Fixer upper homes entail a ton of work. Aside from remodeling, painting and such, they involve a fair amount of scrubbing. The kitchen can be a real challenge. Even if you plan to gut, the grease and grime has to be removed before painting. If you intend to keep some of the appliances, you’ll have even more grease to contend with. I’ve moved into my share of fixer uppers. I’ve also spent time as an apartment manager/maintenance person. Here’s my best tricks for de-greasing a fixer upper kitchen naturally.
Don’t clean what you plan to remove.
Obviously, the best way to degrease some items in your fixer upper is to get rid of them entirely. You may want to salvage all that you can. However, there are some things you’ll be better off saying goodbye to. You have a long list of projects ahead of you. There’s no point wasting time cleaning up appliances that you’ll be replacing within the next year. You don’t have to impress the junk yard. They’ll accept greasy appliances for recycling as readily as clean ones.
Cleaning grease from “keeper” stoves and ovens
Of course, you can use oven cleaner. What if you don’t want toxic fumes and chemicals around your family? There are other alternatives. Start by sprinkling the bad areas with baking soda. Then, spritz on some vinegar. The chemical reaction will help loosen baked on grease. What if it doesn’t work? Use a steel wool pad for extra oomph. If the grease still won’t come off, try using plain old dish soap with that steel wool. It’s designed for grease removal and does wonders.
Most of the time, greasy sinks and counter-tops can be tackled with a natural all purpose cleaner. If there are heavy grease spills, wipe them away first with a paper towel. Then, just spray and wipe. Don’t forget to clean the undersides of upper cabinets, as well as the cabinets themselves. Don’t like chemical cleaners? Mix up a solution of plain natural dish soap and water in a spray bottle.
I used to manage and clean apartments for free rent. I was amazed that some people were so dirty, even their walls were covered with grease. I actually had to use oven cleaner on the walls of one such apartment! Hopefully, you can avoid that extreme. Tile back-splash can be cleaned of grease just as you did the counter-tops. Painted walls can be touchy if you don’t plan to re-paint. Use the natural dish soap solution for those. On walls that will be refinished or re-painted, you can scrub a little harder if needed.
Most kitchen remodels involve replacing outdated flooring. If that’s not an option, you’ll have to clean those greasy floors well. For tile floors use a plain dish soap solution with a little lemon juice added. Wood floors may be done the same way. The difference is, after you’re done, you’ll want to go over them with a cleaner designed to replace the natural oils in the wood.
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