Plain White Vinegar Is the Dishwashing Hero You Need (And Deserve)

Fat makes food taste good, but greasy food has a way of lingering in the air—and on the dishes—long after a meal has ended. If you’re sick of finding oil slicks on dishes you could have sworn were clean, you owe it to yourself to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and keep it near your kitchen sink.

Vinegar can’t do half the things holistic wellness bloggers claim it can, but its degreasing and deodorizing abilities make it an indispensable tool in my dishwashing arsenal. I use plastic soup containers to store everything from stews to cocktail syrups, so to avoid flavor contamination, I need them to be completely clean. Generously spritzing a plastic soup container that once held coconut curry—or an especially olive oil-y ragú—with vinegar ensures that it emerges from the dishwasher squeaky-clean and ready for reuse. (If you don’t have a dishwasher, pretreating greasy dishes with vinegar is even more important—especially if your tap water is hard.) Since oil really hangs onto odors, a vinegar rinse will also prevent and/or alleviate the accumulation of cooking smells in porous materials like plastic and silicone; I spray my silicone spatulas with vinegar and rinse them in hot water before each use to minimize the likelihood of transferring old food (or soap) smells to whatever I’m making. Vinegar also breaks down dried-out bread dough faster than anything else I’ve used, which has spared more than a few sponges from a foul, gummy demise.

As with any cleaning agent, vinegar has its limitations: it’s neither a surfactant nor, at roughly five percent acetic acid by weight, a broad-spectrum disinfectant. For gnarly, burnt-on grease, you’re much better off using something like Barkeeper’s Friend, and vinegar alone may not kill the nastier microorganisms found in raw pork or chicken; what’s more, its acidity will corrode cookware made from reactive materials like aluminum, cast iron, unlined copper, and carbon steel. But for an efficient light-duty degreaser and deodorizer—that also happens to be totally food-safe—vinegar is pretty hard to beat.

A.A. Newton on Skillet, shared by A.A. Newton to Lifehacker
https://skillet.lifehacker.com/plain-white-vinegar-is-the-dishwashing-hero-you-need-a-1825145938

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