Follow our kitchen cleaning hacks to spend less time scrubbing and gain more time for other activities – like indulging your passion for origami or nurturing your collection of pot plants.
Always be prepared
It sounds counterintuitive to tidy your kitchen before you start cooking, but it can actually save you time in the long-run. Making sure there’s plenty of room in your food bin means you won’t end up piling peelings on your chopping board. And starting with a tidy work surface gives you more of an incentive to keep it that way.
Make the most of your dishwasher
Empty your dishwasher before you start cooking, and stack it as you go. It’ll help to keep your work surfaces clutter-free and means you won’t have as much to do after dinner (because no one wants to bend down to stack a dishwasher with a full belly). Fed up of playing dishwasher Tetris or finding leftover bits of food stuck to washed plates? Check out our guide to loading a dishwasher.
Fill her up
If you wash by hand, fill your bowl with hot soapy water before you start cooking. Wash up as you go, and leave last minute bits to soak so they’re easier to clean after dinner. This may be one of the simplest kitchen cleaning tips you’ll read, but it’s also one of the most effective.
When buying dishwasher tablets, which of these is most important to you?
Throw as you go
Just peeled a carrot? Throw the peel straight in the food bin. Emptied a can of baked beans? Rinse it out while the beans are cooking, crush it and drop it in the recycling bin. Used half a bottle of wine for your sauce? Get a glass out of the cupboard (OK it might not help you clean but it’ll make it more enjoyable).
Tidy as you cook. If you’ve only used half of those baked beans, pour the rest of the tin into a Tupperware pot to go in the fridge. Pop the foil back in the drawer when you’ve finished with it, return the herbs to their home and the pasta back to its cupboard. Not only will this save you a job later, but it also means you’re less likely to knock something over and make more of a mess. Which brings us to…
Clean as you go
This is key to keeping your kitchen clean while cooking. If you do spill something, however small, wipe it up straight away (speaking from experience, it’s a lot easier to clean up warm cheese sauce than it is to chip it off the hob two hours later).
Choose your appliances wisely
Upgrading your oven? If your finances will allow for it, choose a self-cleaning oven. Sadly, they don’t do all the work for you, but they certainly make cleaning a whole lot easier (find out how self-cleaning ovens work here). If nothing else, you’ll be able to impress your friends by explaining what pyrolytic means. Not ready to upgrade yet? Check out our oven cleaning hacks.
Spray before you eat
Work surfaces are a lot easier to wipe down if you give the kitchen cleaner time to work its magic. So once dinner is on the table, spray your hob and kitchen surfaces and leave the cleaner to do its job while you eat.
Blitz your blender
Made the perfect pesto sauce but don’t fancy scraping the leftover pine kernels off your blender? Now here’s a neat kitchen idea: pour a cup of water in the blender and add a couple of drops of washing up liquid. Pop the lid back on and switch the blender on for a few seconds. Then just tip the mess away and rinse it clean.
Most of us have a tendency to rush cooking sometimes, particularly when family members are moaning about how absolutely starving hungry they are. But rushing around means it’s more likely you’ll splash soup on the hob, drop food on the floor or spill that glass of wine (which really would be a catastrophe). So take a deep breath, shut the kitchen door, turn up the radio to drown the complaints out and take your time.