The worst part about cooking dinner is cleaning up the mess afterward. After a tasty meal, nobody wants to spend an hour wiping down counters and scrubbing piles of pots and pans. These kitchen tips can make cleaning up the kitchen just a little bit easier.
1. Start with a clean kitchen.
Don’t even think about starting to cook until you have an empty sink and a cleanish kitchen. No, it doesn’t have to be spotless to begin with, but you definitely want the clean dishes unloaded from the dishwasher. Having the kitchen sink empty before you get out the first pot allows you to clean as you go instead of piling up dirty dishes for later.
2. Use newspaper when processing veggies.
Spread a sheet of newspaper on the counter before you start peeling carrots and chopping the onions. As you prepare the veggies, toss discarded pieces of vegetable material on this piece of newsprint. When you are finished with the food prep, simply gather the whole mess together and toss it into the compost pail. After all, newspaper is biodegradable, and the veggie bits will decompose to add rich organic matter to your garden. The newspaper will keep you from having to scrub your counter or dirty a bowl to hold the scraps.
3. Hot soapy water in the sink.
When you get started, fill the sink with hot, soapy water. As you cook, toss dirty dishes in the sink. When you get a minute, like when you are waiting for something to come to a boil, take the time to slide those dishes in the dishwasher or scrub them by hand. If you clean up a little at a time, the mess won’t get out of hand.
4. Don’t leave it for later.
After a good meal, it is awfully tempting to join the family on the couch, putting off the dish work until later. This is a huge mistake. Once you sit down in another room after dinner, it is terribly hard to get motivated to finish the kitchen clean-up. Get the whole family involved, and take just fifteen minutes to scrub up after dinner. You will be able to enjoy movie night much more when you know that there aren’t piles of food-encrusted dishes still lurking in your kitchen. Additionally, clean-up will go much more quickly if you do not allow the food mess to dry onto the dishes.
5. Soaking saves scrubbing.
Of course you don’t like scrubbing pots! No one does. Soak those bad boys for a little while. Run hot soapy water into messy pots and pans immediately after you remove the food from them. Let them sit off to the side as you load the dishwasher, empty the trash, and wipe down the table. By the time you finish your other kitchen work, the residue on the pots and pans will have softened and be much easier to remove.
One huge reason that people order takeout or pick up unhealthy fast food is that they don’t like cleaning the kitchen. Use these kitchen tips to make tidying up the kitchen as quick and easy as it can be.
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