5 Things You Should Clean While You Wait for Pasta Water to Boil

updated Feb 5, 2021
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Boiling Pot On Oven In Kitchen At Home.
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Some chores in the kitchen require your full attention. Other jobs, like boiling water for pasta, require a hurry-up-and-wait approach. So why not use that waiting time to do something productive, like clean your kitchen?

Depending how much you’re boiling, expect it to take around 10 minutes for your water to reach a rolling boil. That’s 10 minutes of valuable time that could make your kitchen a more enjoyable place to be. Not sure exactly what you can accomplish while your pasta water boils? Here are five little things you can reasonably get done in those 10 minutes.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. Shine up all stainless steel appliances: 2 minutes

Even if you just cleaned them yesterday, chances are high your appliances could use some love. Once you’ve turned on the burner, grab a white vinegar-water solution or stainless steel wipes to remove fingerprints and other greasy residue from your stainless steel appliances. This should take about two minutes total. No stainless steel in the kitchen? Same thing: Use this time as an opportunity to wipe down your appliances no matter what.

Credit: Amelia Lawrence/Kitchn

2. Wipe down countertops: 2 minutes

Next, do a quick wipe-down of your countertops with a wet rag or microfiber cloth. You don’t have to thoroughly scrub or disinfect them, which will take a lot longer — just use these two minutes to wipe away crumbs, spill, or other visible messes.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Wipe down your cabinet doors: 2 minutes

Same principle here: Rather than a thorough scrub, just wipe down the outside of your kitchen cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any visible debris. If you’re running short on time, focus especially on greasy or splattered areas, like the cabinets near your stovetop. (Pro tip: Whip up a DIY solution for cabinet-cleaning ahead of time by combining equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then adding a few drops of dish soap).

Credit: Lauren Volo

4. Wipe down your sink: 2 minutes 

If you’re one to stay on top of your dishes, now’s a great time to scrub down your sink. The fastest method is to run hot water, turn on the garbage disposal if you have one, and use a sponge to remove any stubborn spots or debris. If there are lots of dishes in the sink, use these minutes to wash some or load up the dishwasher.

5. Sweep the floor: 2 minutes 

You probably can’t do a full-on deep clean of your kitchen floors, but you can reasonably prep the floors for your next mop session. As your pasta water approaches its boil, grab your broom and sweep as much as you can. Or grab the dust pan and a handheld broom and sweep along your toe kicks or around the trash can. By the time you dump your dust pan, it’ll be time to put your noodles in — and your kitchen will be much cleaner than when you started!