11 Tips for Painless Kitchen Cleanup: Start from the Beginning

clean kitchen

Photo Credit: Barb McMahon

Tuesday is the day for Time-Saving Tips and Techniques at CookingManager.Com.

For most of us, cleanup is the part of cooking we enjoy least. But a little advance planning, we can make the job easier.

  1. Start with a clear workspace. Clutter is hard to clean off later, and leads to accidents and spills.
  2. Lay old newspaper on your work surface, especially if you are baking. It’s easier to tip spilled flour into the garbage than to wipe it up.
  3. Set up a clean, small plate for resting dirty spoons and spatulas that you will reuse during cooking.
  4. Keep a bowl handy for peels, wrappers and other garbage. This can be one you needed to wash anyway.
  5. Set out your ingredients and utensils. You want a smooth workflow and not get interrupted by a lengthy search for the can opener. And you certainly don’t want to find out in the middle of baking that you forgot to buy sugar.
  6. If you are washing by hand, fill the sink or dishpan with soapy water. Put in the utensils as you are finished with them. Don’t do this with sharp knives or blades.
  7. Measure as close to your bowl as possible. Most spills happen while transporting. Bring the bag of sugar next to the bowl. Pour it into the measuring cup over the newspaper, or if you have a steady hand and don’t mind risking some extra falling into the recipe, right over your mixing bowl.
  8. When measuring liquid ingredients, choose a measuring cup with a large capacity. Don’t fill water from the faucet and bring it to the table. It’s easier to bring the mixing bowl closer to the sink.
  9. Reuse utensils in a logical way. When I make honey cake I use the same measuring cup for the oil and the honey. The leftover oil makes the honey slide right out. If I need to add water, I use a bowl that will need to be rinsed out anyway (and hasn’t been sitting out for too long.)
  10. Cover and put away ingredients as you finish. It’s no fun spilling egg whites into the open cocoa container.
  11. Finish cleanup as soon as your dish is cooking or baking. Put away the ingredients and place dishes in the dishwasher or sink. Grab a rag and sprayer or damp rag and wipe off your work surface and appliances. Rags should always be kept in the kitchen. If you are washing by hand do it right away. Dishwashers should be full to capacity before running. Make notes on the recipe right in the cookbook and put it away. Update your shopping list and future menus.

What tricks and tips can you share to make cleanup easy?

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  1. Ariella Brown says

    You have some good ideas here. I should have laid out newspaper before making the challah today.


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