8 Tips for Ending Your Meal with a Clean Kitchen
Here’s how to keep your kitchen clean—even after a marathon cooking showdown.
While cooking at home is great for your health and wellbeing, it can leave quite the mess in the kitchen. And there’s nothing worse than spending hours prepping a meal, only to see a mountain of dishes in the sink and your countertops covered in miscellaneous ingredients.
Cooking shouldn’t feel like more of a chore than it needs to be. Instead of ditching the pots and pans and dialing takeout, look to these tips that’ll make cleanup time a breeze. That way, you can get to work in the kitchen without worrying about a huge mess at the end.
Start With a Clean Kitchen
Starting with a clean workspace will automatically give you a head start on cleaning once you're done working. Make sure all dishes are out of the sink, your countertops are clear of clutter and spills, and your dishwasher is empty—this way you're not spending any extra time on old messes and are only focusing on the "mess" your making with this meal.
Prep Your Ingredients Before Cooking
Pull out all the ingredients you need to cook—and we mean everything from your veggies down to your spices. Organize everything in front of your work space, and get your ingredients chopped, peeled and measured out. This will make cooking so much easier, and you'll find you have a better flow. Plus it make clean up a breeze, because you won't be scrambling to cut your veggies and pull out spices, you're less likely to make mistakes or messes!
Use a “Scraps” Bucket
If you’re doing a lot of chopping, place all the food scraps into one bucket rather than making a mess on the cutting board or counter. This keeps unnecessary food items in one place, so they can be composted or trashed in one easy step later on.
Load Your Dishwasher as You Go
Instead of throwing everything in the sink, only to have to load the dishwasher later, just put all the dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher—this will make dish duty easy peasy!
Use Parchment Paper or Foil
Use parchment paper or foil for anything you put in the oven, like a baking sheet or casserole dish. Your food shouldn't stick, and you also won’t have to clean the pan afterwards! Just remove the parchment paper and throw it away, and you’re set.
Try the Progressive Clean Up Method
If cooking several dishes, clean your work space after every dish—or if you are cooking multiple dishes at once, take a clean up break to clean your area, the dishes, and the garbage before you continue. This saves you time at the end and gives more counter space.
Tackle Spills Immediately
The second you spill something, wipe it up immediately. Letting spills sit, gives them time to get sticky, stain or even worse spread. If you tackle your spills as you make them, wiping your counter tops and appliances down after you meal will be a breeze!
Soak Pots ASAP
Skip the tough scrubbing later and soak your pots and pans ASAP in warm water with a little dish soap. This will help loosen any caked on food, making it much easier for you to wipe them out later!