What is your number one kitchen cleaning tip or trick?

I’d love to feature our Community's best cleaning tips in an upcoming Food52 story this month.

All you need to do is share your favorite tip for keeping your cookware, kitchen or home clean. Do you swear by vinegar and baking soda for your baking sheets (and how long do you soak them)? What about your cutting boards, stainless steel pans, cast-iron skillets, or champagne flutes? How about wine stains on clothes or carpeting? And how do you clean your grill?!

Thank you for sharing! —Nicole Davis, Community Editor


Nicole Davis
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8 Comments

Nicole D. June 29, 2023
Thank you Halfpint + Sheila for your recs! Here's the piece: https://food52.com/blog/28122-community-cleaning-tips-2023
 
Sheila June 22, 2023
For all things cleaning, I always check in with Sarah McAllister, @gocleanco on Instagram & YouTube. Her cleaning solution of 1 gal hot water, 1 tsp powdered Tide and 1/3 cup bleach is my go-to for mopping floors, wiping down cabinets, stainless steel appliances, etc. No suds so no need to rinse. Good old Mr. Clean (Sarah taught me to put it in a spray bottle) is so good on seriously greasy surfaces and Easy-Off Fume Free makes short work of cooked-on stovetop disasters.
 
Nicole D. June 23, 2023
Thank you for the tip Sheila, I'd never heard of her!
 
HalfPint June 7, 2023
I always have 2 cleaning products in my kitchen: Dawn dish soap and Bar Keepers Friend. I find that you need a good degreaser (Dawn) and a scouring powder (BKF) for 99% of kitchen cleaning. These 2 products make cleaning the kitchen a lot easier. Because a lot of foods have a bit of fat in them, a good degreaser or soap will dissolve and break up fats. BKF has oxalic acid (so wear gloves when using it) which is effective in dissolving burnt on food from pots and pans.

As former chemist by education (BS in chemistry) and training (10 years in R&D & production), vinegar + baking soda = nothing. This is an acid-base reaction that produces a water solution that contains ionic salt and CO2 gas (ie. the fizzing/foaming). The acid and the base neutralize each other and that's it! it does not dissolve grease (because it's basically water) nor does it dissolve hair. That said, baking soda is good for softening proteins. It's a good meat tenderizer. You can make a thick slurry with a little water & baking soda, apply to burnt on food and let it soften up enough to scrap/scour off.

Lastly, hot water is probably the biggest help with kitchen cleaning. For greasy messes, hot soapy water is the best :)
 
Nicole D. June 7, 2023
Thank you Halfpint, this is fascinating. Now I do not feel like such a failure because the vinegar + baking soda soak did not work for me!
 
Nicole D. June 14, 2023
Halfpint, I'd love to interview you about the science of cleaning if you're game! I'm at [email protected] if you are interested in talking more about this!
 
Linsey S. June 22, 2023
Barkeepers friend is is 100% a necessity for cleaning in our home. Love learning about some of the chemistry behind it all! Thanks for sharing that!
 
Nicole D. June 5, 2023
I’ll go first! This is not necessarily a trick, but something that has helped keep my kitchen clean and cut down on waste. I wanted to stop using so many paper towels in my kitchen, but found it hard to do because I had no place to store my reusable towels. Then I bought two small countertop baskets – one for clean towels, one for dirty – to keep them separate and easy to access. Now a single roll of paper towels lasts forever in my kitchen because I only use it to mop up bacon grease – for everything else I use + wash the reusable towels like I would my napkins.

As for my well-seasoned baking sheets, I could definitely use some tips – and would love to hear your best cleaning hacks.
 
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