Cleaning up is not exactly anyone's favorite part of cooking. I'd be very surprised if you said it were! Even so, there are three tools that are worth washing as soon as you're finished using them. It will make life so much easier for you.
• Chef's Knife: I've had my fair share of precarious cleaning moments trying to scrub dried-on garlic or stubborn herbs off this sharp blade. Far better is giving the dirty chef's knife a quick scrub right after chopping is done.
• Microplane: Ditto for the microplane. It's infinitely easier to rinse away flecks of cheese or sticky ginger before they dry on the microplane than after. (Though apparently if we let them dry long enough, they'll flake away on their own!)
• Strainers: Strainers have been my nemesis for years now. No matter how well I think I've cleaned them, some remnant of food always seems to stick to the wire mesh. The best solution I've found is to bite the bullet and clean it without delay.
What other kitchen tools do you recommend cleaning right away?
Related: Knife Skills: Do You Know the Best Way to Clean Knives?
(Image: Emma Christensen)