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15 Things I Just Don’t Clean

Written by contributor Katie Kimball, of Kitchen Stewardship.

Even if you don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as I do, I’m willing to wager that you’d love to find more ways to cut down on the time you’re trapped by food prep and clean-up. I’ve learned to cut more and more corners over the years, and I’m proud to shed the self-imposed title of “lazy” and replace it with this month’s theme for the Simple Living Media network: living on or with less.

Yes, that’s exactly what I do! I’m not lazy, just working smarter, with less… fewer dishes, that is.

I Don’t Use Cleaners on Everything

Photo by Katie Kimball
You could easily fill an entire shelf of your linen closet with different cleaners for different tasks if you wanted, even in the green cleaning realm. Here are a bunch of things I just clean with water, avoiding cleaners and saving time:

  1. Mirrors & windows (I use microfiber cloths)
  2. Steamer basket
  3. Pots from boiling eggs, cooking pasta, etc. (if they’re not sticky; you have to get the pasta out right away)
  4. Colanders, especially when we just wash a little fruit like grapes. Rinse and flip upside down to dry!
  5. Lettuce knife
  6. Salad spinner (love these for easy salad prep!)
  7. The thickener jar (If you have a couple meals to which you need to add a blend of cornstarch or flour and cold water to thicken up a sauce, it’s smart to keep a special jar that you know will stay closed to do the trick. I just rinse this jar and let it air dry, then stash it in my special spot.)
  8. The drink stirring spoon (When I stir sugar to dissolve in water for my water kefir, I just rinse the wooden spoon and put it back in my container to air dry. If I made Kool-Aid, I’d do the same thing.)

7 Things I Don’t Clean Every Time

Photo by Katie Kimball
I’ve learned to skip steps on many other items too, washing them with soap when necessary but trying my darndest to use each item multiple times before it goes in the massive “hand dishes” pile at our house.

Bread knife

Don’t look at me weird when you visit my house and observe this phenomenon: I get the knife out, slice bread or rolls, glance at it and maybe brush off the crumbs, and put it back in the drawer. Seriously, if you dropped a piece of bread on your counter, would you really grab a soapy dishcloth and scrub it down? Would you even use a damp dishcloth? No. Crumbs aren’t going to cause problems. Let them be!

Dry measuring cups/spoons

Sometimes I take it too far, like when my husband pulled a measuring cup covered in arrowroot starch dust out of the drawer and asked, “What happened here?” He was pretty surprised that I had put it back on purpose!

Food processor

Don’t let me gross you out. I wash my food processor more often than most people see theirs, but I do try to save by doing at least two things every time I get it out. I might shred cheese then puree beans for a meal, or make dried fruit and nut power bars and then raw applesauce. I also like to get a “two-fer” from my blender, whizzing stale bread into breadcrumbs or chopping nuts before I make a smoothie or blender pancakes.

Lids that don’t touch food

You know how some pot lids just have condensation on them, and lids from large bowls can do their job without ever touching food? Don’t tell, but I just air dry and return to the cupboard.

Some plastic bags

If it’s just been bread or tortillas or something that only makes crumbs and not grease, I might save the bag in a special spot for more bread or tortillas or whatever.

My baking stones

If I bake something that doesn’t make much mess, like rolls or biscuits, my baking stones get cooled off, brushed off, and stored. Since you can’t use soap on them anyway, why not cut one more corner?

The cheese box

We go through a lot of cheese in our house. I like to have ready-sliced cheese so I can just grab a piece for a quick snack instead of something sweet and naughty. I tend to refill and reuse the “cheese box” at our house for a few weeks, then wash it so we don’t deal with mold. I blogged about it in a very early post that remains one of my favorites: “Why I Have Empty Ziplocs in my Fridge

What can you reuse without washing at your house? (And am I lazy, or just smart? Wait…don’t answer that. I like my conclusion!)

Reading Time:

3 minutes





  1. Cheryl

    Loved this post. I do all these things too and always wondered if I was being a little too zealous with my ‘efficiency’ in the kitchen. I do the ziplock thing too!

  2. Kari

    I only use water on our tile floors. I haven’t been able to find a natural cleaner that is safe on tile (vinegar seems questionable – some people say it can erode the grout), so I just use water.

