Cooktop Cove: How to easily clean up grease and oil in the kitchen
By Jacinta M. Carter
One of the worst parts about cooking is having to clean up afterward. It's even worse when you realize you splattered grease or oil all over and it's now a dried-on mess. Sure, you could scrub at it with a wet rag, but will that really get it clean?
Water alone doesn't do much for oil and grease stains. Instead, you need to bring in some heavy-duty tools. Don't worry, though. I'd be willing to bet that you have most of these items in your kitchen already.
1. Flour
If you're in the middle of cooking and notice a grease spill, it's best to clean it up immediately. The quickest way to do this is to sprinkle flour over the spill and let it soak up all of the grease. Give it time to cool and then wipe up the mess with a damp paper towel.
2. Baking soda & vinegar
For grease that's already hardened onto the surface of your appliance, you'll need a little more work to get it off. Start by making a paste of 1/2 cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water. Spread the paste over the grease stain and leave it to soak overnight. In the morning, use a damp cloth to wipe up as much of the paste as you can. Spray the rest with vinegar, let it foam and then wipe it with your damp cloth. You might need to repeat the vinegar step a few times to completely get rid of the grease.
3. Dish soap
Have you ever seen those commercials that show animals being rescued from oil spills and then cleaned up with dish soap? If dish soap can do that for animals, think what it can do for your kitchen appliances. All you have to do is add a few drops of dish soap to warm water, lather up a sponge and scrub anything covered in grease or oil. When you're finished, make another pass over everything with a clean, damp cloth.
4. Mineral oil
Pour a couple drops of mineral oil onto a clean paper towel and wipe down the oily surfaces in your kitchen. After everything is covered with mineral oil, use a new paper towel to buff the surfaces until you're left with just a thin layer of mineral oil. Now your appliances will shine and be easier to clean next time.
5. Salt
You probably have salt close at hand while you're cooking anyway, but it can come in handy for more than just adding flavor to your food. Sprinkle salt immediately onto a grease spill to make it easier to clean up and to quickly douse a potential grease fire.
6. Lemon
Lemons are a completely natural way to remove oil stains from your kitchen appliances. One option is to combine lemon juice and baking soda into a paste and rub it into the stain. The other way to clean up an oil stain is to cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side over the stain. Just make sure you wipe over the spot with a damp cloth after you're done to prevent it from feeling sticky.
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