Make Dinner Clean Up A Breeze

Food-encrusted pots and pans on the stove, messy utensils all over the countertops, piles of dirty dishes in the sink— it’s enough to ruin an otherwise delicious dinner! To help eliminate after-dinner cleanup stress—and keep your kitchen spotless—take a look at the tips we’ve rounded up here.

Before and During Cooking

  • Reduce cleanup time by using cookware designed to go from freezer to microwave, or from freezer to oven.
  • Use foil to line your stove’s burner pans, as well as the bottom of an electric oven. Don’t cover oven racks with foil—it prevents air from circulating and causes uneven baking.
  • Place a saucer adjacent to the stove on which to rest spoons and spatulas you’re cooking with to keep the stovetop clean.
  • Cleaning as you go makes life a lot simpler at the end of the meal. While a dish is cooking on a stovetop or in the oven, wash the utensils, cutting boards or other cookware you used to prepare the food. Pop whatever dirty dishes there are into the dishwasher and set the pans to soak just before sitting down to eat. The only things that shouldn’t be soaked are utensils or servingware made of wood, or those that are glued.
  • After the Meal

  • Store leftovers that will be used within a few days in the pot or casserole dish in which the food was cooked, then reheat in the same container.
  • Make scrubbing pans easier and prevent grease and debris from going down the drain by wiping out greasy pots with used paper napkins or paper towels before washing.
  • Never scour iron pots and pans—simply wash them with soap and hot water. Dry thoroughly to prevent rusting.
  • Pans with burned residue on the bottom will be easier to clean if you fill them with 2 inches of water. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda and bring to a boil. Cover and boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes before scrubbing.
  • Protect your good china and crystal during washing by lining the sink with a dishtowel.
  • Remove stains from aluminium pans by filling with water and adding 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice per quart of water. Bring to a boil, then continue to boil gently for 15 minutes. Let water cool in pan.
  • If you can’t get stains out of Corningware or Pyrex, spray them with oven cleaner, following manufacturer’s directions.
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    Title:  Make Dinner Clean Up A Breeze
    Author:  Sharon Tyler Herbst
    Certain materials herein are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright law and have been prepared according to the educational multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use. This work may be protected by further copyright, reproduction and distribution (in violation of United States Copyright Law).

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