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There’s a 20-Minute Cleanup Routine That Will Quell All Your Dirty-Kitchen Anxieties

Do you ever look up from the dinner table and marvel at the state of your kitchen? “How did things get so messy?” you wonder as you notice the remains of this morning’s coffee still in the pot. You reluctantly walk your tired feet to the kitchen sink, which is already piled high with the pots and pans you used to make dinner and your kids’ dirty dishes. The only thing separating you from dreamland is a messy kitchen, so how do you give it a good tidying up in the shortest amount of time possible? Meet the S.O.S.D. method, a 20-minute technique that makes cleaning fast and painless.

One of the trickiest things about your nightly kitchen cleanup is knowing where to start. That’s what makes the S.O.S.D. method so handy. The technique breaks down your cleaning process into four easy-to-remember steps: surfaces, oven, sweep, and dishes. While the S.O.S.D. method isn’t a replacement for a deep clean, it should be enough to quell your dirty-kitchen anxieties before bed.

S.O.S.D. Method


The simplest place to start is with the surfaces in your kitchen. Throw away or recycle empty food packages, move dirty dishes to the sink or dishwasher, and put hand towels back in their proper place. Then, give those hardworking countertops a quick scrub.


Remove dirty frying pans and gunked-up skillets from the range top. If you have an electric stove, all you need to do is give it a good wipe. On the other hand, gas stoves will require a bit more elbow grease. The quicker option would be to sponge around the burner without removing the pan stands. To give it a deeper clean, put aside the metal plates so you can really have a go at the cooked-on food.

When it comes to cleaning the actual oven, just wipe down the handle and neatly fold the hand towels. You can save cleaning the inside of the oven for the weekend when you have more time. Plus, once you close the door, no one will see the mess inside. (It’ll be our little secret!)


Walking into the kitchen with bare feet can be a hassle when the tile is a minefield of crumbs and questionable spilled liquids. Before you retire to bed, take a lap around the room with your vacuum cleaner. This way, you’ll be ablte to go slipper-free in the morning.


Last but not least is the moutain of dinnerware in your sink. If you have a dishwasher, simply load it and hit start. For those who don’t have one, this last step requires some mental fortitude. Sure, washing dishes sounds like the least fun thing you could be doing, but you’ll thank yourself when you walk into a spotless kitchen the next morning. There’s nothing worse that starting a day in a bad mood because you forgot to clean the dishes.

Now that your kitchen is ready to take on the next day’s meals (and you’re ready to hit the hay), the only thing left to do is pour yourself a glass of wine and head to bed. You’ve earned this!

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