Coming back to work after the holidays and opening the office refrigerator to be greeted by last year’s leftovers and curdled coffee creamer is nobody’s idea of a good way to start off a new year. January is a great time to do a deep clean in the office kitchen area. Hiring professionals (like us) is going to save you a lot of time and energy but there are several things that you can do yourself to keep your office kitchen looking professional.
Again, this is an area that might best be left to professional commercial cleaners or a janitorial service if your office fridge is especially bad. But if the job is manageable and if you have the time to do it yourself, the best way to tackle the project is to take everything out, remove the shelves and wash them all by hand. This includes the freezer section as well. Typically we also recommend cleaning out the old ice and starting fresh with that as well.
But how can you keep your workplace refrigerator looking good all year long? There are a couple of tricks that will go the distance. First, the office fridge is different from your home refrigerator in that it is mostly just stocked with leftovers and condiments. Condiment drippings are probably going to account for the biggest messes in your fridge. An easy way to prevent this is to put your condiments into bins and set those in the refrigerator. Then when the bins get dirty, they can easily be run through the dishwasher or be cleaned as needed rather than just once a year or so. Plus if you have a lot of condiments in your office fridge, you can have separate bins for different types: salad dressings in one bin, sandwich condiments in another, etc.
The Stove & Oven
Your stove is probably one of the grimiest areas in the entire office. Fortunately you can easily and relatively painlessly give it a deep cleaning. Clean the top with a good degreaser, just like you normally would. For the burners, just remove them from the stove, place them in a ziploc bag with about ¼ cup of ammonia and let them sit in the ziploc bag overnight. The next day, just wipe them off with a sponge and you are good to go! It really is just that easy.
Your oven can also be cleaned some ammonia. In this case while the oven is warm (not hot, roughly just around 150 degrees), place in a pot of boiling water on the bottom rack. On the top rack set a cup of ammonia. Shut the door and keep it closed over night. The next day, open it up, air it out about 15 minutes, mix the ammonia with some water, some dish soap and scrub away the grime(Thanks LifeHacker for the tip).
The Coffee Maker
Roughly half of all coffee makers have yeast and mold growing inside of them. I think we both know that the office coffee maker is probably on the wrong side of that 50% line. Fortunately there is easy and green way to keep your coffee maker clean and your coffee tasting great.
- Fill the reservoir with equal parts water and white vinegar.
- Using just a paper filter, run half of a brew cycle, then shut it off for half an hour.
- After half an hour turn the coffee maker back on and finish the brew cycle.
- Once that is done, give the coffee maker a good wipe down with soapy water.
- Repeat 2 more times, but without the white vinegar, just warm water. This is to get rid of the vinegar smell/taste.
Now is a great time to restock and refresh the office pantry or kitchen drawers. Ketchup packets and mayonnaise only last about a year. Parmesan and taco bell sauces last about 2 years. Salt, sugar, and honey are supposedly good indefinitely. But really if you have anything there from pre-internet days, you might want to just restock.
The Easy Way
Of course the best and easiest solution is to have it professionally cleaned on a regular basis by a janitorial staff or commercial cleaners. Environmental Cleaning Services offers regular cleaning schedules or one time deep cleanings, just in case your office kitchen got really out of hand by the end of last year. Contact us today for a free estimate!