Cleaning the Scummy Kitchen with Steam

The house we bought has two kitchens – which suited me perfectly because I could have a separate kitchen in which to craft my Two Little Blackbirds soap and candles. But first, I had to put on the hazmat gear and clean that second kitchen.

I’d been avoiding doing it.  The kitchen wasn’t just dirty…it was scummy. I mean, touch a surface and stick to it, covered in filth, these people never cleaned, scummy! Since I need to replenish my products in a big way, I had to get in there and clean.

I didn’t take any before pictures – it was just too gross.

The kitchen has some really nice cabinets and a nice big sink so I can wash soap pots, and the stove was perfect because it was miniature and I only need one burner anyhow. So, I had to look past the gross and get to it.

I learned two things on this cleaning project.  1) Rubber gloves are a life saver – I’m not sure I would have even tackled the job without them, and 2) Steam cleaning is the way to go.

Since I make all natural soap and body products, I try to steer away from chemical cleaners in the area were I work. I usually clean with Martha Stewart’s green cleaning products.  They do a good job for regular cleaning but this was going to require some heavy duty grease cutting.  Everything was coated with grease/scum/something unknowable.


So, out came the steam cleaner!


I have used my steamer for floor cleaning and it does a great job on cleaning and sanitizing the bathroom.  Anyone out there with men in your house know what I am talking about! But I had not really used it for cutting grease.

First, I took the steamer and cleaned all the countertops.  The process didn’t take long except for those places that needed an extra two or three applications of steam and elbow grease to get the gunk off.  I’d steam and then scrub with a microfiber cloth.  I love microfiber for the extra tough large jobs. They work as well as a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, yet you can wash and reuse them.

Next, I went to work on the cabinets. Here is where the steam cleaner shined.


WOW!  I hit those cabinets with the steam, and a quick wipe and all the cooking grease, finger prints, areas that get dark where you always place your hands to open cabinets, disappeared. These cabinets, while in good shape to begin with, now look like brand new.  I’d recommend this for anyone who needs to refresh /clean some older cabinets.


And then there was the stove…

OK, I’ve told you how bad the counters and cabinets were.  Now, take that image and multiply it X 100.  That’s how bad this little 24 inch stover was.  I will still need to replace the burners and drip pans (don’t even think about those – it’s too horrific!), but the steamer did a number on the enameled finish and the knobs.

The knobs were SO caked with gunk you couldn’t even see the markings.  I soaked them first in some hot water and Dawn then steamed them, rinsed, repeated several times.  I eventually had to get the gunk out of the recesses with a single edge razor.  But they were finally clean and steam disinfected!


The knobs were so caked that the textured areas looked white from all the junk accumulated.  Steamed (repeatedly) and they are now black and shiny again.

I even steamed cleaned the sink.


Looks like new and I know it’s disinfected without a bunch of nasty chemical residue.

Next, get all my equipment put away and on to making products!

P.S.  No, I am not leaving the kitchen that ghastly turquoise color.  But right now, making products takes precedence over painting.  🙂


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