The search for the perfect kitchen tools seems endless and expensive. It can be particularly frustrating to see your pieces fall apart, dull, melt, or break long before the end of their lifespan. But the good news is, there are a few items you can eliminate and change in your cleaning routine to prolong your favorite kitchen tools.
Dishwash with caution
If you have a dishwasher, you know it’s a game changing appliance. But like anything else, it’s good in moderation. It’s not a complete solution to cleaning your dishes, and here’s why.
Mind the materials
Common kitchen materials like ceramics, stainless-steel, and wood-composites are dishwasher safe. However, even a dishwasher-friendly label should be taken with a grain of salt because consistent high-heat washing can wear the material down quickly. Aluminum, plastic, cast iron, non-stick, copper, and any other precious metals should not be placed in the dishwasher if you can avoid it. They can be gently handwashed, or in the case of cast iron, just wiped down.
Dish out more for your detergents
Inexpensive detergents can help reduce your grocery bill, but it’s not worth the pennies in savings because they aren’t as effective at washing your dishes. Look for detergents that are rated for your dishwasher, for example, high-efficiency, so you’re getting the most benefit from your machine. Avoid chemicals like sulfates, phosphates, ammonia, added fragrances, chlorine, and formaldehyde because they aren’t one hundred percent safe for you or your dishes.
Keep up with routine maintenance
Even your kitchen items need routine maintenance and checks. These are two of the most neglected chores that can save some of your most expensive pieces.
Sharpen your knives
Invest in a knife sharpener or have your knives professionally sharpened. Aside from a quality coffee machine, knife sets are what most consumers are likely to splurge on—so keep them from dulling and becoming a safety hazard.
Replace your sponges and scrubbers
Do you recall when you last replaced your kitchen sponge and brush? You should be replacing your sponge once a week and your brush once every three to four months to stop an overgrowth of bacteria that can corrode and damage your cookware. Consider investing in a scrub brush that has a replaceable head to cut down on costs and waste.
Choose quality over quantity
The phrase quality over quantity applies to a lot in life, and the same is true in the kitchen. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and it is worth the initial costs to prevent constant replacement purchases. Not every household needs a five-star rated knife set or a fancy cast-iron skillet, so take inventory of your cooking habits to determine where you should spend more. For example, if you like baking, it would be worthwhile to purchase a good stand mixer and bowls rather than one made of flimsy materials.