4 Steps to a Cleaner Kitchen
Coming home to a clean kitchen, or waking up to a clean kitchen, makes your life more zen. You might not feel noticeably more relaxed when your kitchen is clean. But I’m confident you have felt noticeably more stressed when your kitchen is dirty.
If you live with roommates or a significant other, a messy kitchen can be a huge cause of tension in your relationship. Ditch the dirty dishes drama. Here are 4 steps to maintaining a clean kitchen.
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Use dishwasher safe everything
Switching to dishwasher safe everything made the biggest difference in keeping my own kitchen clean. Nobody like doing dishes. NOBODY. So why do we torture yourselves owning items that have to be hand washed? Don’t perpetuate dirty dishes in your sink by using items that cannot go through the dishwasher.
Messiness is perpetuated by using kitchen items that need to be hand washed. These items generally pile up in the sink, because everyone avoids washing them. You can avoid a swampy kitchen sink by using dishwasher safe items as often as possible.
Have you ever cursed a roommate, boyfriend, or husband for not doing the dishes after you cooked a nice meal? Have you ever thought to yourself “I shouldn’t have to wash dishes, I’m the one who cooked?”
It’d be nice if we lived in a world where household chores are always split 50/50. But the reality is we don’t. Whether you’re trying to coax someone else into doing the dishes, or whether you are stuck doing them yourself… Using dishwasher safe cookware, cutlery, and dishes will make your life easier! Putting everything in the dishwasher and pressing start is easier than hand washing. NO CONTEST. Choose to make your life easier by using dishwasher safe everything.
If you have a problem with ongoing kitchen messiness, you might want to take it a step further and give away the hand wash only items you already have. Cough cough embrace minimalism, more on this here. Or, just stick them in the dishwasher and see what happens. My grandma’s china is still going strong!
Use recyclable kitchen items
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that less dirty dishes means a cleaner kitchen. But how can we make less dirty dishes? Simple, use single use plates, bowls, and cups. You can help to eliminate the there-are-too-many-dirty-dishes-to-fit-in-the-dishwasher-problem by using recyclable kitchen items.
In my years as a business process analyst, I learned to identify bottlenecks that handicap efficiency. If one critical system is operating at full capacity but holding up a process, then there is an issue. In my experience the dishwasher is the bottleneck to a clean kitchen. Especially, if you’re putting everything in the dishwasher as I recommended above.
If you cannot fit all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, then dirty dishes will remain elsewhere. If you want to keep dirty plates and dishes off the counter and out of the sink, then you need to reduce the number of dirty dishes you are creating. Recyclable plates and bowls are great when you are prepping food before you cook it.
Amazon sells eco-conscious single use kitchen items (pictured below) at great prices. You don’t even need to go to the store to pick them up, just order them with Amazon Prime and get them delivered straight to your home!
These “disposable” plates are better for the environment than paper or plastic since they are compostable.
Pro tip: Paper to go cups are awesome for your morning commute. If you recycle the cup after use, then reusable travel mugs won’t pile up in your car or at your office.
Clean while it cooks
Cooking often provides opportunities to clean up before the meal is even ready. For example, any time the instructions calls for baking, boiling, or simmering for X minutes.
The concept is simple. While the rice is simmering put the bag of rice away. While the roast is baking put the cutting board in the dishwasher. The less you have to do after you finish eating the better! Take care of clean up before the food coma hits.
If you can’t multitask, these sorts of clean up tasks are especially good to delegate to a helpful husband or kids. If you can’t multitask and you don’t have any help, get everything you need out before you start cooking. You will be able to spend the X minutes cleaning instead of looking for the next ingredient!
Pro tip: certain items can be rinsed and put away instead of washed. The two items I tend to rinse and not wash are knives and my garlic press. If I have used a knife to cut bread or a citrus (like lemon, lime, or oranges) I just rinse it off and put it back where it belongs. Same goes for my magic garlic press. Plus when you rinse things and put them away (without running them through the dishwasher) then your kitchen is less likely to be dirty due to a dishwasher bottleneck.
Load the dishwasher with each dirty dish
This trick to keep the kitchen clean is parallels the tip to clean as you cook. When you load the dishwasher with each dirty dish, you help to eliminate the there-are-too-many-dirty-dishes-to-fit-in-the-dishwasher-problem.
If the dishwasher is empty there is no reason to leave a plate, bowl, or cup on the counter or in the sink. Same goes for a dishwasher that that is partially empty. It’s not going to hurt the dishes to wash them twice. If you don’t know if the dishwasher is clean or dirty just keep loading it.
Personal Rant: It kills me when my husband leaves something in the sink because he “doesn’t know” if the dishwasher is clean or dirty. If you’re experiencing kitchen cleanliness delays because due to the clean vs. dirty debate there is an easy solution. Buy a dishwasher magnet! Amazon sells this great one (pictured below) and Bed Bath and Beyond has one for under $3.
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!
Did you find these 4 steps to a clean kichten helpful?
Do you have any additional clean kitchen hacks you’d like to share with the class?
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