How-To & Diy

A&M's Top Cleaning Tips

April 15, 2014

We're teaming up with our friends at The Laundress to bring you the most useful tips and products for spring cleaning.

Today: From stains to wine glasses to loading the dishwasher, Amanda & Merrill share their tried-and-true cleaning techniques. 

Provisions from Food52

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Here are Merrill's cleaning tips:

For stains, pour boiling water straight from the kettle from at least a foot above the item you are cleaning. My mother taught me this, and it works!

When you're hand washing glasses after a party, save them for last. Once everything else is put away, lay a couple of dish towels on the counter. Wash the glasses carefully, one at a time, using a sponge or a soft cloth (not a dish brush) and plenty of soap. Rinse them using the hottest water you can stand (the hotter the water, the quicker it will evaporate, leaving you with less drying to do). I set wet tumblers upside down on the dish towels so that the water drips out, and I set more delicate stemmed wine glasses with narrower openings right side up, so that I don't risk knocking them over as they dry.

Always load the dishwasher from back to front -- you'll be able to fit more in, and there's less risk of breaking something as you try to wiggle it into a back corner.

Wash like with like -- put all of your forks in one compartment, and all of your knives in another. This makes unloading the dishwasher a breeze, and it's not much more work on the front end.

Loading dishwasher from Food52

And now for Amanda's:

To clean a dirty pot, you'll need both a copper scrubber like this, and a dishcloth. Fully rinse the pot first to remove any excess fat or grease. Fill the pot with about an inch of super hot, soapy water, and scrub off any stuck bits with the copper scrubber. A lot of people forget to scrub the outside of pots, but the base of a pot often gets cooking juices seared onto the surface, and if you don't regularly clean these off, your pot will start building up a layer of soot. Rinse the pot, and now wash it with a dishcloth in a sink full of hot soapy water. 

With oil-based stains, dampen the stain with cold water and rub a bar of soap into the stain. Under cold running water, scrub the stain and rinse out the soap. If the fabric is on furniture, use a wet cleaning cloth to dab at the stain and remove the soap. Let air dry. 

Use elbow grease! Most everything can be cleaned with a bit of elbow grease.

Washing dishes from Food52

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • slothrop
  • Alexis
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


slothrop August 21, 2015
One incredibly useful tool for cleaning pots is a piece of an expired credit card. Cut it in half, then use it as a flexible scraper. They provide a nice balance between rigidity and flexibility, and they wash clean very easily—bits of egg or dough dough just rinse off.
Alexis August 8, 2015
Use Lestoil for oil and grease stains