Ever feel like you spend twice as long cleaning up the kitchen after dinner as you spent cooking the meal itself? You’re not alone! A 2011 survey found that among people who don’t cook at home, 25% cited post-meal cleanup as their main reason for staying out of the kitchen.
While cooking can get a little messy sometimes, there’s no reason for your kitchen to end up looking like the aftermath of a natural disaster. The key to making post-meal cleanup quicker and easier is learning how to “work clean” while you’re cooking!
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In today’s post, I’ll be sharing 7 simple tips you can use while you cook to help keep your kitchen clean. WIth the help of these tips, you’ll soon find that working cleaner not only makes cleanup easier, it makes cooking more enjoyable too! :-)
7 Easy Ways To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook
1. Use A Garbage Bowl
If you want to keep your kitchen cleaner while you cook, using a “garbage bowl” can be a serious game-changer. When you start cooking, set out a spare bowl and fill it with anything you would normally take over to the trash (like eggshells, empty packaging, carrot tops, etc.)
In addition to saving you a hundred trips to the trash can, the garbage bowl system also prevents those little spills and drips that often occur during those trips. Once you embrace the garbage bowl, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
2. Soapy Water Squeeze Bottle
After a delicious meal, it can be disheartening to acknowledge the tower of food-crusted bowls you used while you were cooking. But there’s an easy way to make the cleanup process quicker and easier, and all it requires is a squeeze bottle!
Before you start cooking, fill your squeeze bottle with warm, soapy water. When you place a dirty bowl or dish in the sink, take a second to squirt some of the soapy water into it to start cutting through the food residue.
This extra step won’t slow you down while you’re cooking, but it will save you a lot of time and effort after dinner! :-)
3. Use Splatter Screens
Sautéing and pan-frying can quickly make an oil-splattered mess of your clean stovetop. To eliminate this issue, invest in a splatter screen or splatter guard!
When you start cooking, just set your splatter guard over the pan to keep splatters contained and protect your clean stovetop!
4. Do Messy Stuff Over The Sink (Or Dishwasher)
Some parts of the cooking process are messier than others, like measuring ingredients, using cooking spray, etc. Do the messy stuff over your sink to contain spills and make cleanup easier.
And as long as your dishwasher isn’t full of clean dishes, you can do messy stuff over your open dishwasher too! (I do this when using cooking spray, because the once I start a load of dishes, the dishwasher will clean up all the overspray for me!)
5. Clean Up Spills ASAP
When you’re “in the zone” while cooking, it’s easy to ignore spills and drips in favor of whatever you’re working on. But the longer spills and messes sit, the harder they will eventually be to clean!
There’s also a good chance you’ll step on the spilled food at some point, and that’s no good either. But you can avoid all that unpleasantness by stopping what you’re doing for a few seconds to wipe up the mess with a damp cloth!
6. Minimize Counter Clutter
Giving yourself more room to work not only makes cooking easier, it makes cleanup easier too! You don’t have to have miles of countertop to work with as long as you keep them relatively free of clutter.
If you could use some more room to work with, take an inventory of what lives on your countertop. Decide what should stay and what can go, then find space in your drawers or cupboards for the unnecessary stuff.
With more free counter space, you’ll have more room to work with and wiping down your counters will be quick and easy!
7. Use Washable Rugs
If you like to have rugs in your kitchen work area, make sure they are machine-washable. Spills and drips are impossible to avoid entirely, and it makes things a lot easier when you can just toss those dirty rugs in the washing machine!
How do you keep your kitchen clean while you cook?