How Ina Garten Keeps Her Pots and Pans Looking Like New

updated Dec 16, 2021
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

We can learn a lot about and from Ina Garten just by following her on Instagram. For example, we learned that she puts her knives in the dishwasher. That she swears by this pepper grinder. And that she only uses two kinds of cookware (All-Clad and Le Creuset!). We also once learned her tip for cleaning said cookware.

See, a few years ago, Ina shared an Instagram video, during which she showed us all how she makes croutons. (See: Ina Garten Shows Us How to Make the Croutons from the Cover of Her New Cookbook.) After she posted the video, she spent some time answering questions from her followers in the comments section.

“How do you keep your All-Clad so clean and new looking,” a follower asked.

Less than an hour later, she responded: “The trick to keeping your cookware clean is to soak it overnight in the sink with very hot, soapy water. The next morning, it will clean up really easily with a sponge or Brillo pad. I have pots and and pans that are 40 years old that look almost brand new!”

There’s nothing earth-shattering here (she didn’t suggest a cleaner we’d never heard of or invent a new technique) except for the fact that we learned that Ina isn’t a member of the Clean Sink Club!

So many cleaning pros suggest washing and putting away all of the dirty dishes before you go to bed, so that you can start with an empty sink and a blank slate in the morning. (We’ve written about it a ton, and many of our staffers adhere to that rule!) But if Ina’s letting stuff sit until the morning, maybe we should all give ourselves a pass. If you want to go from dinner to Netflix to bed, do it. Ina actually suggests it!

Do you let stuff soak over night or are you more of a clean-right-away kind of home cook?