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  • Antoinette Prinsloo

How to design an easy-to-clean kitchen

On top of cooking, crumbs, grease, stains, spills and splatters to deal with, your kitchens have become a family gathering place and sometimes a classroom – especially now with pandemic. It’s surely one of the hardest rooms in the house to keep clean. To keep your sanity in check, here are some practical ways to design your new kitchen that will make maintaining and cleaning it easier.

Choose the correct appliance

Firstly, look for smart appliances; fingerprint-resistant stainless-steel and where possible self-cleaning appliance.

Extractor fan – Invest in an extractor fan that is powerful enough to remove dust, dirt, smoke and grime. A good quality appliance will take most grease, dust and grime to the outdoors, away from your kitchen so dirt and grime are less likely to settle on the surfaces.

Induction hob – While you can do much more with gas hobs in terms of cooking, induction hobs are the go-to for easy cleaning. An induction hob surface is flat and smooth, without the hard-to-clean grates and recessed surfaces that you find with a gas cooktop.

Self-cleaning ovens – These ovens aren’t the cheapest option, nevertheless they do help to eliminate the need for scrubbing down the insides of your oven.

Under-mount sink – An undermount sink lets you just wipe crumbs and spills directly into the sink easily with no obstruction. This is unlike with top-mount sinks, which has a slight raised lip surrounding the sink and resting on the countertop.

Dishwasher – By packing the dishwasher after meals or food prep, will not only free up your time to clean the rest of the kitchen, but helps to save on countertop and sink space.

Choose the correct finishes

Maintenance free countertops – Since it is the surface in the kitchen that deals with the most traffic, your countertops need to be non-porous, resistant to stains and not prone to scratches or chipping. Quartz is probably the most popular choice.

Semi-gloss or matt Cabinetry – Glossy cabinetry show up fingerprints easily and excessively textured laminates with plenty of crevices that can hide dust and grease over time. Semi-gloss of matt finishes is easy to wipe down, without showing up a lot of stains. Also remember that both painted and stained cabinets can show stains, scratches, fingerprints and marks, but these imperfections are a little less visible on stained cabinets than they are on painted cabinets.

Avoid a tiled backsplash – Because of the grout. It’s porous and absorbs stains easily. Quartz, granite, back-painted glass, mirror, sheets of stainless steel and even washable paint are flat, smooth surfaces that can be quickly wiped down. If you insist on using tiles, make sure you get large-format, big slab ones that reduce the grout lines you need to clean.

Choose the correct cabinetry

Cabinetry with minimal details – Shaker cabinets are what most homeowners are choosing these days, but they tend to have ridges that catch and hold crumbs and dust. For an easy-to-clean kitchen, stick with flat-fronted ones that can be just as beautiful.

Take cabinets all the way to the ceiling – To avoid having to wipe down the surfaces above your wall cabinets where lots of dust and grime can accumulate, take cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. Sure, it may be more difficult to reach out for things, but at least you won’t have a layer of grime over your top cabinets to clean.

Open shelves – Perfectly styled, open shelves look beautiful and they’re very popular, but they can be high-maintenance because they are open places where dust, oil and grime can settle.

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