Get Your Kitchen Ready for Winter

The winter months bring plenty of things to look forward to- Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas- but they also bring their fair share of problems. The kitchen is especially vulnerable to seasonal changes, and its’ not just burst pipes that can put a dampener on things.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to getting your kitchen ready for winter.

From preventing kitchen disasters to finding great recipes, you’ll be ready for anything that winter can throw at you!

Maintaining Your Worktops

Kitchens InStock’s range of worktops is designed to be low maintenance. But there are some things you can do to keep them in excellent condition, particularly in winter.

Since you’re likely to be doing more cooking at this time of year, you’re more likely to spill food and drink on your worktops. Simply wipe these spills up with a damp dishcloth as quickly as possible, and you’ll avoid any stains forming on the surface.

If you need to clean more thoroughly, avoid using acidic cleaners like bleach. A mild liquid detergent will be fine.

If you have an inset kitchen sink, you can use a soft toothbrush to scrub the seam between the sink and the worktop.

All of the worktops we sell have a non-porous surface. This means that bacteria can’t penetrate the material and they stay hygienic.

However, the material is vulnerable to extreme heat, so avoid leaving cooking pots and other hot objects on your worktops. Use a potholder or our worktop rods to protect them from harm.

Our worktops can also be scratched or damaged by sharp objects like knives, so don’t be tempted to chop some vegetables atop the worktops. Instead, use a chopping board to prepare them safely.

If you have an Earthstone solid surface worktop, our Worktop Consumer Kit can be used to buff out any marks or scratches.

Taking Care of Plumbing

Your pipes and appliances are the lifeblood of your kitchen. Making sure they work properly is vital, particularly in wintertime.

A common mistake we make in the kitchen is putting cooking oil down the sink. This applies all year round, but at a time when we might want to indulge ourselves with plenty of hot meals, it’s easy for the oil to accumulate in your pipes.

We can degrease pipes by pouring a mix of hot water and soda crystals down the sink’s plughole. A mix of vingear and baking soda is another common option.

If your kitchen has any exposed pipes (under the sink, for example) you may want to insulate them. When  too cold the water in your pipes may freeze and expand thereby bursting your pipes.  The best way to insulate your pipes is to wrap them in specialised insulation. This is a flexible tube of synthetic material that fits very easily around the pipe.

Make sure to choose the right diameter insulation for your pipes. Insulation should fit snugly without any exposed creases.

Cleaning Your Fridge

The winter months mean plenty of fancy food and leftovers piling up in your fridge. Clearing out the fridge (and giving it a clean) before winter sets in is a great way to keep things organised from the beginning.

When you’re getting rid of old food, be ruthless. If you’ve any existing leftovers you aren’t sure about, throw them in the bin. Try writing dates on any future leftovers so you know exactly when you cooked them.

You should also trust your eyes and nose. If something looks or smells suspect, it isn’t worth the risk.

Get rid of any fruits or vegetables that are starting to decompose. If you have leftover bits of food you’re unlikely to eat (butter or cheese, for instance) throw them away and recycle the packaging where possible.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the excess food, set aside the good food and get ready to clean! Take out as much of the fridge’s shelving as you can, as well as the door compartments and vegetable drawers.

You won’t need anything special to clean a fridge; warm water and washing up liquid will work perfectly well. Run a basin of hot soapy water to soak the shelves and drawers, before wiping down the fridge interior with a kitchen sponge.

Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Don’t forget to wipe down all the fridge components with a cloth soaked in clean water afterwards.

If you come across any stubborn stains, baking soda can be used to loosen them. Mix a small quantity of baking soda and water into a thick paste and apply it to the stain. Leave it for an hour, and then wipe it away; the stain should come away much more easily.

To clean the freezer, remove the contents and place them in freezer bags. Then remove the shelves and drawers before soaking them in the sink.

You’ll need to defrost it before cleaning and placing a bowl with boiling water into the freezer can speed this up. Once the freezer has had time to defrost you can use a spray bottle filled with hot water and vinegar to loosen any remaining ice. Use a kitchen sponge or cloth to clean the freezer interior, door and surrounding seal.

Replace the shelves and drawers once the inside of the freezer has completely dried.

Heating Your Home

A priority in winter will be keeping your kitchen (and the rest of your house) warm. One way to do this is to use specialised reflective foil.

Place it behind your radiators to bounce excess heat back into the room where it belongs. You can use conventional kitchen foil, but the specialised material is more effective.

You may also want to ‘bleed’ your radiators to get rid of any air pockets inside the radiator itself.

Open the valve at the top of the radiator by using a flathead screwdriver or preferably the radiator key and listen for escaping air. Tighten the valve, when water starts to drip out.

Finally, keep large items of furniture (like kitchen tables) away from radiators where possible. Furniture absorbs the heat and prevents your kitchen from being heated properly.

Making Winter Recipes

Now you’ve got your kitchen in full working order, it’s time to put it to good use! Fortunately we’ve found some great recipes that will brighten up any winter.

There’s nothing better than a hearty casserole when the weather is cold. Filled with juicy meat and tender vegetables, it’s a tasty, healthy choice perfect for family meals.

If you’re after something a little lighter for lunchtime, a soup might be just what you’re after. This leek and potato soup is an excellent option.

Finish off the day with some sweet treats. Gingerbread men are a perennial favourite, while flapjack is a quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for lunchtime snacks.

 

With all these tasks complete, you will be ready to take on winter. But if you’re looking to accessorise your kitchen, expand it, or replace a component, Kitchens InStock is on hand to help.

Keep your kitchen firing on all cylinders with a new sink or tap, get a whole new look with a new worktop, or augment your existing one with our worktop rods!

Whatever your requirements, Kitchens InStock has the perfect product.

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