How to Make Kitchen Tools Last Longer

If you invest in kitchen tools and small appliances, you want them to last, especially those that are of superior quality, such as a good set of knives, cast iron cookware, and espresso machines. Yet basic maintenance might not be enough to ensure their longevity.

Get extra life out of your kitchen essentials with these easy and effective maintenance tips.

Store knives in knife block upside down. Every time you insert or remove a knife from its slot, you may be dulling the blade. Try storing knives upside down so that when inserted or removed, the pressure is on the spine rather than the blade.

Speaking of knives, sharpen your knives regularly for optimal performance. You can do so by bringing them into a professional or purchase one of the many compact home sharpeners available at a variety of online and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Re-season cast iron to prevent the smooth surface layer from being stripped away. Simply scrub it with coarse salt to remove any stuck-on food residue and rinse clean with warm water. Apply a layer of vegetable oil for added protection until your next use.

Remove stains from enameled cast iron with baking soda. Scrubbing cast iron can do more harm than good. Instead, fill the cookware with water and bring it to a boil. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and let it simmer for a few minutes to release the stain. Then, wash as usual.

Skip the cooking sprays on non-stick cookware. Many cooking sprays contain lecithin, an emulsifier that can build up on the surface of the cookware. If you need to add a little lubrication to a pan or skillet, use oil or butter instead.

Descale small, water-using appliances. After a while, limescale can build up in your coffee pot and tea kettle, affecting the taste of hot beverages. You can purchase descaling agents, or simply use distilled white vinegar. Boil equal parts of water and vinegar in your tea kettle, turn off the heat, and let sit for a couple of hours. Rinse and repeat as needed. For coffee pots and other appliances, follow the manufacturers’ instructions. 

Skip the dishwasher. Many “dishwasher safe” items are better off being washed by hand. For example, knives should be hand-washed and dried immediately to preserve sharp edges. Wood serving utensils and cutting boards should be hand-washed. Cast iron and enameled cast iron cookware also should be washed by hand.  

Read manufacturers’ manuals. For the best advice on how to care for kitchen tools and appliances, or anything else for that matter, read the product manuals. In fact, failing to follow proper care and maintenance recommendations can void the warranty on a variety of products.

What do most of these cleaning tips have in common? The need for an abundant supply of hot water. If yours is running short, contact Plumbtastic today or anytime and we’ll tell you what needs to be done to restore the steady and reliable supply of hot water you’ve grown accustomed to.

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