It’s possible that every cook, foodie and domestic engineer already knows about this, but I recently discovered a neat kitchen cleaning product that I’m pretty pleased with: boiling water.
- Pour a splash of boiling (or just very hot) water on a (cold) glass stove top and wipe the whole top clean with a couple of paper towels, even when there are a lot of grease spatters.
- Boiling water on a cutting board or butcher’s block cuts greasy residue with no need for chemical cleaners.
- Stainless steel or cast iron pans that get coated with egg or any other cooked-on substance can be scraped clean easily with a spatula after being filled with boiling water while still hot and allowed to simmer for a few minutes (never pour cold water in a hot pan; it might warp).
- A kettle full of boiling water poured into the garbage disposal every couple of weeks will do it a world of good. Just be very careful about keeping your distance from any splashing when you turn it on.
I used to spend a lot of time scraping and scouring pans, or gumming up a sponge trying to clean up a greasy stove, but not anymore! And there’s a butcher block in a kitchen other than mine that benefited greatly from the hot-water cleaning I gave it. I love getting things clean quickly and easily, and not having to use any other cleanser is a huge bonus. For many greasy messes, hot water and some paper towels will get the job done nicely.
Also, a friend showed me a while ago how certain stains can be removed from 100% cotton garments using only boiling water. The stain in question was blueberry syrup, and the garment was a light brown cotton pullover. My friend simply poured hot water from the kettle over the stain a couple of times, squeezed out the excess water, and tossed the shirt in the dryer. No trace of the stain remained when the shirt was dry, and there was no spotting or fading from the treatment. I have found that hot water and a little Dawn dish soap work very well on otherwise intractable greasy laundry stains. Hot water alone won’t work with every type of stain (notably: protein stains such as egg yolk or blood) or every fabric, but it works great under the right conditions.
I don’t clean with lemon juice and vinegar because I don’t like the smell of either, and baking soda seems to actually leave more of a mess than it cleans many times. When plain water alone does the trick, I’m a happy homemaker indeed.