    I don’t clean the bread knife, dry measuring cups, or my baking stones, either. At least not every time. Not if I can get away with it.

    • Kara

      It’s true. Vinegar can ruin grout. I don’t have tile where I live, but my mom does, and she uses just hot water too. Occasionally if the tile is really, really dirty she add a tiny dab of soap to a couple of gallons of hot water, and then runs by a second time with just water for a “rinse”. Seems to have worked well my whole life. 🙂

      • Living the Balanced Life

        Wow this is good to know! I have been cutting back on cleaners and had considered vinegar for my LARGE kitchen tile floor. Glad I saw this first!

      • Talitha

        I’ve found that baking soda works wonders on tile and grout when a good scrub is needed. I’ve been using that with a mixture of soap, water, and vinegar….it’s been fine so far, maybe I should rethink it!

  3. Kara

    None of these sound gross to me. Granted, I don’t do most of them. I laughted reading the bit about the bread knife…because I do that one all the time. Anyway, my biggest thing is to clean in a way that makes less work elsewhere. So for me, putting a measuring cup covered in flour back in the drawer wouldn’t happen because then later, I’d have to wipe out the drawer (which is more work imo, than quickly washing the device while cooking).

    • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I usually do the measuring cup thing when measuring dry rice or oats, then water, not so much flour. I just measure flour with my measured scoopers that live in the flour canister – so wrong for baking, I know, but I’m too lazy to scoop and measure too! 😉 Katie

  4. Marci

    Me too!

  5. Sara

    Thanks for the entertaining post. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one taking shortcuts on cleaning!

  6. Rebekah

    I do the exact same things. I think those are all smart shortcuts. Tea balls also get the hot water treatment. And if a cutting board just had bread on it, I brush the crumbs off and back into the drawer it goes.

  7. nikki

    I do the SAME THING over here. People are far too paranoid about killing every single germ in their house and are dooming their families by sanitizing the world with soap instead. 🙁 Plus, I hate dishes. LOL

  8. Mystik Momma

    What do you do for your cheese box? I am tired of cheese growing that funky stuff on it, so wondered how you kept your cheese.


    • Katie Kimball

      I just slice as much as fits in a small plastic box, and we go through it pretty quickly. If there’s more left in a block (and I buy biggies, so there always is), I just store that in its wrapping and in a plastic bag. ??? I don’t usually get mold, but I do make sure I wash the box every few weeks or when I open a new package of cheese. We eat a lot of cheese… 🙂 Katie

  9. Dani

    Thanks for confirming that I am indeed “efficient” and not “lazy”. All things I do. And now will be adding ziploc bags to my list!

  10. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker

    I’m with ya! We do the bread knife & cheese box, for sure. A bunch of others as well. I’m glad it’s not just me :).

  11. Brandy Seago

    I have a glass bowl that I keep in my cupboard and it contains my bread-making stuff such as the measuring cups and spoons. The bowl has a light dusting of flour in it and I rinse and wash every couple of weeks but it works great. I do have separate cups and spoons I use in my everyday cooking too.

  12. Elizabeth E.

    I absolutely agree with you. I spend a lot of time cooking. Not only do I have a growing family to feed but it’s also my hobby and the focus of my blog. I’ve cut down on what I “wash” also and I find that when you cook as much as I do a lot of the washing becomes unnecessary.

    A clean and dry kitchen towel takes care of wiping clean any measuring cup, measuring spoon, bowl, or cooking implement that was used for only dry ingredients (that aren’t an allergen).

    I have cutting boards designated for different tasks. One that cuts bread, one that is for fruits and vegetables, and one for meat. The bread board gets wiped with the clean dry towel. The fruit and veggie one gets wiped with a damp cloth. The one that touches raw meat and dairy is the only one that gets washed.

    I use my blender almost daily for smoothies. I find a quick spin with warm water IMMEDIATELY after pouring the smoothie out gets it sufficiently clean.

    There are probably a hundred other things that I do, but it would take too long to list them all. I’m glad you made this post, I thought I was the only one. I was afraid if I ever told anyone this they’d think I was gross. But you know what, my family has gotten colds fewer times this winter than ever before, so I know it’s not spreading any germs!

