Class #7 – Your Kitchen Assets
Now that you are starting to fall in love with your kitchen again it’s time to start treating it
like you love it. We invest our hard earned money in our kitchen tools and sometimes in
our kitchen builds. There are some do’s and don’ts that no kitchen detox class would be
complete without. In the video I will show you proper knife care, how to clean and oil a
cutting board and more. In the written class you will learn about up-grades and how to
save for them. The worksheet will give you a chance to take inventory and write a plan
to care for your kitchen assets!
1. When the Dishwasher Is Not Your Friend!
We talked about the dishwasher being a cleaning workstation, but there are things that
should never go in the dishwasher. Here is a list of items that should never be put into
- Kitchen Knives – if you love your knives dull then put them in the dishwasher. If you
covet sharp knives then wash and dry them by hand as soon as you are done using
- Blender Blades – these will also dull in the dishwasher, making them less effective.
- Plastic Food Storage Containers – a dishwasher will super heat the plastic and cause
it to breakdown and leech toxins into your food.
- Wooden Spoons – the high heat warps them, dries them and splits them. If they split
you should toss them because food can get stuck in the crevasses and spoil, possibly
- Wooden, Plastic and Synthetic Cutting Boards – for the same reason that other plastics
and wood items should be left out of the dishwasher.
- Non-Stick Teflon Cookware – the super heating of the Teflon can release hazardous
chemicals, but it also will quickly make non-stick surfaces bubble and become
damaged. It will quickly make “non-stick” turn “very stick” in a hurry.
- Aluminum Items – aluminum will oxidize in the dishwasher and will make it more
porous, which can be toxic. It will ruin the look of them as well.
- Painted Raw Pottery – there are a lot of super cute items for the kitchen that are raw
pottery with cute little paintings on them. They are normally for decoration but can be
mistaken for food use and get stuck in the dishwasher. Under high heat, the paint can
If in doubt, just give it a quick wash by hand. The dishwasher is a great tool 90% of the
time, but you really want to give your kitchen investments the best care possible. Avoid
putting these items in the dishwasher and you will not only save yourself from possible
toxins, but also save money and time by preserving your kitchenware for the long term.
2. Three Things You Never Do with Your Kitchen Knives
I strongly believe a quality chef’s knife is a must have in a healthy kitchen. I’ll talk more
about that in Class 8 when we discuss the 6 things every healthy kitchen has. While we
are on the subject of caring for kitchen assets, I want to take the opportunity to discussthings that you should never do with your knives.
- Never Put Them in the Dishwasher – in the previous section I made this statement,
but it is really important and bears repeating. This will dull your knives. I have seen
people shove them in the flatware caddy with all the forks and spoons. Doing that
will actually damage your blade. You can go from a razor sharp edge to can’t cut
butter in about 2-3 sessions in a hot dishwasher. The rule in my house is right after
you use a knife, wash them by hand and dry them. Lay them out for a complete air
dry and then return them to the knife block. Sound tedious? Trust me, it is much
more tedious to try and cut veggies for the week with a dull knife.
- Store Your Knives Separately – In a recent private kitchen detox I did, I found the
chef’s knife in the drawer mingled with all the other cooking utensils. Don’t do this, if
for no other reason than it is dangerous. Shuffling about in a drawer looking for
something and your hand meets the sharp end of a knife . . . this won’t end well. The
second reason is because this also will dull and damage your knife blade. If you are
going to place your good knives in a drawer, they should lay flat and not be touching
one another or anything else. They make drawer inserts that will keep you and your
knives safe. There will be one in the Kitchanatomy store if you want to purchase
one. The wooden block is the best way to store them. I keep mine by my cutting
board so they are sharp and ready to work when I am.
- Don’t Open Packages with Your Knives – It’s so tempting to grab your good chef’s
knife and use it to open a plastic bag or paper wrapper. Don’t do it. I actually keep a
pair of old scissors in my kitchen for this task and I have a tool just to cut open these
types of things. So why should you avoid using your knife? Opening packages with
your knife will dull the blade, not to mention it can be dangerous.
One of the biggest frustrations in the kitchen is having to use a dull knife. If you are
sawing through your veggies, your knife is dull and you should consider upgrading or
getting it sharpened. Remember we are eliminating frustrations one by one and this
could be the difference between hating to prep food or loving the simplicity of the work.
3. When, How, and Saving for Upgrades
How do you know if you need an upgrade? I want an upgraded everything! I want an
upgraded room in Vegas. How about you? But how do you know when you actually need
one. I use a hash mark system. No joke, I do. I have a sticky note inside one of my
kitchen cabinets and every time I truly complain about an older tool in my kitchen I hash
mark it. Once it gets 20 hash marks it’s time for me to consider an upgrade. If I feel
frustrated 20 times about a kitchen tool that is not performing to my needs, I can fix that
frustration and I’ll try to get a new one. This also helps determine if I just wanted
something but did not really need it. I really wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer but in 6 months
of it being on a hash mark list I only thought I truly needed it 4 times! Problem solved! I
wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer but I did not have a NEED for one. Off the list it went and I
felt good about being so responsible! Yay me! Here are my best tips for determining if
you need an upgrade.
- Develop a system for your needs. Just like I did, make a written system for upgrades.
This will help you determine if you truly need an upgrade or just want a fancy new
something!• Ask yourself if the item can be “fixed” to perform better without an upgrade. The best
example is your knives. Professional sharpening might be all you need to make them
brand new again.
- Make sure it is something that you truly need and not just another gadget that takes up
valuable kitchen space.
- Don’t give into kitchen peer pressure. I watch a lot of cooking shows, videos, and take
a fair amount of classes. I get stars in my eyes thinking I need something new and
cool. But really my tools work just fine for me and I don’t need to give into my wants at
Now what happens if you truly need an upgrade but it is not in the budget? First of all,
don’t panic! Ok, I am sure you are not panicking but it can cause some stress thinking
you need it RIGHT NOW. My Nana taught me the best trick that works like a charm
when I want something that I can’t afford. It is so simple. I have an envelope that I keep
in my nightstand with the name of the item I want on it and when I get a little extra
money I put it in the envelope. Sometimes it is $1 and sometimes its $20. I keep it in
my nightstand because that is my personal space and I am less likely to grab it for a new
pair of shoes if it is sitting there. We do this for vacations, big purchases and more.
Also when I am asked what I want for a gift, if I am saving for a kitchen tool, I tell the
person that they can contribute to the “fund”, then when I have enough to buy the item I
text them a photo of my purchase and thank them for helping me get my new kitchen
tool. The great part is if there is ever an emergency, I have a little cash on hand if
needed. I will confess I almost always have an envelope going. It’s my own
Now it is your turn! You have to do the work to determine if you need an upgrade. I
want to help you with making a system for determining that as well. I also think it is
great to find a way to get new kitchen upgrades in the household budget so there will be
some guidance there for you as well.