Tuesday Tools & Tricks #15: How to Clean Everything!

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!

For this week’s tools & tricks we wanted to focus on an oft-overlooked but incredibly important aspect to tending your very own home bar: cleaning your tools!

Properly cleaning all of your tools is huge–just as important as cleaning all of the tools you use to cook in your kitchen.

To keep things simple, we’ve broken down the list of tools and given instructions on properly cleaning for each of them.

You will note immediately that we very rarely recommend putting anything in the dishwasher — for much of your equipment this is too harsh an environment and will cause problems. Even with the few items that you can put in the dishwasher, it is always preferable to clean them by hand with (fresh, clean) sponges, warm water, and soap.

Alright, lets get started!


jiggers and spoons

Clean by hand with warm water. 

Since the only thing going in your jiggers is alcohol/juice/syrup, a good warm water bath is all these babies need to get clean. You will need to wash them a bit more thoroughly if they have had simple syrup (or any high sugar liqueur) in them to make sure no residue is left behind.

The only caveat to this is: if you measure egg whites in a jigger, you need to thoroughly clean it with soap and water.

Measuring Spoons: 

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Clean by hand with soap and warm water.

Since these often have granulated sugar or spices in them, you need a bit more oomph behind your cleaning ritual than just warm water.

Bar Spoons: 

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Clean by hand with soap and warm water.

Make sure you thoroughly wipe down the entire spoon (especially if there is has a muddler end!) to make sure any remaining fruit/herb/sugar particles are removed — you don’t want to attract ants!

Shaker Glasses/Bar Glasses: 

Clean in the dishwasher or hand wash with soap and warm water. 

These glasses are sturdy enough to take a trip in the dishwasher, so if that is your jam, go for it. If you don’t have a dishwasher, or just prefer to wash by hand, a good soap and warm water scrub will do just fine.

Shaker Tins: 

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Clean by hand with soap and warm water.

Do not put shaker tins in the dishwasher! All metal shakers need to be cleaned by hand, the dishwasher is too harsh and can damage or strip them.

Mesh Strainers: 

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Clean in the dishwasher.

This is the one tool we actually recommend putting through the dishwasher, because it is hard to remove the very small particles from the strainer (small pieces of cloves, for example) and very easy to get pieces of your sponge stuck in the fine mesh when you hand wash. If you don’t have access to a dishwasher, just be very thorough and careful not to leave any remnants behind on the tool.

Traditional Strainer: 

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Clean by hand with soap and warm water.

These do not have the same issues as their mesh cousins, so soap and warm water will do the trick.

Serving Glasses/Stemware: 

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Clean in the dishwasher or by hand with soap and warm water. 

Look, some stemware and serving glasses are a-okay to put in the dishwasher, but in general we like to play it safe with these and wash and dry them by hand. It avoids water spots and the danger of glasses falling, clanking together, or just deciding to say “goodbye cruel world” and crack in the dishwasher. If you are going to use the dishwasher, make sure to check your glasses to make sure they are labeled as dishwasher safe, and if you aren’t sure just hand wash!



Clean in the dishwasher or by hand with soap and warm water. 

Again, this depends on what type of knives you are using. Most are completely dishwasher safe, but some may require hand washing.

Cutting Boards: 

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Wood: Clean by hand with soap and warm water. 

Plastic: Clean in the dishwasher or by hand with soap and warm water. 

Don’t put your wood cutting tables in the dishwasher, they will get warped! And for those of you sitting back and saying “I put my wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher and they are fine!” well, you are playing a dangerous game with fate, my friends. One of these days, you will pull that thing out of there with a crack in it, we promise.

Hand Fruit Presses: 

juice press

Clean by hand using soap and warm water. 

Especially if you have the ones shown above that are coated in paint. The paint will bubble and warp in the hot dishwasher, and start to crack off. You really, really don’t want pieces of paint getting squeezed into your lemon juice. Hand wash only.


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Clean by hand using warm water, or soap and warm water. 

Contrary to what you may believe, or may have been doing all these years, you should never put a blender in the dishwasher. It will damage the blades and mess with the heavy plastic of the pitcher and lid. If you have a Vitamix, they specify that some parts should be cleaned using only water (no soap), and that the water should not be too hot–which is why you should never throw away instruction manuals, those things are important.



So there you have it friends, your handy dandy quick cleaning guide!

We think it should go without saying, but we will say it anyway: you should always wash your hands before you start preparing drinks–alcohol can only kill off so much. Also, always make sure that your sponges are clean, they are not made of gold, you can and should be trading them out all the time. Got it? Good.

We hope you have a spotless, sparkling day!

See you next time!


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