  13. Lise

    May I add cast iron skillets to this list??

    My grandmother was right…washing a cast iron skillet with cleaner every time takes away all of the awesome seasoning that makes a cast iron skillet such an amazing cooking tool. I use a stainless steel scrubber and water and dry it immediately.

    • Katie Kimball

      Good call! I thought of that one today after the post was already up – I try to wipe without water even, when I can, like if it’s just pancakes or grilled cheese or something. 😉 Katie

    • Morrigan

      I love, love, LOVE my cast iron skillets!! It’s my #1 preference for anything other than like a boiling pasta or soup pot. Hardly anything ever sticks, and if it does, it’s so easy to wipe out with a paper towel or just a quick swish with a brush and hot water! I even haul them with me on camping trips… LOL

      • MrsH

        I gave up on cast-iron after a pancake incident where the pancakes tasted like onions, I’m guessing from previous cooking. I always boiled some water in the cast iron pan and then wiped clean so was really confused and a little grossed out. What do you do to prevent this? I think I still have my pans somewhere and have been contemplating moving back to using them…

        • Morrigan

          Mrs. H,
          That would be pretty yucky having pancakes that tasted like onions! I’ve never noticed a problem like the, but if I did, personally, I would try just rubbing a little salt around in it (not like scrubbing real hard or anything) and then rinse it out with really hot water, dry and rub down with a light coating of oil. That is what is recommended for steel woks (which also have a seasoned coating on them and are not supposed to be washed). Worth a try anyway! Good luck!

          ~ Morrigan

  14. Robin

    I have to admit that I used to wash everything I used, no matter what. However, over the last couple of years, there are lots of things that I now just give a quick rinse, like measuring cups/spoons where I’ve only used it for flour or sugar, or a cutting board used for lettuce. And definitely, my salad spinner almost always just gets a quick rinse, as I’ve only had lettuce in there.

    I must note, though, that I would never put a floury measuring cup back in the drawer-I definitely don’t like the idea of getting flour over everything in the drawer (same goes for a cutting board used for bread-I don’t want crumbs in my cabinets!). But, a quick rinse does work very well! And I almost never do anything to my cast iron pan other than a good rinse and wipe with a rag if needed.

  15. Jill

    Ha! I feel so much better- I do pretty much all of these things, too. I have often secretly wondered if I am being lazy or just efficient! 🙂 Great post!

  16. Linda

    It’s like you were IN my kitchen! My husband gives me the weirdest look when I slice him bread and the put the knife back. The irony is that this is the man who will wear the same shirt all weekend because “he’s not going anywhere.”

    • Laura @ Homemaking Joyfully

      HA! My husband does that exact same thing and then also looks at me funny when I put things away that haven’t been washed….

  17. Jenny

    That could be my house too. I do (or don’t do) all of those things. Great post!

  18. Jackie Lee

    Funny, I do the bread knife thing… but I look both ways before doing it. 🙂

  19. Laura @ Homemaking Joyfully

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one. I do most of these also. Actually, my bread knife just stays on the counter (pushed all the way to the back so the kids don’t get it) most of the time. I only wash it a couple times a week.

    The only one of these that I don’t do is the flour measuring cups. I do wash those b/c I can’t handle the flour dust on everything. But, I do keep spoons in my flour buckets for spooning flour into the measuring cup and those only get washed every few months.

    One that I would add is my butter dish. I don’t wash it every time I use the last of a stick b/c there’s a room temp stick ready to take it’s place. I leave my dish out year round (unless it’s too hot in the house) and only wash the dish every few weeks and I’ve never had butter go rancid or get funky or anything.

    • Kristin

      I grew in a household that always left the butter dish out too. None of us ever got sick. I tried to do this when I got married, but my hubbie thought I was going to kill him, so i compromised and bought a butter bell crock instead. I love spreadable real butter.

      • Katie Kimball

        It all depends on temperature of the house and time out. Butter is pretty doggone stable…but once in college I had some go 100% rancid and didn’t know it. I made mac and cheese and some boxed potato mix with it, and I thought both were going to kill me! Rancid butter actually tastes metallic…I am still shuddering just thinking about eating that stuff! :p Katie

      • Morrigan

        We go through butter so fast that I keep it out all the time too. I have a gorgeous french butter crock thingie… but half the time the stick of butter is gone before I even think to put it in there. LOL Oh well. I’ve never had butter go rancid either that I can remember… except for maybe a couple of times if I was gone for a few days and forgot to put it away.

