Okay, we’ll start with the fact that cleaning up is about my least favorite part of any job. In the galley, I’d much rather be doing the cooking . . . and the eating. But when we informally divided up the chores, I got cleaning the dishes. Dave got cleaning fish. Considering that I really hate cleaning fish, I was reasonably happy with the split.
Now that I’ve discovered these six tools, I’m definitely happy with the division of labor. Cleaning up isn’t nearly the chore it used to be.
- Silicone Spoon Spatula — in addition to lots of cooking duties, I use it to scrape plates and pans before washing them. The shape just plain works far better than a rubber scraper, it’s stiffer and gets more off, and the seamless construction makes it easy to clean. Scrape the dishes into a wide-mouth jar so as not to attract bugs . . . or have a stinky trash can!
- Scrubr dish rag — it’s got enough “grit” to get dishes clean but won’t harm non-stick finishes. But the best thing about it is that it just never gets stinky . . . and that means that my hands don’t get that nasty smell, either.
- Nail brush — it’s a mini scrub brush that I use a lot, particularly on plastic containers.
- Bottle brush — in many stores, you won’t find one in housewares . . . they’re in infants. The perfect tool to scrub out a Thermos or water bottle. Also great for cleaning the gap between the stove and the counter without totally removing the stove.
- Q-tips — they get in places where lots of other tools can’t, particularly the joint where the counter meets the lip. “Gunk” always seems to collect here.
- Denture tablets — tough on stuck-on food, whether in a pan or Thermos. Just toss a few denture tablets in with a bit of water, let the pan sit overnight and then a tiny bit of rubbing will get rid of pretty much anything. Much easier than scrubbing with Brillo (which just turns into a rusty pad if you’re around salty air)!
- Update — had to add a seventh — a bent toothbrush! Learn how to bend one here.
Do you have any other favorites that cut down on the time and effort in cleaning up?