Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sprucing up the Kitchen #OXOSpringCleaning

This dish drainer will never again be this empty.
Sometimes I think those folks at OXO are looking over my shoulder, and this time it's a bit embarrassing. I have tons of cooking gadgets, but my sink area is a bit of a mess.

Or at least it was a bit of a mess.

In their latest spring cleaning campaign, they sent out some useful items that motivated me to organize the area around the sink. I'm not promising it's going to stay this way, but at least I have a fighting chance.

The major change was the nifty new dish rack and drainer that's not going to dribble onto my counter, and that has places to arrange things neatly, and two divided utensil cups - one on each side of the rack - for standing utensils upright.

While most of my dishes can go into the dishwasher, there are some delicate things I wash by hand as well as some that don't fit into the dishwasher.And, since I air-dry my dishes in the dishwasher, there are sometime a few pieces that don't dry completely before the next re-load, so they need a little more air and a little more dry before I put them away. Now I have an organized way to let 'em dry.

Sponge holder, soap dispenser, and scrubby tool. 
The sponge holder doesn't sound like a big deal, but it holds sponges upright so they dry rather than sitting in a puddle or falling into the sink. There's a drip tray that catches drips, and it has feet so it's not going to get stuck to the sink if something does spill. It comes apart for cleaning, and it's dishwasher safe.

A scrubby with a handle and a drip tray is a nice thing, too. The scrubby part is replaceable, so when it wears out I can buy more. I used it on a stainless steel pan that had the remains of a cheese sauce. I thought that was a good test. Now I just need to buy refills, because I'm imagining that I'm going to use it a lot. Note: it's not recommended for nonstick.

In the photo, the soap dispenser is also an OXO product, but it wasn't part of this promotion. It's actually a hand-soap dispenser that I've had for a number of years, but I bought it to use it for dish soap. I couldn't find exactly this model online, but they've got plenty of other pump-style soap dispensers, if you're looking for one.

I also received a sink mat that's supposed to help cushion anything that lands in the sink, and it's heat-resistant, so you can put stove-hot pots right on top of it. Which means it's also dishwasher safe. That's always a plus, since the dishwasher will sanitize it as well.

Sink mat- keeping small things out of my garbage disposal!
The mat is made a fairly soft material, so you can cut it to fit your sink (Yikes! I wish my sink was this big!) and you're supposed to cut a hole for the drain.

But when I had it in the sink and I was about to mark the drain hole, I thought, gee, that's where the garbage disposal is - why not leave the mat as-is and let it catch anything that's trying to go down the drain?

Anything that doesn't fit between the mat's slats shouldn't be going into the garbage disposal, whether it's food bits or forks.

I've accidentally dropped silverware and small measuring tools and other petite items into the garbage disposal. When I see them disappear, it means I get to stick my had down there to retrieve them. If I don't see them disappear - well, I've ruined a few things that way.

If the dish drainer catches anything that needs to be thrown away - like potato peels or egg shells - I can just lift the whole drainer, let it drip a bit, and toss the bits into the trash. Or maybe into a compost bin. I got one of those, too. The city I live in is talking about adding composting to our trash pickup, so this could come in handy.

If I decide I don't like the sink mat as a sink mat, it might come in handy as a trivet for baking sheets. and hot pots and other things that I shouldn't put right onto the counter. We'll see.

Also in the photo with the sink mat is a set of three bottle brushes. They come on a ring for easy hanging ... somewhere. I might hang them inside the under-sink cabinet door, but I haven't decided yet. These will come in handy for more than bottles. And look! That little one is pretty unlikely to fall into the garbage disposal!

They also sent along a set of  4 Piece All Purpose Clips. I use these magnetic clips all the time, for clipping bags shut or for hanging notes and things on the refrigerator. There's also a large hole, so you can clip and hang things on hooks.

Photo by OXO

The Expandable Utensil Organizer that I got from OXO hasn't found a home yet - I've been rearranging some of my kitchen drawers, so it might have a permanent installation soon.  It has dividers to separate things, and it expands from 9 3/4'' to 16 1/2'' so it will fit a whole lot of different drawers. If I don't use it for utensils, I might use it to organize my pastry tips and decorating tools.

Much thanks to OXO for providing all of these tools. Now, I just need to finish my spring cleaning!

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