  20. Babychaser

    I love it… I thought I was the only one. I’m thrilled to be wrong.

    I have a collection of empty ziplock bags in my cupboard for making bread (I make 6 loaves at a time, so sometimes there are a bunch of empty bags). I just shake out the crumbs!

    I keep an empty bag in the pantry labeled cookies (this one is empty far too often!)

    Oh, I do the bread knife thing (though if I slice bread when it’s still warm it gets gummy… so I try not to do that anymore!) and the measuring cup thing… and I just love the two-fur trick with the blender and food processor!

  21. Christy

    It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one so “efficient” in the kitchen! I very rarely wash any of the things you mentioned above, and only after many uses. I just don’t have time & they get used so often anyway!

  22. Babychaser

    Oh… and I never wash a measuring cup or bowl that only had water in it! Never!

  23. Karen

    Oh, I do so many of these things too! The bread knife, the ziploc bags that just have crumbs in them…right back they go. I did start washing my measuring cups more often (though still not every time) after my husband informed me that my flour coated measuring cups bothered him. My mother always put them back after measuring baking ingredients, so I thought that every body did!

  24. Heather

    One has to measure out water often, so I keep a measuring cup near the sink just for that–I wash it out once in a while, and it’s always handy. I do most of those other things, too. Knives that only need a rinse generally get it right away & then get put away….I’ll need them again soon!

  25. Alicen

    I keep a measuring cup right in my flour container… how’s that for not washing it 🙂 I usually keep a 1 cup measure in the flour and 1/2 cup measure right in the flour. If I need a size other than that I’ll sometimes wash it or other times just knock it out over the sink and put it back.
    I keep the same ziploc bag to cover my cheese through several blocks – changing it when it starts to fall apart.
    I use the same paring knife for a whole day – just rinsing it with water between different foods. So long as they’re not sticky foods.
    I use the same parchment paper on my baking sheets through multiple batches of baking. I’ll use the same paper over and over for cookies, then use it for chicken. I don’t use the chicken sheet for cookies though, one use only for meat 🙂
    I think we’re being very efficient in the kitchen by using these fancy tricks! Keep it up ladies!

    • Katie Kimball

      Totally with you on the parchment paper! For foods in the dehydrator or cookies, I use ’em till I can’t anymore! 🙂 Katie

  26. Amanda

    I do a lot of the same things. I didn’t read your post about the ziplocks but I assume you do what I do. If I store an item like an onion or cheese in a bag and I know I will put the same item in it again tomorrow I often keep the bag in the fridge. I do the same thing with the baggy I keep my stock scraps in.

  27. 'Becca

    Drinking glasses. Each of us uses the same one over and over until it’s time to run the dishwasher, unless the glass has been handled with sticky fingers or used for a drink that won’t rinse out completely (like milk). We also do this with plates that are only lightly besmirched by something like toast.

    Knives just get rinsed and stuck in the dish drainer after cutting fruits or vegs other than onions and garlic.

    • Katie Kimball

      Lightly besmirched! Love that. 🙂

      I’m guessing sometimes our water drinking glasses get used a little too long…I’m dismayed by the number of fingerprints I sometimes find when I finally grab them for the dishwasher! 😉 Katie

  28. Merina

    I don’t even get our cast iro skillet wet unless it’s mucky. Usually we fry eggs in butter or do a grilled cheese sandwich in it. So we usually just preheat the pan then wipe it out hot with a dry cloth. Any crumbs or crusty egg bits get wiped away and the heat sterilizes it.

  29. Living the Balanced Life

    Oh, I knew I liked you when I met you at Blissdom, and now I know I do! You are just like me! Why do more work than necessary? I love it!

    • Katie Kimball

      Aw, how fun! Great to see you here, Bernice! 😉 Katie

  30. Lisa@ The Nourishing Homemaker

    Katie, thanks for posting this! It’s good to know I’m not the only one that cuts corners on somethings.

