7 Kitchen Tool Maintenance Tips to Help Make Them LastFebruary 4, 2021
A well-maintained kitchen is a well-functioning kitchen. Sometimes, the smallest or simplest maintenance tasks can lead to a big improvement in the way that your home functions. This is certainly true for the kitchen and food-prep tools and areas of your home. Kitchen maintenance makes for a more efficient kitchen and improves the cleanliness and orderliness of this area. Here are some basic kitchen tool maintenance tips that can help to improve the functionality and longevity of your kitchen tools and appliance components:
1. Oil Your Wooden Cutting Boards
Oiling wooden cutting boards is an overlooked task that is an important aspect in increasing the longevity of the boards and also reducing bacteria growth. Oiling your wooden cutting boards allows the oil to penetrate the graining in the wood and keep it from drying out.
Dried out cutting boards are susceptible to cracking or splitting. A regular application of mineral oil also helps to seal the wood graining in the cutting board and keep bacteria buildup to a minimum.
2. Re-Season Cast Iron Cookware
Seasoning cast iron cookware is an important aspect of the maintenance of these kitchen items. Taking the time to season your cast iron cookware will save you time in the long run by reducing the amount of time it takes to scrub pots and pans after using them for cooking.
Seasoned cookware releases food more easily and inhibits it from baking onto the bottom of pans. An occasional application of vegetable or shortening oil onto the pan and an hour bake in the oven at 375 degrees will effectively season the pot or pan.
In addition to making it easier to clean, it will also help to prevent it from rusting. Depending on how often and how intensely you use your cast iron cookware, you may need to re-season more or less often to keep it looking great and working well.
3. Wash Your Range Hood Filter
Another commonly overlooked area of kitchen maintenance and cleaning is the filter in the range hood above the stovetop. These filters are designed to catch grease, and they can become saturated and blocked over time to the point that they are no longer able to effectively do their job as designed.
If you do a lot of cooking at home, regular monthly (or more) maintenance and cleaning is a good idea and one of the useful kitchen tool maintenance tips. If you can’t remember the last time you addressed this component in your kitchen, it’s a good sign that a thorough cleaning is due.
How to Clean Range Hood Filters
To clean the range hood filter, fill your kitchen sink with very hot, soapy water and a bit of baking soda. Submerge the filter(s) and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Using a non-abrasive scrub brush, gently scrub the filters clean.
After they are completely clean, dry the filters gently with a towel. Then, place them in a drying rack or on a paper towel to allow for them to completely air dry before reinstallation.
4. Sharpen Your Knives and Store Them Properly
Sharp knives are less likely to result in injury during food prep because they allow for more precision cutting and require less force to do so. Maintain your knives’ edges by using a steel or sharpening stone to sharpen them before use.
There are various types of knife sharpeners that you can choose from, so the type of sharpener is up to you. Many knife blocks may also come with a steel, or have a place to store one in them. Depending on the food preparation, or amount of it you are doing, you may even need to touch up your knife blade intermittently during use.
In this case, always make sure to thoroughly clean your knife before sharpening. Food particles, meat or vegetable juices, and so forth can keep your sharpening tool from doing its job and even transfer to your sharpening steel or stone and make it less effective the next time you reach for it.
5. Hand-Wash Certain Types of Kitchenware
Taking a little more time to hand-wash certain kitchenware can increase its usefulness and longevity. For example, expensive wooden-handled knives are a good item to hand wash, as the detergent and high heat drying cycles of a dishwasher can be too harsh and cause handles to dry and crack over time. The same is true with wooden cutting boards.
Other types of kitchen cookware may not be suitable for the dishwasher for other reasons. For example, cast iron pots and pans can be compromised by a cleaning in the dishwasher. These items require periodic seasoning with oil in order to maintain their effectiveness and function in your kitchen.
A dishwasher cycle may be too harsh for these items, and result in the compromising of the seasoning. This can lead to food sticking to them during cooking, or worse, lead to rusting. Other types of cookware, like baking stoneware, is improved over time the more it is used for cooking.
In some cases, dish soap is not even recommended for these items as it can remove the seasoning that is acquired over time with cooking use. If you have these types of items, using extremely hot water to disinfect the surface and lightly scrubbing them with a dish brush is the advisable method of cleaning.
6. Descale and Clean Your Coffee Machine
If you are a regular consumer of caffeine, chances are your coffee maker needs some attention. Even more, mess-free coffee machines, such as those that provide single servings, can accumulate substantial build-up to their interior components from hard water.
Other types of coffee makers might require a good scrubbing from time to time in order to remove built-up residue and stains from the coffee, or to clean up any stray coffee grounds from their nooks and crannies.
Staying on top of your coffee maker’s cleaning and maintenance can also help you to be able to enjoy a better-tasting cup of morning joe. So, make sure you don’t overlook this appliance when you are conducting some kitchen maintenance tasks and it makes it onto your list of kitchen tool maintenance tips.
7. Read the Manuals for Your Appliances
Manuals aren’t the most invigorating read, that’s true. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and cleaning instructions for each of your kitchen’s main appliances.
This will include gathering information regarding what parts of the appliance should receive regular maintenance and cleaning in order for them to remain in effective working order. It also includes what types of cleaning products and solutions should be used, or are safe for use, on the surfaces of the appliances.
Having the right mix of kitchen must-haves and keeping a well-maintained kitchen is one of the easiest ways to ensure that this area of your home is running at full functional capacity. These kitchen tool maintenance tips are a good place to start.
Regular maintenance is also a great way to save money in the long-term by increasing the life-span of your appliances, kitchen tools, and cookware. In addition, kitchen maintenance will help improve the aesthetic look of your kitchen and keep it a clean place where efficient food preparation can occur.
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