6 Thanksgiving Holiday Hacks, Tips and Tricks
Some hacks, tips, tricks and advice from around the webs for this Thanksgiving season
1. Cleanup tips for prepping meals
Line pans with foil: After boxing up the leftovers, rip the foil from the pan and toss it. That pan will only need a quick rinse before finding its way back into the cupboard.
Cook your turkey in a bag: Not only will this help your turkey stay moist and cook more evenly, clean up is a breeze!
Triple line your trash cans: So that you’ll quickly have a clean empty bin when the first bag is removed. (In fact, I found this tip so useful last Thanksgiving that I’ve been using it year round!)
Via Apartment Therapy
2. Washing Dishes
Disposable place settings help ease your post-Thanksgiving cleaning duty, but you can’t avoid washing dishes completely. To prevent food from sticking to pots like glue, soak the dishes in hot, soapy water as soon as possible after cooking. A small trashcan filled with soapy water makes an ideal soaking tub if you need to keep your sink clean while cooking.
Most plates and flatware can go in the dishwasher. Some high-capacity machines can wash place settings for up to 15 people. Avoid putting pots, pans, wood, cast iron, silver, gold or pewter items in the dishwasher; doing so may damage them. If your dishwasher has a china or crystal cycle, it’s fine to wash delicate plates this way. Many dishwashers have a heavy-cycle setting that’s designed to tackle stubborn food debris.
When you’re washing dishes, mix a few spoonfuls of white vinegar into the rinse water to help cut grease. Rub wooden cutting boards with a lemon slice to absorb stubborn odors. To get cheese out of a grater, rub a cut potato over the grater holes.
3. Prepping for Thanksgiving Dinner Use Double-Duty Containers
Many containers work well as both serving dishes and storage containers, minimizing the work to transfer food and eliminating some dishes for you to wash. Choose dishes that will look great on the table, yet fit easily into the refrigerator for storing leftovers after the meal. Many dishes also work for use in the oven and the freezer as well. By streamlining the dishes you use, you ease your workload.
Stop stains: Don’t let stains on carpet or rings on furniture set. While wine stains are still wet, dab with go-to cleaner hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of dish detergent; blot with a clean cloth. Get rid of water stains on wood furniture with a dab of white toothpaste (not gel). Rub in the direction of the grain.
4. Make a Clean Start
Try to stay on top of the mess by wiping counters and washing and clearing pots and pans as you cook. Before your guests arrive, run and empty the dishwasher, even if it isn’t quite full. This way, you can whisk many of the dinner dishes out of sight when the meal is over. Empty the trash can, too, so you won’t have to stop and take out the trash during the table clearing. It’s a good idea to place a couple of extra bags in the bottom of the can so replacements are on hand.
When the cooking’s all done and you’re ready to carve the turkey, jump-start the cleanup. As soon as you transfer the turkey to the serving platter, fill your roasting pan with soapy water and let it soak in a 250 degree Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius) oven. The baked-on food softens up while you enjoy your guests’ company and the meal.
5. Create a dishwashing station at your sink
Once you’ve packed your dishwasher full, use the proper technique to wash the rest of your dishes: Fill one side of your sink with hot, sudsy water, and the other with cool, clean water. Scrape off as much food as possible, then scrub the dishes in the hot water, and dip them in the cold water to rinse off the soup. Using this method will help save a lot of water and dish soap. As for the dishwasher, wait to run it until you go to bed, as the energy costs are lower, and turn off the heat dry setting so the dishes air-dry on their own, which will conserve energy.
6. Clean the bathroom
If you only have time to clean one room in your house other than the kitchen, make it the bathroom. Most guests can handle a little dust on the coffee table or lint on the carpet, but a dirty bathroom is most unpleasant. Scrub and and wipe down the toilet and sink, wipe the mirror, re-stock the toilet paper, empty the trash can, put out a fresh hand towel, and then light a candle right before everyone arrives.