  31. Erica

    I do the same for many of the things on your list. If I measure something dry, I might just take a cloth and brush off any flour/whatever was on it, but not wash it. I also tend to just reuse a pitcher a couple times. If I have iced tea in it, and I make another batch of iced tea, why would I wash it to put the exact same thing back in.

    Another thing I often reuse is storage containers. Say I have a component of my meal pre-chopped or pre-made (like veggies for a stir fry cut up, or spaghetti sauce made). When the meal is over, I’ll throw leftovers into that same container. Of course if it has raw meat beforehand, that would be a time when I don’t.

    A friend was over at the house the other day while I was cooking, and I put away a measuring spoon after using it for dry herbs, and I found myself slightly embarrassed that I’d done it until she confessed to the same thing. It’s good for all of us to share!

  32. Anastasia @ Eco-Babyz

    Haha, I would never think of writing a post like this, yet I DO PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THINGS! I already spend about 4 hours a day in the kitchen, I don’t want to make it any longer than that! 😉

  33. Adrienne @ Whole New

    I too have little “tricks” to save time and water :-). But it is so nice to see that others share those techniques. Funny, though, I am still always in a kitchen that looks like a mess!

    One thing that has really helped me is to purchase extra measuring spoons and cups and leave them in containers that I use regularly, or that have powdery contents. Then I am not always washing and rewashing the same spoons and cups.

    I started this about 1 year ago and really need more to add to my supply!

    • Katie Kimball

      Oh, isn’t that the truth? I actually had a photo of my own “Mt. Dishes” after only one day of kitchen work, but it was too, too embarrassing to share. :p Katie

  34. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage

    Oh, it’s so nice to see not only you, but all these commenters do this also- I thought I was the only one. 🙂

    How about plastic storage containers that carried crackers, carrots or the like? I never wash them- you can’t even tell anything was in them most of the time. And just recently I have been training the family to not put the lids of the containers in the washer automatically- most of the time they never touch the food (you’re right there, Katie).

  35. Charissa

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one–I think I do skip cleaning almost every item you’ve mentioned, and I always think about how horrified my mother would be. But, to be honest, I learned it from my grandmother :).

  36. Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS

    I guess I’m lazy, too, then! Seriously, Katie, I do many of these things, too. 🙂

    In addition, I don’t clean the dry container for the Vitamix after grinding grains or anything dry. Same idea as the dry measuring cups. Why bother?

    I don’t soap up many knives, silverware, utensils, plates, bowls, cups that touched wet or even semi-gooey stuff. I rinse well and do some scraping or sponging if necessary. But I don’t bother with soap because it comes clean if rinsed right after use. There are exceptions, of course. 😉

    Great, and fun, post!

  37. Heather T.

    Ha! I have the same kitchen “protocol”. I am a little better when guests are watching, because I’ve doubted my sanity on numerous occassions. Thank you for restoring my confidence! I’m now inspired to use my head more when I pull out my food processor or blender.

  38. lynette voss

    thank goodness for this post!
    just the other day one sometimes-over-the-top-germ-a-phobe member of my family asked me why i didn’t wash the skillet handle. the skillet handle??!!

    if they only knew!!!

    • Katie Kimball

      Oh, my, Lynette, my hand is over my heart on that one. The handle? I don’t even know what to say. I think I would have laughed them out of my house on accident! 😉 Katie

  39. Michelle

    I call it working smarter, not harder! I do a lot of the same things, good to know I’m not alone. LOL

  40. Prerna

    Oh wow!! You have just changed my world. I mean it. Thank you, thank you. I wash everything all the time. With dishwashing liquid and water. Gosh, I feel so guilty about using all that water when I can just rinse or air dry. Did I say, you changed my world? 🙂

  41. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Hahaha…if I don’t have to clean it, I don’t. I definitely put dry measuring cups away, or those that had plain water in them. I might even rinse and put away one that had milk in it. I frequently rinse my blender, even after smoothies, but don’t wash it (well, a couple times a week!). I NEVER wash the “dry” blender after grinding flour! If my counters aren’t too dirty I just do water and microfiber, though if there’s junk stuck to them I will get the spray out. But I have a multi-purpose spray that I use anywhere (kitchen counters, bathrooms, even carpets) with good success, and just ONE bottle! Uh…clothes. Mine, that is. 🙂 I will often wear the same PJs two or three nights in a row, and the same with my pants during the day. Assuming no grubby little hands grab me right after dinner or something! I don’t wash bath toys. Ever. That’s what bath time is for, right? Most other things I do clean though!

