You’re probably not thinking about how what you do in your kitchen is going to impact your food. But we have bad news: There are some cleaning mistakes that are ruining the taste of your food. Try avoiding these mistakes and we think your next cup of coffee will taste so much better.
Not getting all the grounds out of your grinder.
As tedious as it might be to wash your grinder with soap and water on a daily basis, if you are passionate about your morning coffee, it’s key. “Coffee bean oils may turn rancid and give fresh coffee an off taste,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Cooking on a dirty grill.
“Charred bits and flavors of previously cooked food can transfer to fresh foods,” says Forte. Yuck. To clean grill grates, the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends scrubbing the surface with coil brushes that do not have bristles or crumpled aluminum foil.
Cleaning a skillet in the dishwasher.
Apparently, washing with mild soap is okay, but the dishwasher is not: “What will strip the seasoning off a skillet is washing it in the dishwasher,” says Sharon Franke, the director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab in our Good Housekeeping Institute. And since seasoning prevents foods from sticking, this could cause your dinner to cook unevenly.
Using a strongly scented dishwasher detergent.
It’s true: Not all detergents are made equally. “I’ve heard complaints that sometimes the dishwasher cleaners are so heavily fragranced that people complain the scent lingers on their dishes,” says Forte. And who wants their plate of pasta to taste like soap?
Not cleaning oven spills promptly.
Unfortunately, juicy spills in your oven shouldn’t be put off until tomorrow. “Un-removed food spills not only bake on more with subsequent cooking, but they can emit odors that may impact the taste or smell of fresh food cooking in there,” says Forte.
Not flushing your coffeemaker after a deep clean.
If you descale your coffeemaker with white vinegar every month, bravo. But if you notice your morning mug doesn’t taste the same the next day, we might know why: “Not thoroughly flushing the coffeemaker after descaling it could give your next cup of coffee a vinegar taste and smell,” says Forte.
Not rinsing plastic containers after use.
By immediately removing the food and juices that are stuck on the sides, you’ll help eliminate smells and stains as early as possible. But, if you forget this step (been there!), lingering odors could impact tomorrow’s leftovers, says Forte.
Using too much dishwasher detergent.
Sometimes more is not better, and this is proof: Use too much of this stuff and you could be left with residue on your plates. Yuck. Though Forte says if you make this mistake, hopefully, you’ll notice before you start to eat: “Chances are you’ll see or smell the residue and wash it off before using the plates.”
Letting utensils nestle in your dishwasher.
When you load forks, spoons and knives all facing the same way, they tend to nestle together, which prevents your appliance from doing a thorough wash job. “Spoons, particularly, can nest in the dishwasher, but when that happens, you rewash them,” says Forte. Or, you could load your dishwasher with every other utensil facing the opposite direction.
Putting your garlic press in the dishwasher.
This tool should really be hand-washed. “Washing it in dishwasher will lead to dried garlic in holes that will prevent it from working properly,” says Franke. Meaning you might not get all the garlic out of your press needed for your recipe the next time you use it.
Not rinsing bleach carefully.
Even though this cleaning agent is a beast at killing bacteria and other things you don’t want to ingest, if not rinsed well, the taste could ruin your food. “This has happened to me with a coffee filter,” warns Franke. So make sure you rinse thoroughly to prevent any off-tastes.