The kitchen is often considered the nerve center of your home. It’s where everyone congregates the first thing in the morning for coffee and the last place we look around for a late-night nibble. Keeping this important area of the home as spotless as possible should be everyone’s responsibility. Often, however, there never seems to be the time to do it right.

That’s where our handy list of 8 quick kitchen cleaning tips comes in. We’ve consulted the experts and put together a comprehensive list of fast, effective tips that will help you make short work of these important tasks.

Tip #1 – Let’s start with the oven. If you’ve used it a lot lately, it could probably need a good inside cleaning. What a time-consuming chore this used to be! But try this instead. Mix up a paste of baking soda and water in a jar and add a few drops of dish-washing liquid. Coat the inside of your oven with a brush and then let things sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Grab an old reusable cloth or some paper towels and then wipe the inside down. Your oven will be sparkling clean in minutes!

Tip #2 – While we’re on the subject of the oven, those oven racks inside may also need a bath. Pull them out and lay them on top of some old towels in your bathtub Run some hot water into the tub and add a half cup of dish-washing soap and 6 dryer sheets. Let the mixture soak the racks overnight and then wipe them sparkling clean the next morning.

Tip #3 – Check your stove hood. If it’s nasty and greasy, dab some mineral oil onto a couple of clean cloths or paper towels and wipe it down with the mixture. Regular vegetable oil will also work if mineral oil isn’t available. When you’re finished, take a fresh clean cloth or paper towel and buff the surface lightly to leave a thin layer of the fresh oil. The result will be a stove hood that’s not only shiny but also a lot easier to clean the next time.

Tip #4 – For burned-on stains near your top burners, mix a half cup of baking soda in a bowl and add hydrogen peroxide solution until the mixture becomes a runny paste. Dab some of the paste onto the most stubborn spots and gently rub with a cloth until the baked-on grime comes off. It won’t take long. Pretty soon, your burners will be looking like new.

Tip #5 – Your wooden cutting board deserves some occasional attention too. To take care of it, scrub all the stained areas with a coarse paste made with water, salt, and baking soda. Use a towel or brush to get into all the open crevices. If the board has an odor, spray it with white vinegar and then let it dry.

For regular, everyday cleaning, rinse the board under hot water but don’t let it soak or it may split and warp. Dry with a dust-free towel and allow it to air-dry. If your board needs some extra deep cleaning, sprinkle the entire board with kosher salt and then use the cut side of a lemon to rub it back and forth. The board will become cleaner and cleaner with every swipe of the lemon.

Tip #6 – The garbage disposal may need cleaning too. If you’ve noticed that your kitchen sink smells bad, there’s a pretty good chance the problem is your garbage disposal. Even when you run your disposal until the last possible shred of food is gone, some food will remain stuck on the inside of the grinding chamber.

There are antibacterial degreasers on the market that might work a little better, but mixing up some water and baking soda and then scrubbing under the splash guard with a toothbrush usually works just fine. Rinse with a solution of vinegar and water and the smell should be gone. Make sure you clean under the corners to make sure the unit is clean and then rinse with water.

Tip #7 – If your sink has lost its shine and looks old and dull, here’s a great tip that you probably have never thought of before. Polishing it with flour. Wash the sink with hot soapy water or use a spray kitchen cleaner to get rid of the last of the grime. Then buff the sink with a clean towel to get rid of the last of the water.

Next, sprinkle the sides of the sink and the top of the drain with a thick dusting of flour. Buff the flour with a soft cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean the rim around the top of the sink, the handles, and all the tiny grooves where dirt and grime tend to hide. The flour buffs the sink surface and pulls out dirt and grime that soap and a wet sponge can leave behind.

Tip #8 – Granite kitchen counter tops look great and they’re exceptionally durable. They can, however, show signs of wear. When they’re properly sealed, they will last you for many years. If you want to keep your granite counter top shiny without breaking the bank, mix up a quarter cup of alcohol with 2-3 drops of dish-washing liquid. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and fill up the rest of the bottle with water. A few drops of scented oil will make the mixture even smell great as well.

Shake the bottle a few times, and then spray the mixture onto your counter tops. Wipe them clean with a soft, dry cloth. Buff the surface with a dry cloth and you’ll be all done. For a little extra shine, mix up a 50-50 mixture of alcohol and water to not only give the surface an extra shine but disinfect even the dirtiest surfaces. Let the mixture sit for 3 or 4 minutes and then rinse and dry with a clean cloth.

We hope these 8 fast and effective kitchen cleaning tips will help you keep the nerve center of your home sparkling clean in a jiffy. Let us know your thoughts and suggestions and what you would like us to add to a future list!