9 Quick Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Get quick tips for time-saving cleanup on your most-used kitchen tools.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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    A Blender Cleaning Secret

    1. Family physician and author Jill Grimes has a great tip to clean the blender. 'After you pour your drink, take the pitcher straight to the sink. Put in a little water and a drop of dish soap, put it back on the blender, and turn it on for 20 seconds. Rinse it out and you’re done.'

    From Best You

    2 Microwave Cleaning Shortcuts

    2. The quickest way to clean a microwave oven is to place a handful of wet paper towels inside and run it on High for 3-5 minutes. You don't need a science lesson to know that the steam from the towels will soften the grime. Once the paper towels cool down, use them to wipe the oven's interior.

    -- Amazing Home Problem Solver

    3. To deodorize, combine 1 cup of water with ½ cup of lemon juice in a measuring cup or bowl and heat it on high for 3–5 minutes. Let it stand in the microwave for 5–10 minutes before removing.

    -- How to Clean Just About Everything

    A Quick Coffee Pot Tip

    4. The glass jug that comes with a coffeemaker can quickly develop a brown, blotchy haze – especially when you leave it on for long periods of time. For the quickest cure, you will need some ice, salt and a lemon. Fill the empty jug a quarter full of ice. Cut the lemon into quarters and squeeze two of the quarters into the jug. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Swirl the mixture in the jug for 2 minutes and the inside surface will quickly come clean. Rinse under the tap.

    -- Five Minute Fixes

    Clean a Cast-Iron Pan

    5. Most cooks know that you should never use liquid soap on a cast-iron pan and never scrub it with anything abrasive if you want to maintain its well-oiled nonstick surface. So how do you clean it? Use salt. If the pan will not rinse clean with water and a soft dishcloth, rub it with a few tablespoons of salt and a paper towel, and rinse. Then replenish the oil film by coating the inside surface with a dab of cooking oil.

    -- Five Minute Fixes

    A Coffee Grinder Trick

    6. Run a small handful of uncooked white rice through the coffee grinder, especially if you use it for grinding anything other than coffee beans. Most coffee experts advise against using your machine for grinding dry spices since the smells from grinding ingredients, such as cinnamon sticks and dried basil, are nearly always impossible to get out. -- How to Clean Just About Everything

    Cheese Grater Tip

    7. Keep a clean pastry brush handy for removing every last remnant of grated food left behind in the tiny grates. It works like a charm on both sides of the grater.

    -- How to Clean Just About Everything

    Disinfect the Garbage Disposal

    8. Deep clean and deodorize a waste disposal unit by grinding ice cubes made with half vinegar, half water.

    -- Amazing Home Problem Solver

    Coffee Cup Saver

    9. Remove coffee stains from china cups by scrubbing them with equal parts vinegar and salt.

    -- Amazing Home Problem Solver

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    Your Comments

    • http://www.miniclean.com.au/ Mini Clean

      Thank you for the great tips! I really hate cleaning my oven as well as my blender. Most of the time, I make healthy smoothies for my kids and washing them afterwards is my biggest nightmare. But thanks to you! It would be a worry free cleaning day then. Can you suggest any products that you use in cleaning your oven?

    • Cliff

      Another tip: skip the vinegar ice trick for disposals.

      Next time you cut a lemon for juice, toss the halves in the disposal and grind them up. The pith will scrub the blades, the remaining juice will disinfect, and the lemon oil will deodorize. I squirt a glob of dish soap in at the end to help the pith pass through, which foams up and helps the cleaning job.

    • Cliff

      If a little mild dish soap ruins your cast iron, you didn’t season it properly. Old lye soaps could ruin a season, but modern soaps don’t stand a chance against a good, hard carbonized layer. I don’t use soap every time, but I don’t hesitate to scrub the pan out with a little if something sticks or burns. I just reheat and re-oil the pan for good measure. Keep steel wool and oven cleaner away from it, and you should be fine.

      And no, it won’t make your food taste like soap, either, so long as you rinse well. Cast iron is slightly porous, but the seasoning is not.

    • maids plano

      This is a normal way to clean kitchen and by adding couple of soap drops in that it also cleans and removes the sticky substances, and then rinse thoroughly. I use this way of cleaning almost for every machine.  

    • Phedra Posch

      Rather than using vinegar and salt, I put a teaspoon of sugar in my cup and a few drops of water. Then just use my fingers to rub the sugar around the inside of the cup and along the rim. The sugar acts as an abrasive and you end up with a nice clean cup in seconds.  If you have sugar cubes, that works well too. 

    • Shirley Schasse

      To freshen my garbage disposal I just grind up citrus fruit peels. It works every time.