Eco-friendly ways to clean your kitchen utensils.
Remove Scale or Hard-Water Film
Limescale manifests itself as chalky surface deposits. It inhibits heat conductivity, and clogs whistles of tea kettles, tubes in electric kettles and coffee makers, and hardens and clogs other parts that may need to move, such as important safety features like pressure release valves.
It is common in hard water, and to the degree of abundancy in naturally occurring calcium and magnesium. It is not common in softened water unless the softening system is not being properly maintained.
Frequency of de-scaling depends on frequency of use and degree of water hardness. Check regularly for surface deposits.
Add ½ cup of white vinegar to each quart of water and boil the mixture in the kettle for about 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
AutoDrip and other Electric Coffeemakers:
Add about a tablespoon of white vinegar to a pot of water and let it run through its cycle (without a filter in place).
Repeat at least once.
Then use clean, cold water for two or more cycles, until the taste of vinegar is gone.
Other Vessels like Moka's:
Follow manufacturer instructions. When appropriate, use a proportionate amount of the above formulas to suit the capacity of your vessel.
Clean Copper or Brass:
Mix a bit of vinegar, a bit of salt and a bit of flour to make a paste. Rub well, then rinse.
First wash utensils with hot sudsy clean water. Rinse thoroughly with clear water.
Mix a sanitizing solution consisting of ¼ cup of chlorine bleach per gallon of potable water. Bleach should contain a minimum of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite.
To disinfect, soak utensils completely in this solution for at least 1 minute. Then allow to air dry.
Do not let metal pots, pans and other utensils sit in bleach for much longer, or they will discolor from the chemical reaction. And do not mix bleach with other cleaners.
If potable water is not available, disinfect it by bring it to a rolling boil and keeping it there for at least 1 minute (3 minutes in high altitudes).
If using a dishwasher which first needs to be sanitized, run the empty dishwasher through the wash-rinse-sanitize cycle three times to flush the water lines and assure that the dishwasher is cleaned and sanitized internally before washing equipment and utensils in it.
Note: Porous utensils, such as wood, plastic, terracotta, etc., that may have soaked in contaminants should not be sanitized or re-used. When in doubt, throw them out.
Routine cleaning... Wash it well
with soapy warm water, rinse thoroughly, and towel dry. We recommend washing by hand (to avoid spotting).
To avoid water marks... Thoroughly rinse your washed utensil with clear water, and towel dry (or blow dry).
Tanning stains in tea pots... Soak a hot solution of washing soda (sodium bicarbonate).
Coffee stains in percolators and coffee urns... Soak in a hot solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).
Whitish or chalkish deposits inside pan... Remove calcium deposits by boiling water with some white vinegar, allowing your pan to cool, then washing it with warm, soapy water. Help prevent white spots and pitting by adding salt to your cookware only after the water has reached a boil.
Burnt food is stuck in pan... Soak in hot water with soap detergent or diluted (1%) ammonia cleaner, then scour with a non-abrasive brush, pad or cloth. For stubborn sticking, cover the stuck foodstuffs with hot water and soap detergent, allow to soak for some time, then boil for 10 minutes, allow it to cool, then use a soft cloth or a nylon scourer and warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
Still not clean out of the dishwasher... You might select a pre-wash cycle if your pan's instructions indicate it is safe to clean in the dishwasher.
Spills or overflows... Wash or clean the exterior before placing it again over heat.
Filled pan left to cool on stove and lid won't come off... Warm the pan, then twist the lid to remove it.
Left empty on heated surface... Allow it to cool slowly; do not immerse it in cold water.
Stainless pan was left on heated surface, liquid has dried and yellow or blue streaks appear... On polished stainless, use a metal cleaner, such as Wenol or Red Bear, with a soft cloth. On satin stainless, use a nylon scourer, such as Scotch-Brite.
Scratches on surface after washing repeatedly... Avoid metal utensils, and change your scouring product to a gentler kind, such as Bon Ami.
Cleaners not recommended for stainless surfaces... Bleach or ammonia should not be used on stainless steel.
First, use your fingernail to remove as much of the sticker as
possible. Then place a small amount of the appropriate solvent (from the
list below) on the sticker. Or soak a small cloth or paper towel or cotton
swab, and place it on top of the sticker. Let it soak in for a minute or
two, then rub the remaining sticker off. Repeat the process if residue
For metal, glass, china and hard plastic: Use cooking oil, peanut butter, margarine (or any oily food), mineral oil, baby oil, heated vinegar, denatured alcohol, WD-40®, Goo Gone®, Goof-Off®, or a similar product. Wash item with soap afterwards. (To remove remaining residue, you can also try dabbing with the sticky side of a transparent tape, or rubbing off with your thumb.)
Also for glass: Use nail polish remover. Wash item with soap afterwards.
Also for metal: Heat with a hair dryer for about 30 seconds, scrape off, then soak and remove as above if residue remains. Wenol metal cleaner works well on removing residue from stainless steel.
For cardboard: Use rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, mineral spirits, or a similar alcohol-based product. Soak and gently scrape off. Blowing hot air for a short time with a hair dryer will loosen most glues.
For wood not used with food: Use furniture polish or any of the solvents indicated above for metal, glass, china and hard plastic. On unfinished wood, you can first loosen the glue on labels by briefly heating with a hair dryer.
For wood used with food: Use mineral oil or heated vinegar. On unfinished wood, you can first loosen the glue on labels by briefly heating with a hair dryer.
For painted surfaces: First test a solvent in an inconspicuous area.
- Using the wrong solvent can damage the item.
- If you're unsure, first test an inconspicuous area.
- Always carefully read the label of any commercial solvent.
- Use adequate ventilation with odoriferous solvents.