Even Though I Know Better

I was cleaning the kitchen this morning.

(Just so you know, if my husband is reading this at work right now . . . he probably just cheered loudly.  I let busy-ness trump my Daily Checklist for two days, and it was bad.)

As I washed the burned rice off of the bottom of my new stainless steel skillet, I started to stick it in the dishwasher when it looked like that picture above.

Even though I was fully aware the the dishwasher would not get that stuff off.

And even though I knew I would end up scrubbing it again after it went through the dishwasher.

And . . . even though I knew space was at a premium in the dishwasher and that skillet going in there would mean something else that could truly benefit from a dishwasher-washing . . . would have to wait.

Thankfully, my brilliant I-get-to-blog-because-I’m-blogging-about-cleaning plan worked.

My writer-brain spoke to my Slob Brain (she gets capital letters because she’s generally in charge) and said, “Hey! What’s your problem? Putting that skillet in there is beyond pointless.  Go ahead and scrub it as well as you can and call it clean!”

So rude.

But so right.

The stainless steel pans are a new thing for me.  Obviously, I need something a little stronger than my beloved microfiber dishcloths if I want them to sparkle like new.  But, they’re clean if I’ve scrubbed them until all that’s left is the discoloration.

I spent less-than-30-seconds to get the pan clean.

Putting it in the dishwasher would have been procrastination.  Avoidance.

I know better.



Two reminders:

Don’t forget that my easy-to-download e-book of all my printable housekeeping checklists is on sale for only 2.00 through tomorrow.

I have completely forgotten about the Decluttering Update for December!  I’ll put it up tomorrow, and I’d love to have you join in!  Feel free to write a post about what you’ve already decluttered in January, what you did total in 2011, or any decluttering post and link it up!  Or write a novel in the comments!


  1. Oh. My. WORD. I am so relating to this right now……I have dialogues/monologues w/myself all the time…and unfortunately my “slob side” usually wins! The dishwasher story is hitting close to home LOL! For some reason I always feel like I’ve done such a good job cleaning up the kitchen if I can at least get all the dirties into the dishwasher! Ha! Thx for sharing your story!

  2. Man, can I relate! Barkeeper’s Friend does wonders for stainless steel! Wish it worked that good on everything else I neglected to clean…

  3. plain ol’ baking soda works pretty great too…. and my brain has at least two personalities. I wish I could get it to shut up from time to time… :D

  4. I’ll second the baking soda suggestion. Just take a wet rag, dip it in baking soda, and scrub away. The discoloration should come right off. If it’s not too bad, sometimes the rough scrubby side of one of those two sided sponges will work.

  5. steel wool is great for SS pans. also heat your pan a little before you put oil in, then let heat with just oil for a min before cooking :)

  6. Elizabeth K. says:

    I can totally relate to this. I’ve only recently developed that part of my brain that makes me stop avoiding. Perhaps it’s because I’m just realizing that having to deal with it later means I’ll have to actually DEAL WITH IT LATER? Yeah, sometimes I hate being a grown-up. I feel like my mom.

  7. I actually did the opposite of your today. I just unloaded the clean dishes and loaded all the dirty ones. The dishwasher was not full so I threw my crock pot in and decided to just run the washer now so I can empty if before dinner. The rest of my house…still recovering from the holidays. And we have company coming for dinner Sunday night. UGH!

  8. I think I’m beginning to understand the “blog” brain part of things. I’ve been taking some pictures to post on my new blog (that you inspired me to do), and i’m so embarrassed by it. I even made my bed before taking pictures of my room – i was embarrassed not to ahve my bed made (even though the rest of my bedroom was trashed.) yay!!! thats a huge breakthrough!

  9. I use something called scrub buds from Amway (not a plug I dont sell the stuff) They work like magic on the stuck on stuff.

  10. I use stainless steel cookware, and I use the Scotch Brite kitchen scouring pads with the green scrubby on one side and a yellow sponge on the other. Baking soda works well, but sometimes you just need a good scouring pad and some elbow grease to get the stains off.

  11. How about the dishes that have already gone through the dishwasher, but it hasn’t come off, so you look at it, think about it, and put it back in (to truly bake it on) during the next washing cycle. Yep, that was me this morning, and then it took me 10 minutes to scrub, scrap, swear (under my breath) at that darn pan.

  12. One thing that helps me is to heat the pan on the stove with a little water and dish detergent. The water and heat soften the burnt on stuff and the dishwashing liquid help loosen its grip. But I will try the baking soda also.

  13. I try not to have my inner dialogues out loud – people look strangely at me!

    Totally know what you mean though. I hate scrubbing pans.

  14. Reader here but never commented. I will add a BIG second for Barkeepers Best Friend. That stuff is THE BOMB>

  15. Okay, one word… Bar Keepers Friend. Well, actually it’s three words and four syllables but it’s one item! :)

  16. Baking soda does work wonders.
    I have a big Costco bag of it under my kitchen sink.

    We just got done taking apart and cleaning our dishwasher…..as I’m bad about pre-washing the dishes first. My dishwasher started not cleaning the top rack.
    My hubby read me the riot act. I keep telling him I thought we bought the dishwasher that the guy said could chop a chicken bone….no pre wash required!
    But I guess that was the more expencive one!!!!lol


  17. I always put things like that in the dishwasher. My husband is usually the one who winds up cleaning it later. I know it is procrastination, and I know I am totally guilty of it. That is something I definitely need to work on!

  18. When I switched from nonstick to stainless cookware, I noticed I could cook at lower heat. This may prevent some of the stuck/burnt on foods in the first place. The only time I cook above medium is when I am bringing something to a boil.

  19. Actually , I find that running a very dirty pot in the dishwasher, even if I don’t expect it to get clean, loosens the stuff enough to help me scrub, but only if I catch it right when the dishwasher is done. If you aren’t likely to do that or you use heat dry, then, yes, it is probably just procrastinating. :-) Use the simmer-with-soap-on-the-stove idea instead.

    As for scrubbing, baking soda, salt, steel wool, Bon Ami all work for stuck on goop, but you need something a bit acidic for removing the rainbow discoloration: Bar Keeper’s Friend, or a citric acid bath can work wonders. Bar Keeper’s Friend does both the scrubbing and acid.

    One poster above mentioned using stainless on lower temperatures, but going the other direction, by cooking it at the same heat just a bit more, works well, too. Don’t be afraid to cook things in one place for longer before flipping; stainless makes a wonderful fond.

  20. i will second ….or fifth the bar keeper’s friend suggestion!!! great stuff for ss…especially when used in conjunction with the scotch brite scrubby sponge!
    BUT…..one trick i learned years ago….from an oatmeal box of all places….is that if you immediately run COLD water into any pan that has stuck on starchy food in it, the cold water will release the stuck on stuff. just scrape off as much as you can, then run the cold water in it and leave it to soak in the sink during dinner. afterwards, when you’re ready for clean up, MOST of the food should be able to pretty much just wipe out!
    it really does work! but, alas, you CANNOT procrastinate since this method works on a HOT pan. ;)

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