    • Kara E.

      You’re not alone. I wear my pjs and bras twice, and always wear jeans several times before washing. There are the obvious exceptions for when an items gets dirty or sweaty, but otherwise, why make extra laundry?

  42. Megan

    I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned my pizza stone, aside from brushing off crumbs or removing burnt cheese!

    I WISH I could get my husband on board about the colander washing. Never fails, if he uses it it ends up in the dishwasher.

  43. Karen

    If only I could convince my husband that the bread knife and other big knives, are not for jobs a paring knife could do just as well, or if he must use these knives to just clean them off and put them away! I always have to get them OUT of the dishwasher, and wash something like cheese residue off when I want to chop onions or slice bread. Then I just rinse (onions) or wipe (crumbs) and put them away. Next time I want them, I have to get them out of the dishwasher and go through the whole process again.
    Add to the list: ice cube trays. Why would you ever mix them with other dirty, sometimes greasy dishes and soap? Even when the cubes have dehydrated, a rinse is all that’s needed.
    I have mixed a dribble of liquid cleaner with water in a reused spray bottle for quick cleanups on my tile floors. I give the bottle a shake, the floor a spray and then wipe it up.

  44. Tracey

    I loved this! I do many of these things myself and now I am free to admit it to the world 🙂

  45. Joanna

    I think I do almost all of those. 🙂 Now I don’t feel guilty about it!

  46. Jacquelyn

    Love this! I do just about all of those things. Now I don’t have to feel guilty : )

  47. Rachel

    I’m soooooo glad I found this post! I do all these things too. I felt guilty about some of them- as if I was cheating on a test- now I know it is okay!! My husband asked me once if i was going to clean my mixer bowl. I replied that there was no point, i’m just going to make dough in it again. Beside, the crumbs wipe out when they dry.

  48. hl

    Great post and comments. A couple of added things: when my kids were home, they each had their own water glass–funky odd glasses from the thrift store when they were old enough to graduate from plastic–and we only washed those every few days, or when the fingerprint issue came up (see above!)

    But here is an outside the kitchen thing that I’ll raise: I bought each of the kids a really fancy clothes hook and put it inside their closet doors. Then they each got a beach towel/bath sheet for their showers. If they were going to spend ten minutes getting themselves clean in the shower, did it not make sense that a towel used for drying was really not going to be immediately dirty? So they learned to hang their towels to dry right away and we did only one shower towel a week instead of stacks and stacks of laundry.

    Oh, and while talking about drying–did you know that the most hygienic way to dry dishes is air drying, NOT towel drying? Google the public health requirements for dish drying in your area and you’ll see. So for the things that you DO wash, just putting them in the drainer really is better than digging out the dish towels to dry them.

    • Kara E.

      We do the towel thing too. One bath towel for the week, busy sinks get 2-3 hand towels per week (otherwise, just one), and a fresh wash cloth each day (if one is used). I can’t imagine how much towel laundry is created by the people who use a fresh towel every single day.

  49. chris

    I do so many of these things too, including the added glass thing. My husband wishes I would bleach the counters, but really I only “sanitize” (and not with bleach!) about once a month. A good wipe with a hot wet washrag will do the trick. We get sick less often than most of our family and friends – must be doing something right! Maybe teaching our immune systems to do their job 🙂

  50. Natural Maven

    LOL. Loved this post. I do most of these things, too. In fact, the exact same thing happened to me the other day with one of my measuring cups and the arrowroot flour – “What’s this?!” – “Oh, I’m going to use it again so soon anyway…!”

  51. Margie

    Thanks for an entertaining and informative post. How about a similar one on laundry!! I have started saving time and energy by using the rinse cyle on certain items: e.g. swimming gear.

    • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Oh, Mount Laundry? Yes. I have tips for that one.

      ***Ignore it!***

      Just kidding. I do ignore the clean laundry after I put it near the TV, knowing within a few days my husband will do it while watching TV. Tee hee!

