7 Brilliant Cleaning Tips from Kitchn Readers

updated Oct 7, 2019
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While we wait for someone to engineer an Easy Button that cleans a messy kitchen with a single press (a dream is a wish your heart makes, people!), it can’t hurt to come up with a list of cleaning tips of our own. We have tons of cleaning content on Kitchn, so this time we crowdsourced ideas from our super-smart readers for tips that they use to avoid the drudgery of cleanup time in their own spaces.

We asked for your best cleaning tips, and here are seven of our favorite responses.

1. “Play music to make it fun!”

Who doesn’t love the good ol’ distraction method? One reader suggests that if you hate cleaning, belt out some lyrics and break out some of your famous dance moves while you’re at it. Pass the time and get your daily dose of endorphins along the way.

Credit: Raymond Forbes LLC/Stocksy

2. “Always clean as you cook.”

It might seem like the oldest trick in the book, but this reader is right. Take the dread out of cleaning up a post-dinner mess by tackling it head-on while the mess is being made in the first place. Chances are, your recipe calls for some idle wait time while something simmers or bakes. Use that time to rinse off the pot or pan you’re not using anymore, and end-of-night cleanup will take way less time.

Credit: Faith Durand

3. “Whatever cleaning spray you choose, let it sit for 30 seconds.”

One Kitchn reader stands by this technique because “the chemical reaction will do most of the work for you and you’ll use less elbow grease.” Patience is definitely a virtue in this case.

Credit: Lauren Volo

4. “Rinse your dishes right after a meal.”

Don’t wait until your dishes get crusty — if you do, it’ll takes twice as long to clean everything, says one Kitchn reader. If you soak them right away, “You can stack and wash or load them later without having to scrape.”

5. “Run a sink full of dish water while you cook and put dirty dishes and pans in as you go.”

Technically this tip is an expert-level combo move of tips #2 and #4. Level up and try the fill-up-your-sink method the next time you think you’re going to have a lot of dirty dishes.

Credit: Cat Meschia

6. “Use vinegar to get rid of any odd smells.”

This Kitchn reader sounds a lot like my mom, who swears by distilled white vinegar as a cleaning agent so much that she should probably work for Heinz on the side. But they’re both right: Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that works wonders for eliminating wonky odors.

7. “Hire someone else to clean it!”

Finally, someone else said what we were all thinking! Actually, lots of Kitchn readers suggested this!

Okay, lets open the polls again. What are your best kitchen cleaning tips and hacks? Leave them in the comments below!