The time has come. You’ve polished off your last mouthful of turkey, followed it with a hearty helping of boozy Christmas pudding, and now your heart is as full as your belly. But then, horror strikes, and you remember there’s a mountain of washing up to do.
When it comes to Christmas dinner, if you love the eating but are not quite so keen on the cleaning, then take a look at this ultimate guide to an easy clean, so you’ll be done in time for turkey sandwiches and a mince pie. We’ve put cleaning tasks in a handy chronological order, from what you can do while you’re cooking to in-depth cleans you can do during that downtime period between Boxing Day and New Year.
Pre-dinner cleaning and organisation hacks
There are few things worse than having a mountain of dirty dishes and realising you’ve run out of dishwasher detergent or washing up liquid. When you do your Christmas shop, make sure you’re stocked up on essential cleaning items. Boring, maybe, but very necessary.
Start with a clean slate
If the dishwasher is full or the draining rack is already piled high, things will look a lot worse when it comes to cleaning up after dinner. Make life easier for yourself by making sure (or nominating a helper to make sure) that the kitchen is clean before you begin to cook.
Clean as you cook
Be honest, does your kitchen look like a bomb’s hit it even when you’ve made a simple ham sandwich? If so, then we’re guessing you’re not the tidiest of cooks.
This Christmas, rather than leaving yourself with a mountain of cleaning to do by the time you’ve finished your last sprout, tidy up as you cook. It might sound like more work, but you’ll appreciate it once you’ve finished (and so will your other half if they’re the nominated post-dinner pot washer).
Put packets away once you’ve finished, wipe up spills as you go, and throw away any discarded veggies as you chop. Which leads us conveniently onto our next point…
Keep the bin close
If you have to walk to the other end of the kitchen every time you want to put something in the bin, then you probably won’t bother. Keep it next to you with the lid off as you chop and peel your veggies, and you won’t even have to think about staying tidy.
Do the pre-soak before you eat
Know that there are pans covered in grease and burnt-on food? Pop them in the sink to soak before you sit down to eat. It’ll save you or your helpers a whole lot of time and elbow grease later.
Have containers ready for leftovers
Who doesn’t love Boxing Day bubble and squeak? If you’re planning a banquet but there will only be three of you at Christmas dinner (it is 2020, after all), make sure you have some containers handy, so you can put your leftover meat and veg in to keep it fresh.
Clean the big stuff first
It may seem like there’s a whole heap of washing up to do, but if you clean the biggest items first, things might just look a whole lot better. Start with pots and pans and roasting trays and once you’ve done those, you’ll realise you’re almost finished.
Set a timer
We’re not suggesting you rush your cleaning; no one wants to find dried on gravy on the plate next time you have guests round. But setting a timer will make you see that it’s not taking so long after all. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much progress you’ve made. You might even be sitting down with a cup of tea and a mince pie by then.
Dealing with fats, oils and grease
Those roast potatoes cooked in goose fat were delicious when you were eating them, but don’t feel quite so appetising when it comes to cleaning the pans again afterwards. Running hot water over greasy pans and tins might seem like the easiest solution, but this fat can block drains and cause no end of havoc.
If there’s a small amount of grease in the bottom of a tin, allow it to cool and then simply scrape it into the bin. If there are large amounts of cooking oils to dispose of then don’t pour down the drain; mix with absorbent materials such as coffee grounds or cat litter and pop it in the bin.
Don’t be afraid to get the big guns out
Sure, everyone appreciates a healthy dose of elbow grease, but if you can get the same results in half the time with some decent cleaning products then use them. Plenty of cleaning product ranges include heavy-duty versions of their regular cleaning products. Post-Christmas roast definitely counts as heavy duty.
Don’t put it off
It’s tempting to wait an hour or so to start the clean-up but this will make things harder than they need to be. That extra hour that you wait will allow foods to solidify and stick to pans, meaning you’ll be scrubbing for longer. And anyway, just think about how great that post-dinner nap will be when you know there are no chores to do when you wake up.
Post-Christmas Day cleaning and tidying
Add some stick to non-stick pans
If your non-stick pans are looking decidedly sticky, you don’t need to get rid of them and start again – you just need vinegar. Add one-part vinegar and two-parts water to the pan and bring to a simmer before cooling and washing with soap. This will get rid of any of the stickiness that is stopping your pan from being non-stick.
A well-deserved oven clean
Oven Pride is an all-in-one cleaner that will revolutionise the way you make your oven sparkle. Gone are hours of endless scrubbing, as this handy cleaner will save you bags of time and effort. The powerful system cleans racks, trays and the oven itself, and it could just be perfect for that post-roast Christmas clean.
At Oven Pride, we’ve made it our mission to take the stress out of cleaning the oven, so you can enjoy endless fun and creation in the kitchen. For more information and kitchen cleaning advice, visit the homepage today.