      I guess we just wear things until they’re actually dirty. That’s about all I have!
      🙂 Katie

  52. Morrigan

    LOL I read this post with GREAT interest and intrigue hoping I’d learn something new to help me conquer the never-ending dreaded, chaotic mess in my kitchen! But, alas… I already do not only a few, or even some, but EVERY, SINGLE, ONE of these things on your list. Now I know at least I’m doing something right. If only I could figure out the rest! =0)

  53. myrrh

    haha! I do these too! My husband is slowly getting on board too 🙂

    thanks for writing this all up,

  54. Tina @ Ride On Toys

    I’m with you on all this! I’m also famous for the bread knife trick – just brush it off and put it back! Same with the measuring cups – if it’s dry ingredients I just brush and tuck!

  55. Stacy

    So glad to know that I’m not the only one using these techniques!

  56. Jassica

    I love it! I could have written this one! From time to time I feel the slightest twinge of guilt for cutting these corners, but NO MORE!!! Oh, and the one that really got me? The large pile of “hand wash” dishes. 🙂 I admit they sit there a few days before I get to them, while the dishwasher runs daily or every other day.

    Keep up the good work!!!

  57. Leanne

    Great post! I do the same things all the time!

    My 3 and 1 year old girls LOVE to spill a little water on the kitchen floor and splash their feet and hands in it. I used to discourage this until I realized they would also have fun using old towels to clean it up. My floors look great when they’re done!

    I also never put a spent bath towel in the wash without first wiping off a sink counter, mirror, pretty much anything that isn’t the inside toilet rim.

    And it irks me when my husband throws away a perfectly good used piece of parchment paper that I carefully folded up and put away for use again. The nerve! 😉

  58. holly berry

    I do all of these thing as well, so glad to know I’m not being gross. However, my mother takes it too far and constantly wants to wash almost every damn ziploc no matter what was in there. Am I wrong in thinking this is too far? My concern is the plastic will leach chemicals after a certain amount of use. She does the same thing with disposable plastic bottles and it drives me crazy!

    • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I used to reuse disposable plastic bottles. It’s really, really, not good. I see a stainless steel water bottle for her birthday gift coming in the future! 😉 Katie

  59. Beth

    I kept thinking, “Me too, me too, me too!” I keep the gallon bags that I use for bread that have already been used (and the crumbs shaken out) tucked under whatever is in the bread box (like dh’s icky bread). I also have empty baggies in one of the refrigerator drawers, lol. I wrap cheese in parchment paper before putting it in the baggie. Since it has never touched the bag I can reuse it over and over. Once it’s shredded it’s a different story, though. I’m still working on minimizing plastic bags but sometimes every glass jar is crowding the fridge.

    I usually have a dish rag out for the day and sometimes will even wipe out the flour measuring cup before putting it back in the drawer with that, lol. I use it for ‘clean’ dry things throughout the day and for wet-wiping the counter after kitchen clean that evening. Then a fresh one comes out for the next day. Of course, that’s in a perfect world!

    Point of Use is really important for my brain type and helps me function.

  60. Sabrina

    this is hilarious! i totally do many of these too! serious! there’s so much to wash when you’re cooking everything at home from scratch already. why not save yourself some steps if you haven’t “germified” anything! love it! fantastic article!!

  61. kiersten

    I loved this. I cut a lot of the same corners, just because it seemed to make sense to do so, but I always felt a little guilty about it! Thanks for the validation and extra tips!!

  62. Marisa I.

    Great ideas Katie, I also do the same things. shhh ;P

  63. Kelly

    I think I love you! I do ALL of the things you mentioned because I’m lazy and just don’t see the need, but in this age of germ-o-phobes I’d be afraid to admit it to most people! I’ll bet if we had to haul or pump our own water, more people would do stuff like this too. There are just times when something doesn’t need to be washed because it never really got dirty.

  64. Bernadette

    Sigh. I’m jealous. I used to do some of these shortcuts when I lived up north, but not since I’ve been living in Florida. That breadcrumb on the counter may seem like nothing, but in Florida, it’s an open invitation for a insect buffet.

    And the recent years of people dying from food contamination such as green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, etc–37 *died* from contaminated cantaloupe!–has me washing everything before and after.

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