The Secret to Getting That Casserole Dish Clean

Your food's plans to make a mess, foiled.

Photo: Tanya_F/Getty Images

When it comes to casserole dishes, baked-on food is a Stage 5 Clinger. And if you've ever been the unlucky fool tasked with cleaning a dirty casserole dish (this is the South, haven't we all?), you know there are few kitchen woes more frustrating than trying to coax baked-on food off of said dish.

Worse still, the tools that are supposed to help us often only hurt us (yes, we are still talking about casserole dishes here): Sponges move the top layer of the mess around, rather than actually loosening up the food remnants clinging to the bottom of the dish; plus, they get really gross when they've been swimming around in leftover lasagna or green bean casserole and you don't really want to use them again. Soaking a casserole dish overnight helps cut down on active cleaning time, but who really wants to clutter up the sink with an overnight soak every time you make a casserole?

But we're here with good news: Your kitchen dramas and traumas are officially over, thanks to a little household staple called aluminum foil.

Next time you attempt to clean a dirty casserole dish, put down the sponge and grab a small sheet of aluminum foil instead. Ball up the foil into a manageable, fist-sized tool, and put it to work. Add a little pressure and elbow grease, and the crumbled foil easily scrapes off the stuck-on traces of food, leaving you with a food-free casserole dish and a much less clingy mess to clean. One tip to minimize waste: Use the foil used to cover the casserole while it baked, rather than using a fresh sheet.

The trick also works on metal pots and pans: Grits, be gone! Just be sure to steer clear of using the foil trick on pots and pans with surfaces that scratch easily, as you'll inadvertently ruin them. And that's a whole 'nother kitchen trauma we can tackle another day.

WATCH: 5 Things An Organized Woman Does Not Have In Her Kitchen

Guess we'll be cleaning out our kitchen drawers today!

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