Green Clean for Thanksgiving’s Dirtiest Dishes

Kimberly Delaney by Kimberly Delaney | November 19th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Healthy Home

It’s one of those things in life that just isn’t fair. You slave all day in the kitchen, but spend just an hour or so enjoying it. Then just when the tryptophan or tofu buzz is kicking in and you really just want to chill out, it’s time to head back into the kitchen to wash the dishes.

And these aren’t just regular old rinse-and-load-in-the-dishwasher dishes. These are baked-on, burned-on, really-hard-to-clean dishes. And the task is made even tougher because the couch looks sooo comfy and the fire’s going and you just want to get cozy with your equally stuffed and trytophan-laden (or tofu-buzzing) family and friends.

But if you give in to your couch potato impulse, you create a nightmare of nearly-impossible-to-clean dishes because they’ve sat out for so long and the baked-on, burned-on food is now practically permanent.

At this point, it may be tempting to do one of two not-very-green things — either use a really strong, chemical cocktail of a detergent to clean the dishes or throw them all out and hope Santa brings you a new set in December. But there is another option.

If you take just a few minutes to be strategic, you can make the worst of those dishes practically self-cleaning, even if you don’t do them until the next morning!

Here’s how to handle pots with burned-on food. First, pour a 1/4 cup of regular table salt into the bottom of the pot. Next, add enough cold water to cover all of the burned areas. Stir the mixture and leave the pot to soak overnight. In the morning you’ll find that the pot will come clean with just a swipe or two of your sponge or rag.

For pans with baked-on food follow these steps. Instead of salt, sprinkle a 1/4 cup baking soda into the bottom of the pan. Boil water in a teakettle and fill the pan with enough to cover all of the baked-on food. Let the pan soak overnight and then wash and dry as usual.

Follow these easy steps and go enjoy the evening with your family!


  1. I love to use baking soda as a cleaner! I’m glad I found your tip , I didn’t know it!

    Linda Miller | December 12th, 2014 | Comment Permalink

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