Chefs Know Best: Unexpected Kitchen Clean-Up Tips

Chefs Know Best: Unexpected Kitchen Clean-Up Tips
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Chefs Know Best: Unexpected Kitchen Clean-Up Tips

The best professional cooks tend to obsess about kitchen cleanliness. Here's how they keep dishes, pots, boards and aprons spotless.

Perfect Mopping

"I use steaming-hot water and a small amount of soap, so there won't be any residue. I move the mop in a figure-eight motion as I sweep myself into an exit in order to get every corner. The finishing touch is a water-only mop to make sure there's no soap left." — Executive Sous Chef Stephen Lyons, The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA

Image Credit: Nicholas Blechman

Use Lemons to Clean Dishes

Michel Nischan of Westport, CT's the Dressing Room rubs dishes with lemons at home.

Image Credit: Antonis Achilleos/Burcu Avsar

Use Chore Boy Scrubs to Clean Stainless Steel

Chore Boy scrubs keep stainless steel shiny, says sous chef Howard Kalachnikoff of New York City's Gramercy Tavern.

Image Credit: Antonis Achilleos

Use Bar Keepers Friend to Clean Copper Pots

Howard Kalachnikoff of New York City's Gramercy Tavern uses Bar Keepers Friend for scouring copper pots.

Image Credit: Antonis Achilleos

Use Vinegar to Clean Cutting Boards

Chef de cuisine Spencer Minch of New Orleans's Delmonico disinfects cutting boards with vinegar.

Image Credit: Antonis Achilleos

Use OxiClean to Clean Aprons

A fast OxiClean soak does the job on aprons, says sous chef Brandon Rodgers of San Francisco's Benu.

Image Credit: Antonis Achilleos/Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Use a Squeegee to Clean Counters

A window washer's squeegee is the best way to keep stainless steel and marble countertops looking immaculate.

Image Credit: Antonis Achilleos


Rare is the at-home cook who enjoys the process of cleaning up. And that old mantra "clean as you go"—handed down by moms as they make a huge mess—can be tricky to follow. Here, some of America's best chefs offer surprising tips to ease a range of tiresome chores, from mopping the kitchen floor to erasing stains from an apron.

Whether it's squeegees for countertops or vinegar on cutting boards, these suggestions will help keep any size kitchen spotless.

Check out the slideshow above for great insider secrets to speed and simplify dreaded KP duty (Kitchen Patrol).

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