7 Cleaning Tips To Get Your Kitchen Ready For Autumn
Image Credit: Freepik

The season we all know as autumn or fall is now here! In India, the autumn season coincides with a number of important festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Durga Puja, Diwali and Halloween, making it an even more special time of the year. For those who love to cook and host friends and family, especially during the festive season, autumn and its wide variety of produce provides plenty of opportunities to experiment with bold flavours and create incredible feasts. But before you dive into these, the beginning of autumn is also the time to get your kitchen ready. 

The fact is, India goes through long summer and monsoon months during which humidity, heat and other climatic conditions can wreak havoc on kitchens. From mold and dust in corners and high shelves to leftover or expired products in the pantry and refrigerator, there is a lot that needs to be cleaned up to get your kitchen ready for autumn and the festive season. If you don’t pay attention to this, the chances are that the food you create, no matter how delicious, can increase risks of foodborne illnesses and food poisoning. 

Because this is always a concern during season change, Indian traditions dictate that we clean our homes and kitchens during festivals like Holi and Diwali. But given that season change into autumn now begins before Diwali, it is best not to put off your kitchen cleaning drive till November. Instead, try these seven easy cleaning tips to get your kitchen ready for autumn and the festive season right now. 

Video Credit: Youtube/Recipe30

Purge Your Pantry 

After a long summer and monsoon where you stocked up on seasonal ingredients and foods ranging from pickles to spices, it is time to check which ones need to be removed from the pantry. From expired products to food ingredients that may have accidentally grown molds during monsoon, autumn is the time to purge your kitchen of these and restock the pantry according to autumn and winter needs. 

Clean Your Cleaning Gear 

After rough usage throughout the summer and monsoon months, during which mold and stubborn stains can wreak havoc on everything from dish cloths to towels, autumn is the time to clean out your cleaning equipment. Check all dish towels, wiping cloths, scrub pads, sponges, etc and ensure that all of them are either cleaned and sanitized properly or replaced before autumn begins. This will prevent all sorts of cross-contamination across seasons. 

Wipe Down Storage 

Storage areas like cabinets and racks, especially the ones higher up in the kitchen, can become a storehouse of germs and contaminants during monsoon and summer months. So, before autumn begins, empty all the storage spaces out and wipe down every nook and cranny. If you want to disinfect the areas, do so carefully and keeping health risks in mind. 

Clean Your Gadgets 

Any residual moisture or dirt in your kitchen gadgets, ranging from ovens and microwaves to refrigerators and mixer jars, can get worse through monsoon. These can cause food contamination, especially as autumn progresses to winter and cleaning up can get more tiresome. So, do a thorough spring cleaning of all your kitchen gadgets so that you are ready for the festive season. 

Declutter Your Kitchen 

As mentioned before, autumn season coincides with the festive season in India, which means this is the time when you might think of investing in new kitchen equipment to replace old ones. You might also get kitchen gadgets and staples like dry fruits as gifts. So, before you focus on buying more or restocking, think about decluttering the kitchen by disposing of older equipment out properly or sending it off for recycling. 

Plan Ahead 

The simple fact is, apart from a few staples like rice, lentils and flours, most Indian kitchens do not cook up the exact same dishes throughout the year. With seasonal vegetables and fruits becoming available, and with the demands of festivals like Dussehra and Diwali, the food you will prepare during autumn will not be the same as monsoon or summer. So, think ahead and make a wishlist of autumn-specific staples, ingredients and kitchen equipment you will need. 

Restock Smartly 

Given that autumn will give way to winter and spring season is not going to approach before March-April next year, your kitchen should be stocked up with ingredients and staples that are perfect for the colder months of the year. So, check your kitchen for autumn needs, like warmer spices, soup and stew bases, etc and restock your pantry accordingly.