Clean As You Go and Other Smart, Simple Kitchen Cleaning Tips

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

As we all probably know from experience at one time or another, it doesn’t take much for the kitchen to get away from you. Especially if you cook at home a lot, have a particularly small kitchen, or share the space with family or roommates; it’s a room that can definitely develop a mind of its own. Here are some of our best tips for reigning in the beast without becoming a slave to kitchen cleaning:

  • Clean as you go. This is a big one that we had to include prominently in the title. It’s practically an adage for home cooks. If you cook with a partner, try designating one of you to prep and clean while the other cooks.
  • Clean pans while on the stove. This tip from Faith at The Kitchn comes from using liquids to deglaze hot pans when you’re cooking. Try it with water even when you’ve emptied the pan but it’s still hot from cooking, just to make the actual washing of the pan quicker and easier later.
  • Empty the dishwasher immediately. This is a big one in my kitchen. We automatically put dishwasher-safe items right into the dishwasher when done using them. But when the dishwasher is run and not emptied immediately, the dishes begin to backup in the sink or on the countertop. So we’re sure to never let clean dishes linger in the dishwasher.
  • Clean blenders by “blending” warm, soapy water. Do you have a smoothie routine in the mornings? Hate cleaning the blender afterward? After pouring your smoothie, simply add some warm water and a squirt of soap to the pitcher and blend for about a minute. Rinse and voila!
  • Clean tools right after using. Nothing’s worse than trying to wash a cheese grater that’s set out overnight. Streamline your cleaning by rinsing kitchen tools immediately after use and don’t waste time scrubbing. Three particular ones to be sure and clean right away are listed over at The Kitchn.
  • Don’t sleep on it. Clear the sink, countertop, and table each night before you go to bed. It’s much more fulfilling to wake to cleared surfaces than cluttered ones and only takes a few minutes.

What are your tips for keeping kitchen cleaning relatively painless and simple? Please share in the comments below!