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Kitchen Cleaning & Safety Tips

Helpful tips and how-to's on kitchen cleaning and safety.

  1. The most dangerous knife in the kitchen is a dull one. Keep culinary knives well-sharpened and always use with care.
  2. To prevent a serious chemical burn on your hands that will literally last for hours, always use plastic gloves when preparing raw hot chile peppers (which contain capsaicin, the main ingredient in pepper spray). This safety tip is especially important when preparing a large quantity...and do keep your hands AWAY from your face, especially no rubbing the eyes or chapped lips!!!
  3. To keep steel wool pads from rusting in humid climates, store in sealed plastic bag in the freezer after using. The next time you have to use it, just run it under hot water and it is "thawed" out and ready to use. The pads will wear out before they ever rust.- Tip submitted by Bob Restuccia of Hyannis, Massachusetts USA.
  4. A squirt of nonstick cooking spray can ease the drudgery of scrubbing the barbecue grill. ALWAYS spray on a COLD grill.
  5. Easily remove burnt on food from a skillet by adding a drop or two of liquid dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on the stove top. Allow to cool and clean should be a breeze!
  6. When food boils over in the oven, sprinkle the burned surface with a little salt. This will stop smoke and odor and make the spot easier to clean.
  7. Spray plastic-ware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces. No more stains!
  8. To aid in washing dishes, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your soapy water, it softens hands while cutting through grease.
  9. To remove the odor of garlic from hands, wet hands with water and then rub them with a spoonful of salt and rinse. Repeat, if needed.
  10. When stacking non-stick skillets on cupboard shelves, place a paper plate between each to prevent scratches. This prolongs the life of the skillet.
  11. Never put a cover on anything that is cooked in milk, unless you want to spend time cleaning up the stove when it boils over!
  12. For quick wipe-ups of small spills, keep a box of plain white tissues near the stove and use them instead of paper towels.
  13. Never wash a rolling pin, or it may warp...and never let dough dry on it. Immediately after rolling out dough, wipe the rolling pin clean with a towel.
  14. To safely clean coffee makers, enameled cast-iron pots, and similar equipment, put 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda in the pot and pour boiling water over it. A baking powder solution is also great for scrubbing butcher blocks.
  15. After zesting and juicing an orange, lemon or lime, grind the remains in your garbage disposal for their refreshing scent.
  16. For easy cleanup, fill your blender container with warm water, add a few drops of liquid detergent, and blend 30 seconds; rinse well.
  17. To deodorize plastic storage containers in which onions or garlic were stored, wash thoroughly, then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in the container, and snap on the lid. In a few days the smell will disappear.
  18. If something spills over in your oven, first sprinkle it with salt and remove with a metal spatula, then wipe with a damp sponge.
  19. You can remove burnt-on food in pans by filling with a solution of water and a scant teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the residue loosens.
  20. Never pour water on flaming fat or oil — you'll spread the fire. If the fire's inside a pan, slap on the lid. If outside, turn off the heat and douse the flames by tossing on a handful of baking soda or salt.
  21. It's easier to clean a grill right after you've used it. While still hot, scrape off food bits with a metal bristle brush to keep them from hardening and charring next time you cook out. A little work a head of time saves a lot of work later!

How-To's & Tips Index