There is nothing like a good home cooked meal and many of us just love to get in the kitchen and cook!
We enjoy delicious meals with family and friends and then there is the clean up – the worst part of it all. Dishes, pots, pans, and cookware is bad enough – but then you see all the spills, splatters, and the grease that remain from cooking that are all over your stove or cook top.
The best cleaner for a greasy stove is clean hot soapy water. A good dish detergent that holds up is a plus. The cheaper brands and off-brands that are available today usually lose their cleaning ability after the first 4 dishes are washed – provided they weren’t that greasy and messy to begin with.
You can wipe up your counter tops the same way and don’t forget about the sides, front and handles of the refrigerator if your fridge happens to be next to your stove. Grease has a way of traveling. And while you’re at it – the hood over the stove is there to collect cooking grime as well. Wiping the exterior of the hood daily will keep it clean and shiny. Removing the filter underneath weekly (if you do heavy cooking) or at least once a month (if you are an occasional cook) will keep it functioning the way it should and will keep it clean.
Don’t let the filter intimidate you – just remove and soak in the sink in hot soapy water; scrub gently with a dish brush; rinse well and allow to dry before placing back under the hood.
Anytime you are going to clean your stove or cook top, be sure that it is cool enough to touch – you don’t need to get burned in the process.
Many stoves have the stainless steel drip plates around each burner. Remove the cooking grates and set aside (in a place on the counter where they won’t fall off or break) and remove these drip plates and place in a sink filled with hot soapy water while you’re cleaning the stove top. Wipe down the entire stove top including the back of the stove with a clean dish rag using the hot soapy water. Clean around the stove dials and many of them are easily removable and can also be placed in the hot soapy water. Rinse the soap out of the dish cloth and wipe down the stove again. Dry with a clean, soft cloth or paper towels. Use scouring pads on any tough stains that don’t want to come out and also on the stainless steel drip plates that are in the hot soapy water. Scour both sides, rinse, dry and place back on the stove top – top with the grates.
Clean the oven doors and handles as well; rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Wipe down your counter tops and your kitchen is clean and ready for the next big meal.
For cookware that is grease-loaded, scrape out any excess grease and place in a disposable container – never down the sink drains (this will only clog your pipes and cause grief and money to have cleaned out). You can also check out the topic “How to clean clogged drains” if your drains are sluggish.
Place cookware in the sink in hot, soapy water and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub with a scouring pad for burned-on grease stains. If your frying pan (for instance) has food particles stuck to it and you just dread trying to soak and scrub it – pour about an inch of water in the pan and place over medium heat; bring to a boil and carefully scrape up the bottom of the pan using a metal spatula to remove most of what is stuck in the bottom of the pan. Soak in hot soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes and scrub with a scouring pad.
Remember – cleaning pots, pans and cookware is usually a dreaded chore and to make it easier on you, it is best if done right after cooking. If allowed to sit too long, it is much harder to clean.
Baking sheets can always be lined with aluminum foil for an easy clean- up.
Always allow pots, pans, and cookware to cool before washing. Placing hot cookware in cold water while still hot can warp the cookware.
Non -stick cookware should never be cleaned with scouring pads or abrasive scrubbers. Damaging the non-stick cooking surface leaves you with a pan that is dangerous to cook in and will need to be thrown out.
After cleaning up your kitchen and getting rid of all the grease, scour the sink with cleanser and rinse well. By now you have a dish cloth that looks like it was dragged through the mud. Simply plug the sink and fill with hot water; pour in about one cup of bleach and toss your soiled dish cloths and dish towels in the water. Let sit for about 30 minutes. If you have a dish drain on the other side of the sink, do the same thing – you’ll be sterilizing your dish drain and cleaning it as well.
Drain the water and rinse the sink and dish drain with clean water. Rinse out your dish cloths and dish towels that are now stain-free and look like new!
NOTE: It’s nice to soak your greasy dish cloths and dish towels before laundering them. This way you are not transferring the grease to other kitchen towels in the washer.