Cleaning up after a baking project has to be the worst part of the entire process, so here are my ten best tips to reduce cleanup time.

  1. Start with a clean dishwasher and load dishwasher-safe tools and bowls in as soon as you’re done using them. Aluminum cake pans are NOT dishwasher safe!
  1. Empty the garbage can before starting so that you do not have to deal with changing the bag mid-project.
  1. Put ingredients away immediately after using them. Not going to use that flour for anything else? Back to the pantry it goes!
  1. Fill the sink (or a large bowl) full of hot, soapy water to collect items that cannot go into the dishwasher. This will dramatically reduce the time it takes to wash them.
  1. Cover your counter with plastic wrap. If you cover your counter or simply your highest-traffic area (like near your stand mixer) with plastic wrap, you’ll simply need to gather it up and throw it away at cleanup time. Bye-bye mess!
  1. Do you have a TV in the kitchen that keeps you company throughout those endless decorating hours? Covering your remote in plastic wrap will prevent sticky buildup from accumulating on the buttons.
  1. Consider disposable piping bags, as they will save a ton of time in terms of cleanup. Stock up when they are on sale!
  1. Clean icing tips by using a tip brush after soaking them in the above-mentioned hot, soapy water bath. Removing all of the icing from a tip can sometimes be tricky, but soaking it beforehand will make it infinitely easier.
  1. Ever turn on your mixer only to have a veritable cloud of powdered sugar swirl up? Cover your stand mixer head and bowl loosely with a damp towel to minimize powdered-sugar fallout. As a bonus, this helps prevent Baker’s Asthma (a genuine occupational hazard – Google it!)
  1. Did that dark red icing get the better of you and end up on your white cabinet? Put undiluted lemon juice in a spray bottle and use it to remove dark icing stains off of white counters or cabinetry. Spray the affected area, let it sit overnight, then wipe away with a wet cloth in the morning. Always do a patch test in a small, inconspicuous area first. I have used this technique many times without issue.

Bonus tip (this one is preventative): throw away icing as opposed to rinsing it down the sink as it can cause greasy buildup in pipes that can lead to clogs. Your plumbing will thank you!

Do you have any great cleanup tips? Please share them below!

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