The First Thing You Should Do with a New Bag of Flour

updated May 18, 2020
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Flour in plastic container with bag in the background, measuring cup, stand mixer
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Whether you’ve hopped on the sourdough-making train like the rest of us (turns out, making bread is a pretty wholesome and fun quarantine hobby) or you just need to stock up on pantry essentials, chances are you’ll be buying flour sometime in the near future. But honestly, what you’re buying that flour for doesn’t matter to us right now. Nope, what we’re here to talk about is the first thing you do with that bag of flour. And we’re not even thinking about what you choose to decant it in or where you’re going to store it, either (although both are important, of course). The first thing you should do with any new bag of flour that you bring home? Use a little bit to polish up some of your kitchen’s stainless steel.

We know, we know. It sounds strange, and potentially messy. But it works! It works on your sink, your faucet, your toaster, your fridge door, and all your other stainless steel surfaces. See, the flour buffs the tiny grooves (the grain, if you will) in the stainless steel and also pulls out residual dirt and grime that a soapy sponge can’t get to. So it’ll get your surfaces all shiny, smudge-less, and sparkly.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

To polish, clean the stainless steel first (with a spray kitchen cleaner or warm, soapy water) and make sure the surface is totally dry (water will instantly turn the flour into goo and things will get very messy). Then, either sprinkle the flour onto the surface or, if you’re cleaning something that’s vertical, like, say, a fridge door, onto your microfiber cleaning cloth. And start buffing. Buff the flour into the metal like you are waxing a car. Work in a circular motion until the flour seemingly disappears and the stainless steel begins to shine. When you’re done, that’s when you can put the rest of the bag away or start baking.

Does this have to be done with a freshly opened bag of flour? Nope! It can be done at any point. We just like to talk about doing it with a brand-new bag because it winds up forcing some sort of regularity into the chore. By the time you need a new bag of flour, it’s probably time to polish up your stainless steel, so it’s a nice little reminder if you pair the two things together.