The mantra of “clean as you go” saves many householders hours of cleaning time every years. Particularly in the kitchen, mess and muck can quickly get out of hand when you’re cooking up a storm. But if you begin the cleaning process as soon as you begin cooking, you shouldn’t be faced with total devastation when you’re finished.
Here are a few tips for keeping your kitchen clean and tidy while cooking.
Recycle as you go
Before you begin cooking, dedicate a small bin to each of the products you recycle. Place the bins somewhere within arm’s reach of your working position, and you can drop boxes, tins and bottles straight into the right bin immediately after using them.
Use a scraps bowl
Preparing food from scratch usually results in a plethora of food-related debris. Instead of letting it accumulate, throw waste food straight into the bowl. You can throw it away when you’re finished, which should save you a lot of walking to your bin.
Anchor chopping boards with damp paper towels
If you prepare fresh food regularly, you’ll probably know how easy it is for chopping boards to slip and slide over worktops. When this happens, it’s easy for the food you’ve just lovingly prepared to end up on the floor. Anchor your chopping board to the worktop by placing damp paper towels underneath.
Of course, you don’t need to wash everything every time you use it. For example, if you’re using utensils on the same dish several times throughout the process, place them in a bowl between uses. Just make sure there’s no food poisoning cross-contamination risk.
Fill the sink with hot, soapy water
If you’re cooking from scratch, you’re probably using a wide range of utensils, pans and cutlery. Rather than wash everything at the end, quickly wash each item immediately after you’re finished with it. Once you’re finished, there’ll be very little left to clean. If you have a dishwasher, keep filling it as you go, and switch it on when it’s full.
Take your time
Most people make a mess in the kitchen because they’re hurrying. When we rush things, spillages and messes become inevitable. Be more precise and considered with your cooking, and try to enjoy the experience.
Create a cleaning spray
To be able to clean as you go, you need to have a ready-made supply of cleaning fluid. You can use a store-bought multi-purpose cleaner or sanitiser for the job. Alternatively, you can make your own with white vinegar, lemon juice and water. Whenever you make even the tiniest of messes, wipe it up with your spray and a microfibre cloth.
Measure and pour over the sink
When you’re measuring and pouring ingredients and liquids, do so over the sink. When the inevitable spillages occur, cleaning them up will entail running the tap very quickly.
Protect your oven and hob
Despite your best efforts, a degree of mess in and around your hob and oven is inevitable. But you can minimise the clean-up operation afterwards by using a splatter screen over your hob. This stops your hot food from spilling onto the surface and becoming hard. Use an oven insert to capture grease and food — it can be machine washed afterwards.
Make the clean-up operation as easy as possible
No matter how many precautions you take in the kitchen, some cleaning afterwards is inevitable. But by making sure you have the right cleaning tools, the task shouldn’t be too time-consuming. For example, use the best steam mop for your type of flooring. A versatile mop can be used to clean everything from your work surfaces to your oven too — by using the appropriate attachments.
The easier cleaning is in the kitchen, the more you’ll cook. So clean as you go, and prepare your kitchen in advance.