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8 cleaning mistakes that ruin the taste of food


From using the wrong washing-up detergent to not cleaning pots and pans correctly, there are (surprisingly) a raft of cleaning mistakes that can ruin the taste of your food.

When it comes to cleaning the kitchen, unfortunately simply doing a thorough clean is not always enough.

Olivia Andrews, culinary creative director and founding member of Marley Spoon Australia, says, “Cleaning the kitchen simply cannot be avoided if you want to cook and eat delicious food.”

Olivia knows a thing or two about cooking delicious meals. Picture: Phu Tang

The foodie is also quick to add that cleaning may not be as simple as you might think.

“Not everything goes in the dishwasher,” she explains.

Not only has Olivia worked in Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The Savoy Grill, she’s also written a cookbook and appeared on a number of cooking shows.

It’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about cooking delicious meals.

Here she shares eight cleaning mistakes that can ruin the taste of your food.

1. Not cleaning chopping boards thoroughly

“Cleaning your chopping boards properly is essential – nobody wants to chop up some fruit, only for it to taste like garlic!

“When you’re cooking, always chop your meat (especially chicken) last, and scrub that board with hot water.”

Read more: 8 Dirtiest spots in your kitchen (and how to clean them)

Cleaning your chopping boards properly is essential. Picture: Getty

2. Not removing charred bits from the grill

“It’s actually okay not to clean your grill to spotless. Over time, regular use will season it with barbecue flavours.

“But don’t leave bits of food on there. Give it a wipe down (don’t scrub it, though).”

3. Cleaning a frypan in the dishwasher

“We’re all guilty of it at some point, but this is a huge no-no as it will wreck the Teflon layer. Your pans will last infinitely longer if you just wash them by hand.”

4. Cleaning a wok with detergent

“Another rule many people don’t know about: don’t wash a wok with detergent. Woks need to be seasoned, too, and you should instead rinse a wok with warm water and then wipe a little vegetable or canola oil all over it after use – this stops it from going rusty.”

Read more: How to clean oven 

Woks can help you cook the most delicious meals – if you don’t wash them with detergent, that is. Picture: Getty

5. Overloading the sink when you’re washing dishes

“One of my biggest gripes is the way some people wash their dishes in the sink. If you’re chucking everything into the sink together, the dirty soup you’re making isn’t going to really clean anything.

“Without a proper rinse after the lather stage, a layer of carcinogenic soap stays on the dishes, which is bad for your body – and for the food.

“Doing the dishes is a lot like washing your hair – would you wet, lather and then just leave it? Never. Also, [try to] keep it natural when it comes to detergents.”

6. Not giving the range hood any TLC

“Have you touched your range hood lately? They pick up a lot of oil – I’d recommend washing them in a separate dishwasher cycle to get them sparkling again.”

7. Not cleaning oven spills promptly

“Don’t be lazy – cleaning up the spills in the oven (and stove top) will help you in the long run.

“If you avoid it, they’ll bake onto stainless steel surfaces and infuse into your food. Scratches and smelly food? Yuck!”

Read more: How to clean stove top

8. Using bleach in the kitchen

“I recommend using only warm water and natural ingredients – think vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda – to clean your fridge and sink.

“We want to make sure these areas are super clean and sterile, but using chemicals can leave behind a strong smell that will get into your food if you don’t rinse surfaces very carefully.”

Natural cleaning ingredients won’t leave behind a nasty smell. Picture: Getty

This article was originally published as 8 cleaning mistakes that ruin the taste of food by and is written by Alexandra O’Brien.

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