Grocery shopping, prepping ingredients, and actually doing all the cooking can be a lot of work — but that can be nothing compared to the task of cleaning up. Perhaps it's because the big event (the meal itself) has passed, but tackling a dirty kitchen is often the last thing I want to be doing.
Which is why, when I got to interview Alex Guarnaschelli as part a partnership with Lysol Daily Cleaner, I of course had to ask a pro: What tools and tricks make cleanup less complicated for her?
If I was hoping for a magic wand-type tool that I could buy, I wasn't going to get it. Instead, Guarnaschelli had a pretty simple answer.
"I'm going to be honest with you — I have a couple standard kitchen towels and keep them parked around [my kitchen]," she says. Then, when she's towards the end of cleaning, she sprays down the counters and floors and does a final, huge wipe-down. It's kind of like a final flourish to make things look and feel really clean — and doesn't require lugging out a mop.
This trick, it turns out, is something Guarnaschelli learned from her mother. "She would clean everything," she exlains. "Then stoop over and do the mass swipe."
Having lots of washcloths scattered around also comes in hand for cleaning up as you go. Keeping them plentiful and at arm's reach also prevents her from using up rolls of paper towels thoughtlessly.
But Guarnaschelli also says she doesn't just get one of those jumbo packs of thin washcloths for $10. Instead, she prefers investing in (relatively) expensive towels that are fluffy, thick, and absorbent. "I buy something that could qualify as a washcloth," she says.
Terrycloth Dish Towels, $19 for 12
And her final piece of advice on cleaning? "Don't overdo it." While everyone has their own style in the kitchen, keeping things simple (and choosing multipurpose products, like good, thick towels) is a way to reduce stress — and, ultimately, hopefully, have a cleaner home.