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There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a well-cooked dinner accompanied by light chatter and banter with friends. Compliments to the chef are especially appreciated, and as your evening repast draws to a close, your mood is rosy and light. It takes about 3.5 seconds for your mood to implode, however, once your pile of kitchen dishes comes into view. Cleaning up after a meal is definitely my least favorite kitchen chore. However, there are some ways you can make it quicker and more bearable, if not enjoyable.
Get a fast, quality dishwasher
And no, I don’t mean hire someone to do your dishwashing for you, though you may feel free to enlist the help of your children. Good dishwashers shouldn’t require more than one heavy cycle to clean food remnants and grime from plates and silverware. If you dishwasher is substandard, you’ll end up spending more time picking off the dried-on crusts of food after the dishwasher’s heating cycle bakes it on than you would have by just washing it by hand in the first place. A good length for a washer cycle is 95 minutes, according to Consumer Reports.
Clean up promptly
The more time you allow sauces to thicken and oil to coagulate on dish, stove, and countertop surfaces, the more difficult they will be to remove. However, wiping down your counter promptly following dinner or meal prep will save valuable time in the long run. If a mess is especially heavy, spray them first with an all-purpose cleaner and let them soak. Despite their claims, most cleaners need a little time before you can wipe up your spills.
Wipe down the fridge
Refrigerators need to be cleaned periodically, but the trick is doing so without heaping your counter full of refrigerated food. Time your cleaning for just before a shopping day, when the fridge is as empty as it gets. Push all food containers to the side and wipe down half the fridge with a solution of warm water and dish detergent. Scoot fridge items to the other side and repeat.
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