Of all the rooms in a typical American house, the one that may instill the greatest fear in first time homeowners or renters once they realize what a very big deal the specifics of keeping that room running is, is the kitchen. Oh, sure, the actual mechanics of keeping the bathroom clean and efficient can be a little disconcerting, but it’s a small room and basically has limited needs. The kitchen, on the other hand, has the potential power to absolutely overwhelm those people living on their own for the first time. Unless you have been trained well in the art of kitchen maintenance by a parent who knew what they were doing. Well, what you are reading now was written by a parent who knows what he is doing in the kitchen. And why should my kids be the only ones who are not intimidated by everything that running a kitchen entails.
De-Rusting Stainless Steel
Many kitchens feature stainless steel. The stainless steel in your kitchen may be limited to the sink or it may encompass everything from the stove to the countertop. Stainless steel itself is not particularly prone to rusting, but put it inside a kitchen and the opportunity for rust to develop significantly increases. The reasons that your kitchen stainless steel starts to rust can range from the amount of mineral deposits in your water supply to accumulation of iron on the surface as a result of leaving utensils, cookware or products like Brillo pads on it. As a first time homeowner, you will be subject to a tsunami of information about products that claim to treat rust spots on stainless steel in the kitchen, but nothing really beats rubbing plain white toothpaste into the rust spot, rinsing with plain water and drying with a plain rag.
Cheap, Safe and Easy Firefighting
Cooking with oil means the ever-present danger of this accelerant toppling over the lip of the frying pan and igniting as a result of the heat beneath. In other words, kitchen maintenance for first time homeowners, apartment renters and everyone else living on their own for the first time inevitably means dealing with a grease fire if you actually use the kitchen for cooking. You could invest in a fancy fire extinguisher, but by the time you figure out how to use it under the pressure of necessity, the whole house could be in flames. Here’s one of the most useful tips first time homeowners or renters can ever put to use: keep an open box of plain old baking soda within easy reaching distance of the stove or range. Tossing some baking soda onto a grease fire is easier, quicker and every bit as effective as using a dedicated fire extinguisher.
Invest in a quality set of wooden spoons of various sizes. If you are a first time homeowner, you will find the need for wooden spoons in the kitchen whether you cook a lot or just your stove a few times a month. Why? Because everybody at some point in their time in the kitchen makes something to eat that requires heat and the act of stirring. Maybe it’s a can of soup or chili or maybe it’s Jello -O or maybe you cook something in a wok three or four times a week. The point is you need something that can be depended upon to stir foods of various consistencies and sizes, that can withstand great heat and that won’t scratch the surface of the pot or pan. That something goes by just one name: wooden spoons.
But Just In Case…
Even though a pan may say that it is non-scratch, it is still entirely possible that it will stick. That’s usually less problematic for the stirring mechanism of your choice than it is for the condition of the pot or pan after cooking is completed. Want to be able to show off just how quickly you adapted to running a kitchen in your first house or apartment? Buy a supply of liquid lecithin off the web store of your choosing and when it arrives, mix with an equal amount of plain vegetable oil and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the contents of the bottle onto the surface of any pot or pan you plan to use for cooking. Voila! You just turned any pot or pan into non-stick cookware. Pretty cool, huh?
The following tip is going to seem like a total no-brainer to many. But remember that these tips are geared toward those who have never had to actually be in charge of their kitchen before. Those whose have depended upon the experience and insight of parents, guardians and other older household members. It’s a very useful tip for anyone new homeowner or first time apartment renter because it boils down to the real meat of the matter of becoming the one in charge of a home. Kitchens are a destination point in the home. Meaning that you pass through hallways and alcoves and foyers and doorways and even some larger rooms on your way to somewhere else. But the kitchen can become the location that dwells at the end of your journey and that journey can often commence in the darkness of night. Do you know how painful it can be to run your hip straight into a drawer that you have left open? How about running your face into a cabinet door you left open? Do yourself a great big solid as a first time homeowner or apartment dweller and remember to always push your kitchen drawers back in and to close your cabinet doors.