Doing the dishes is my least favorite kitchen task, hands down. My reluctance to face them results in towering piles of plates and bowls more often that I'd like to admit. This is why I've instituted a "one soapy sponge" policy to help keep the chaos under control.
What are the essential tools and equipment every cook needs in the kitchen? Whether you're setting up a kitchen for the first time or else looking to pare back down to the basics, our Essentials Guides are here to help. We've already shared our guides to essential prep tools and utensils, cooking tools, cookware, baking pans, and small electric appliances. Today we look at the cleaning tools and solutions needed to keep all those things in good shape!
Q: I just moved into an apartment, and the area where the trash is stored smells atrocious. I've cleaned it and used natural deodorizers (baking soda, air fresheners, etc.), but the old garbage smell keeps coming back. Does anyone have tips on making this area smell brand new?
I'll admit it. I'm not a super neat person. It's not that I'm a slob but I can definitely handle a little more disarray than most people. But no matter what, when I go to bed at night I know one thing for sure will never greet me in the morning: a pile of dirty dishes. That's because over the years I've learned to make doing the dishes as pleasurable as possible. My current method has just two elements: really nice dish soap and a favorite podcast.
My bench scraper is my go-to kitchen tool. It makes all my baking blunders, stuck-on dough, or boiled-over sauces disappear in an instant. But what I didn't realize is that using it before I clean instead of after saves me tons of time and money!
Fall vegetables tend to be especially dirty; they come out of the ground with wet October mud and grit all over them. So a good vegetable brush is very helpful for cooking in this season. This simple brush from OXO gets rave reviews from its fans. It's not as pretty as a wood-handled brush, but it's more practical, since the whole thing can be thrown in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.