Spill and Stain Clean-up

How to Clean Spills
 

Ignored that spill a little too long? Here's how to get rid of those stubborn caked-on, burnt-on and possibly forgotten stains in your kitchen.

 

You're busy and sometimes clean up is the last thing on your mind. Ask yourself the following questions, then follow these surefire tips to tackle your toughest stains and reclaim a sparkling (or at least passably clean) kitchen.

How long has it been there?

C'mon, be honest. We all know that immediate cleanup of anything makes kitchen cleaning that much easier. But if you've got a stain that's lingered a while, it may take a stronger product or a special tactic to eliminate.

What's the surface?

Many surfaces stand up well no matter the strength of the cleaning method. But others—something like marble or wood—may need special treatment. (Remember: Always follow manufacturer guidelines, for example Use and Care of Glass Cooktops).

Cleaning A Burned Pan

What can you do?

To clean anything that's been left a while, start slowly and escalate your methods. Try these hacks:

Step 1: Cover the stain with some soapy water. Walk away. Check your email. Post a photo on Instagram. Clean a shelf in the pantry. Then come back—sometimes just letting warm water sit on the stain for a few minutes can loosen its hold on the kitchen surface. (Hint: You can repeat this step multiple times.)

Step 2: If it's safe for the surface, spread a little abrasive cleaner over the stain. Let it sit, then scrub. (Or use a sponge with an abrasive surface, scrubbing in a circular motion.)

Step 3: If the stain is particularly greasy or leaves a residue, use a cloth dipped in a little white vinegar to clean the surface. Then wipe with a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water.

Dark colors still not coming out?

Sometimes red wine spills from the night (or two) before just don't get cleaned up. Those are the worst—really—but you can usually remove stains with a color, although it might take a bit more elbow grease. Try a homemade paste made from water and baking soda; dab it onto the stain, let it sit for a minute or two, then scrub in a circular motion. Remember: Check out the manufacturer recommendations for upkeep and cleaning for surfaces that are particular about cleaning and upkeep.

What about those "ruined" pans?

Even the best cooks may occasionally have a dinner that goes wrong—or end up with an untended pan that turns black with burnt-on foods. Here's how to salvage it:

1. Fill the pan with water, covering any cooked-on surfaces.

2. Put the pan over a burner on the stove and bring to a boil; let boil for several minutes.

3. Scrape away as much of the burnt residue as you can with a spatula. Scrub thoroughly, then wash as you normally would.

Cleaning A Burned Pan

More Articles