KITCHEN SPRING CLEANING
My Favorite Tips and Hacks
As we emerge out of the doldrums of winter and the heavy cooking & baking since fall, spring is a great time to refresh the kitchen space. With some straightforward cleaning and maintenance tips, your kitchen and cooking will take on that renewed feeling of the season ahead!
KEEP THE CLEANERS SIMPLE
Although there are numerous cleaners on the market shelves, most of us are now gravitating towards more familiar and natural items. It's also a bonus if we can do all of the household tidying with less items in our cabinets, and more money in our wallets.
My GO-TO Cleaning items include: Vinegar, Baking Soda, Cream of Tartar, Coarse Salt, Dawn Dish Soap, diluted Ammonia solution, and non abrasive Scrubber Sponges.
Usually a combination of something lightly acidic or alkaline will get the job done effectively. Add a bit of hot water or steam to the equation, and you are onto success!
Here are some cleaning hacks I enjoy...
FOR POTS AND PAN
Beyond the everyday washing with dish soap and water, ensuring there are no food particles left behind, sometimes our pots and pans require a little extra care.
Stainless Steel: for pots and pans with a stainless steel interior/exterior, they can develop a darker build up on the inside or outside. To combat the gunk, combine three parts baking soda with one part water to create a paste. Apply paste to the trouble spots and let sit for an hour or more to dry. Then scrub away the brown gunk with a non-abrasive scrubber sponge.
Anodized Aluminum: Apply the same baking soda paste technique for the exterior of hard anodized aluminum (typically the interiors are non stick). For more stubborn stains, I recommend Bar Keeper's friend.
Cast Iron: for cast-iron cookware, I'm in the camp of never using soap. To lift away stubborn debris, I turn to coarse salt with a touch of neutral vegetable oil. Use a non abrasive scrubber sponge to work off visible build up. Rinse with water and dry immediately. Then apply more oil and heat the pan to reinvigorate the seasoning.
MORE KITCHEN REFRESH IDEAS
In addition to cleaning the surfaces and equipment, it's a great time to maintain key items, and make some space...
Sharpen your favorite knives, or find a quality cooking store to do it for you.
Apply Mineral Oil to wooden cutting/carving boards and cork based trivets/coaster.
Inspect your kitchen towels, and promote the shabby or worn specimens to garage duties.
Take stock of dry goods in the pantry, especially spices and opened items well past their prime, and toss.
Finally, it's always a great time to select a few canned items, non perishables, and kitchenware that you rarely use. Gather and make a donation to your local charity. Not only will you be creating some room for a more pleasant cooking experience in your kitchen, but you will be making an impact in someone else's space as well!