The debris from a big family dinner
From delicate china to greasy roasting dishes, it's tempting to ignore the debris of a family feast until long after dessert. Instead, delegate clean-up jobs to anyone lingering in the kitchen asking, 'How long until we eat?' Get them to do some of the preliminary work by scraping dirty pans, pouring fat into a disposable container and putting dirty dishes in water to soak while you enjoy the meal. When it's time to tackle the pile, wash the least-soiled items first and end with the dirtiest. Of course, your secret weapon is Joy Dishwashing Liquid. The concentrated formula cuts through grease instantly, lifting off burnt-on food from pans while leaving your delicate crockery sparkling.
Where would be without yummy cheese? It might be delicious and nutritious, but if there's one dirty dish we hate cleaning the most, it's the cheesy one. The trick is to remove as much as you can with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula when it's dry, so that when you add hot water, you won't end up with melted cheese smeared everywhere. Still struggling? Soak it with soapy water for a while or, if it's a heatproof pot, fill with a solution of soapy water, then let the pot simmer on top of the stove until the cheese loosens and you can scrape it off.
Greasy or oily food
Whether it's grease from your children's pancake breakfast or fried tapas from a dinner party, the key to washing up anything oily is to remove as much of the fat as you can first. Pour any loose cooking fat into a plastic tub, and then wipe clean any remaining fat in the pan with paper towel. You can't clean anything greasy or oily with plain water - grease and oil are not soluble in water so you need hot water and something powerful, such as Joy Dishwashing Liquid, to cut through the grime.
Smelly food like garlic and onions
Some odors and flavors will cling to items such as wooden utensils, plastics and porous ceramics, as well as your slow cooker. Chopped garlic and onion, fish and curry spices are the most common culprits. That's why it's key to rinse pots in water as soon as possible after using. Still detecting an odor? Rub lemon slices over your cookware and immediately rinse, before washing and drying.
Drink marks in your favorite mugs and glasses
Love coffee and red wine but not the stains they leave on your favorite china and glasses? Soaking them in hot soapy water is key. While it's smart to wear rubber gloves to keep your skin from drying out, don't wear them when washing up delicate items as you're more likely to have something slip and break. Clean one item at a time to reduce the chances of chipping and breakages and rinse to remove any soap residue as you go to avoid smears. If you air dry, things will dry quicker if rinsed in hot water, and if drying by hand, use a clean, non-lining dish towel. Can't get inside those Champagne flutes to dry them? Try inserting rolled-up paper towel and leaving overnight - this will absorb the excess moisture.
What's your best washing-up tip? Tell us below!
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