Even the most enthusiastic cook often balks at the prospect of cleaning up an entire sink load of dirty utensils. And when you have a variety of utensil types mixed up, the job is doubly difficult because of the confusion about what to use with which type of cookware to clean up efficiently. Well, let us give you a hand with that here, by listing out a few simple ways to clean your kitchen utensils to a sparkle, depending on what material they are made of:
Wooden utensils, especially spoons are commonly used because they do not change the taste of your food. Also, since they do not conduct heat, they can safely be used while stirring a hot pot. To clean your wooden spoons or utensils, follow these steps:
- Rinse it out thoroughly so that no remnants of food are left behind.
- Soak it in a mixture of equal parts of water and white vinegar. Warm water will be more effective if the stains are deep-rooted, like turmeric (haldi) stains.
- Leave it on for at least 5 hours or let it soak overnight.
- Remove from the mixture, wash as usual and dry in direct sunlight.
Stainless steel utensils
These are by far the most commonly used utensils in the Indian household. They are safe to cook in and easy to maintain in pristine shape. Just clean your stainless steel utensils in this way:
- Wet the utensil thoroughly and remove any food remnants sticking to it.
- If there is a lot of staining on the utensil, use common salt or vinegar to scrub the surface well and then leave it on for a while, say an hour or two, before you proceed with the next step.
- Use Scotch Brite scrub sponge along with a cleaning liquid like Pril to apply the soap thoroughly over the surface.
- Wash away with tap water or use warm water if the utensil was used to cook very oily food.
- Wipe with a soft towel or let it dry out on its own.
Keep in mind that the non-stick coating can come away if you use a very abrasive scrubber on this surface so avoid those. Soft nylon scrubbers that do not scratch or sponge scrubbers are the best. But what if your non- stick pan is very oily or greasy? Here is what you do then:
- Fill water in it and add 2- 3 tablespoons of vinegar.
- Bring the mixture to boil and you will see that the oil rises to the top.
- Pour out the mixture plus oil.
- Now, just use your soft scrubber plus any liquid dish wash to give the non-stick pan or pot a thorough cleaning.
Exposing these to heat can warp them badly and make them unfit for use, so be careful while cleaning these items. Avoid abrasive solvents on these too even if they are stained. Instead of a scouring pad that is rough and hard, use a softer nylon one or a sponge. Here is how to clean these utensils:
- Make a paste of baking soda and room temperature water.
- Apply this paste on the rubber utensil with a soft sponge or nylon pad so that the surface is completely covered with it.
- Leave it on for a few hours, say 5- 6 hours, or you can even leave it on overnight to soak.
- Empty the utensil and clean it out with your normal liquid dish wash as usual.
Tupperware is extensively used in kitchens these days as they are ideal for storage as well as simple cooking or heating in the microwave. However, if you have stored food in a Tupperware container for a long time, it can imbibe both the colour and smell of the ingredients. You have clean it out thoroughly before you use it for something else. Here is how you do it:
- Remember to rinse it out as soon as it is empty even if you intend to give it a thorough wash only later.
- Rub some salt all over the container using a wet sponge or scrub pad. Close it and leave it for a few hours. This will help get rid of smells.
- Wash it out with warm water and your regular liquid dishwashing liquid thoroughly, using a soft scrubber instead of an abrasive one that can scratch the surface.
- If the smell persists after the washing, pour in some vinegar, fill the container with water and leave it for a few hours before you wash it with soap and water again.
- Dry it in direct sunlight for a while to have it smelling fresh and ready for use again.
So, you see how cleaning a variety of utensils is a piece of cake, when you have the right tricks up your sleeves. All you have to do is get hold of some everyday products and good branded cleaning agents and get started. Your kitchen will shine in no time!
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