The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

cleaning the dough

jonesy's picture

cleaning the dough

How do you clean a sponge, scourer or brush after use? I seem to spend 15 minutes making my dough, and 30 minutes cleaning the dough from my cloths, brushes etc. Apart from general long soak, is there something I should know?  Just newly into baking, and I love it. Regards

PaddyL's picture

Clean anything doughy with cold water.  Or let your sponges, scourers, and brushes dry then scrape off the dough.

AnnaInMD's picture


LindyD's picture

I stay away from sponges. They are just too tough to clean. I use a plastic scrubber that is made of a heavy duty netting for getting the heavy stuff off. I rinse out my bowls, Danish dough hook, scrapers, etc. in cold water, then they go into a hot soapy water soak. I know that a lot of people claim cold water is the key, but for me, hot soapy water is a faster clean up.

One thing I forgot to mention was that my Oxo silicone sink strainer makes getting all that goopy dough into the trash a cinch.


AnnaInMD's picture

I  LOVE   my Oxy silicone sink strainer, the best since baked bread ??  hehe


possum-liz's picture

I try to avoid water in the clean up until the very last.  Scrape everything down with a spatula, plastic dough tool, metal tool or paint scraper depending on how dry things are. I don't use much cloth but cover mainly with oiled plastic wrap. 

Stuck on dried starter really needs a good soak.


Paddyscake's picture

I always fill bowls and soak utensils in water immediately, until I can get to wash them. I found that sponges, even ones with scotchgard on one side, clean up when rubbed against a wooden cutting board (an incidental find when washing up the cutting board I used for shaping).


gaaarp's picture

I took a bread class, and the instructor insisted that you should never let dough go down the drain ("Remember from Kindergarten -- flour and water makes paste).  That said, I try to clean as much dough from my hands and utinsils as possible, but I still end up washing bits of dough down the drain.  I let my bowls sit until the dough dries, then I scrape most of it into the trash and rinse the rest down the drain.

deblacksmith's picture

A well designed and constructed drain system shouldn't have a problem with dough.  (Now watch mine plug up tomorrow.)  This is provided you use a reasonable amount of water to flush it with.  It will bio-degrade just like any orgainic compound.  I have always felt that putting sourdough starter down the drain was a good thing for our septic system.  Grease is NOT.  


chickie's picture

If a cleaning sponge or nylon cleaning brush of mine gets really messy I stick it in the dishwasher (bottom rack) after rinsing off what I can.  I hate wasting water to just get gunk off something so I tend not to spend too much time on it and I've found that my dishwasher can mostly dissolve the really stubborn stuff.

Something I've recently figured out:  the nylon mesh bag that some produce comes in (garlic or onions, for example) or a turkey or ham?  That, cut up, makes an incredible first run at anything messy.  Just cut it into hand-size pieces and use it to scrub the really messy things off a pan/bowl/plate, etc.  Then it can either be tossed or rinsed to use again.  The dish itself is then conducive to being cleaned with my normal cleaning tool, an OXO sponge-on-a-soap-filled-handle.

For my cast-iron skillet, I use very coarse salt and scrub it around with a good paper towel or a washcloth I use for various heavy kitchen duty and this makes me think it would also work for getting something icky off before digging in with a sponge?  YMMV


AnnaInMD's picture

>> Just cut it into hand-size pieces and use it to scrub the really messy things off a pan/bowl/plate<<   I wrap around a sponge for a bit easier to handle with that extra volume, then into the dishwasher :)




Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

Use Pot scrubers and collect everything.
Silicone scrapers help to eliminate all waste from your bowls.

Anything that is left over, let it dry, then give it back to nature, not the garbage.

Take "tainted" dough outside and toss it in the wind near trees. ;-)

MommaT's picture


I always scrape as much as I can with the rubber spatula, then short soak in hot water and more scraping with rubber spatula (or rub with my hand).  Then a dish brush to get rid of the rest of the gunk before washing with a sponge.

THE KEY has been finding a dish brush that works.  After years of throwing out Rubbermaid dish brushes because the dough collects in furry little clumps, I have discovered a very inexpensive dish brush in the grocery store that works.  The dough rubs right off!  I don't recall the brand of this one, but I did also buy the Clorox dish brush and it has the same type of slick bristles.  After cleaning the bowl with the brush, I immediately run the brush under warm water and use my hands to pull out any sticky dough.  This always results in a clean brush - a far cry from my previous experience.

So, buy a cheap dish brush with slick bristles.


AnnaInMD's picture

dodah's picture

my one use for bleach (besides painting clothes_; a quart jar of glass, cold water first, add bleach ~1:6, soak anything grungy from the sink overnight.  Dough problem on sponges and brushes, and metal ware dissolved and perfectly sterile for the next year, er, month or week or whatever.... /for everything else it's vinegar or citric acid from a pump sprayer and ground salt from a pepper-mill. + borax, sometimes baking-soda.

cleaning as you go streamlines work when cooking for a few, keeping things fluid and easily transported to drain of choice. this leaves the sink clear all the while.  when you are done with cooking, you are generally done with prep dishes also.  there are exceptions, like the weeks old counter top sourgh-dough in the thin glass beaker that indeed looks very cool with it's fortress of concrete crust. I suppose a gentle water boil is the way forward with this as overnight soaking only brings laughter from my attic.  tomorrow is waffle day!  YAY!!