Prevention is the first line of defense for better, faster kitchen cleaning. Spend a little time using these tips now, and you’ll save a lot of time later.
- Whenever you cook, start by filling the sink with warm, soapy water. Toss bowls and utensils in the water as you finish using them.
- Before working with messy foods (such as dipping fish or chicken in bread crumbs or peeling potatoes) cover the countertop with waxed paper or a ripped-open paper grocery sack to catch the mess. When finished, wad up the paper and throw it away.
- Limit extra dishes as much as possible. Grate cheese on a paper towel or a piece of waxed paper. Marinate chicken or steaks in zip-top plastic bags instead of a bowl or pan.
- Clean up drips from cookware right away. Wipe up countertop spills as soon as they occur. Wash high chair trays before food dries on them.
- Before putting muffins or a cake into the oven, wipe off drips from the rim of the pan so they won’t get baked on and require extra elbow grease to remove.
- Keep fresh vegetables in plastic bags with holes that allow air to circulate. If the vegetables go bad, you can lift them out of the fridge with a lot less mess.
- Line crisper drawers with paper towels so you don’t have to clean the drawerjust toss the dirty paper towel and replace with a clean one every two weeks or so.
- Slip plastic lids from coffee cans under sticky items such as jam, jelly or honey in your refrigerator or pantry.
- If something spatters and cooks on the walls of your microwave, spray the inside with a plant mister and then turn the microwave on high for a few seconds. Wait for a minute, then wipe out the mess with a paper towel.