 20 years in the hospitality industry, who reveals the most common kitchen mistakes, from stealthy damage inflicted by hard water to the corrosive chaos of misused bleach, and tells us how to clean efficiently and safely instead.
Ignoring Hard Water Damage
Have you noticed white, crusty deposits around your sink and faucets? That’s the telltale sign of hard water damage, which, if ignored, learns to corroded fixtures and clogged kitchen hardware. To prevent this, regularly wipe down surfaces with a vinegar solution to dissolve these deposits and leave your kitchen shiny.
Bleach is often the go-to for tough stains and disinfecting, but unfortunately, harsh chemicals are too much for everyday cleaning and lead to discoloured cabinets and damaged surfaces. Instead, swap that bleach out for a gentler, eco-friendly option and save the bleach for deep disinfection to avoid damage.
Neglecting Appliance Material Compatibility
Every appliance comes with its own set of instructions, which are often ignored, leading to premature wear and tear. Abrasive materials or harsh chemicals can scratch, dent, and even rust your appliances. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before deep cleaning.
Poor Ventilation Practices
Did you know cooking fumes, grease, and moisture can linger without proper ventilation? This lack of ventilation leads to sticky film on cabinets and walls and increases the potential for mould growth. To prevent these issues, make it a habit to switch your range hood on while cooking and clean the filters and vent regularly.
Disregarding Cutting Board Quality
Cutting boards may seem like a little thing. However, cheap plastic or glass boards dull your knives faster and become a breeding ground for bacteria when not cleaned properly. Instead, invest in high-quality or bamboo cutting boards and clean and oil them regularly.
Overloading Kitchen Cabinets
Decluttering is all the rage right now, and with good reason, because stacking dishes too high and cramming items into cabinets strain the hinges and shelves, which leads to misalignment and damage. Take the time to declutter and organise; your cabinets will thank you.
Neglecting Refrigerator Coils
Most people don’t clean the coils at the back and bottom of their fridge, but they accumulate dust and grime and make their refrigerator work harder than it needs to. To clean, use a coil brush and vacuum every six months, and it will help keep your fridge running smoothly.
Misusing the Garbage Disposal
Treating your garbage disposal like a trash can, especially by throwing in fibrous materials, bones, or cooking oils, leads to clogs and malfunctions. Be mindful of what goes down the disposal, run cold water while in use, and cut waste into small pieces to prevent jams.
Inappropriate Dishwasher Loading
Incorrectly loaded dishwashers can lead to broken dishes and poor cleaning results. Overloading or improper placement also obstructs water jets and compromises the cleaning process. Pack the washer so no dishes are criss-crossed, and each item is securely placed. This will ensure the water and detergent reach every item.
Using Harsh Chemicals on Countertops
Natural stone, wood, and some synthetic countertops can be sensitive to harsh chemicals, leading to the finished etching, staining, or dulling. Instead, opt for mild, pH-neutral cleaners and avoid abrasive pads to keep your countertops in pristine condition. Always test a small, inconspicuous area when trying a new cleaning solution.
Your kitchen’s longevity and beauty rely heavily on regular maintenance and mindful usage. Avoid these ten common mistakes to ensure your kitchen remains a welcoming, functional space that stands the test of time. Remember, the correct care goes a long way in keeping your favourite space looking and working great!