Quick Tips to Make Cleaning & Maintaining Your Cooking Utensils Easier

Omon Imoisili

Just like we care for our clothes, jewellery, shoes, and anything else, so on, so they’re always as good as new, caring for our cooking utensils will also make them functional for a longer period and retain their lustre while adding to that overall spic and span kitchen look. It’s not rocket science but all about proper care and regular maintenance.

Here are tiny details we often take for granted which goes a long way to ensure these cooking utensils maintain their functionality and gleam:

1. Wooden cutting boards

To properly clean this board after use and maintain its sheen, be sure to use coarse salt, warm water and a thin sponge or wiper to meticulously wash the board, after which you dry with a towel. Apply and rub in few drops of olive or mineral oil on the board after few scrubbings to give it that shine and make it water resilient. Always store the board on its side and not flat to avoid damaging it.

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2. Non-stick pans

Maintaining this pan starts even while cooking. Always apply a thin sheen of oil to the surface of this pan whenever you want to use it and be sure to cook using medium heat as very high heat could cause the non-stick coating to depreciate. Again, always use wooden or silicon spoons (never use metal spoons) while cooking in order to avoid scratching the surface of the pan. Now after use, wash with a gentle liquid soap or baking powder and a scrubby sponge. To store the pan, line the surface with a paper towel for protection, you can then stack another pot or pan on it.

3. Kitchen knives

This is a darling tool of most cooks or chefs and it’s most beloved when it is sharp (a blunt knife can be really annoying and frustrating). Keeping your knives sharp always is a great way to maintain them. After use, always hand wash with a mild liquid soap and soft sponge, dry with a towel and store in a knife rack or block to protect the blades.

4. Blenders and food processors

Separate the parts of these appliances when you want to clean them. Wash them properly making sure to get to the nooks and crannies in them by using a tiny brush, say a tooth brush. After washing, put them on a flat surface to air dry. Once properly dried, pack them up for keeps till the next time you want to make use of them.

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5. Colanders or Strainers

This is also commonly known as sieve. It is often used to drain water off solid food and sometimes tiny particles get stuck in the mesh or wire of the colander. To get these off, soak the colander in hot water and baking soda for about 15 minutes and then brush using a toothbrush. The particles should come off. Rinse using cool water and dry with a towel.

6. Grater

This is another very important tool in the kitchen that could also prove difficult to clean. To avoid this difficulty, before use, apply a teeny bit of olive oil on the jagged or saw-like surface you would be using to grate. This oiled surface would pose no interference with the vegetable to be grated but would only making cleaning easy after use. To clean, using a toothbrush, scrub the jagged surface real hard. The bristles on the brush helps to get particles off the crevices of the grater. When you are done washing, allow to air dry before keeping in a safe place.

7. Bowls: These could either be plastic, wooden, stainless steel or glass. Just like the stainless steel cook wares, avoid gouging the surface of the stainless steel bowls with metal utensils. Instead, use wooden or silicon tools. Avoid placing acidic foods in your stainless steel bowls too as these could cause stains in the steel with time. Use warm soapy water to wash immediately after use to prevent stains from getting stuck. For the plastic, glass and wooden bowls, wash using warm soapy water and soft wash cloth or foam after use and dry with a towel or air dry. For the wooden bowl, just like other wooden utensils, be sure to oil using mineral oil occasionally to maintain its sheen.

8. Cast Iron Pans: When cleaning the cast iron cookware, like the non-stick and stainless steel cookware, avoid scratching the surface with metal spoons or utensils. Wash with warm soapy water and scrubby sponge (non-metal sponge). Rinse with cool water and dry using a towel. Then, using a few drops of olive or mineral oil, coat the surface of this cookware thinly and put a paper towel on the surface before storing. This cookware if properly cared for can last for a century.

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Be sure to dry (air dry or towel dry) all utensils after wash to prevent water stains on them. Also, use a good liquid soap. Avoid use of detergents except dish washing detergents and use scrubby sponge or soft washcloth or foam to wash your cooking utensils as harsh scrub pads may cause damages to their coating.

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