The Common Oven Mitt Mistake You're Probably Making

Most committed home cooks have certain procedures to keep their kitchen in tip-top shape, like not putting their best knives in the dishwasher, cleaning the knobs with the rest of the oven, and always making sure the oven remains spotless. There are many components to keeping a kitchen clean, especially after cooking a week's worth of homemade meals, but there's one essential kitchen tool that you might overlook during your cleaning routine: your oven mitt.

You might think an oven mitt with brown stains shows that you're a real home chef, but it doesn't look very appealing to guests or in your Instagram-worthy shot of your latest home-cooked meal. Appearance isn't the only reason why you need to routinely wash your oven mitt, however, because there are also health and safety factors to consider. All of those brown smears and stains could contain harmful bacteria, which could make it into your baking dish when your thumb accidentally touches the baked macaroni and cheese as you remove it from the oven. And, a dirty oven mitt can also lead to cross-contamination between dishes.

Wash oven mitts weekly to keep them clean and aesthetically pleasing

The best option is to wash your oven mitts weekly, just like you do with your dish towels (hopefully). There's not a lot of science behind how to wash the mitts — they can simply be tossed in with the rest of your laundry. To prevent any permanent stains or food buildup, use your go-to stain remover or baking soda on the mitt before you toss it in the washer. Alternatively, hand wash the oven mitt with warm water and detergent in your kitchen sink and let it air dry before you use it to pull out a piping hot dish again.

These tips go for both the handmade oven mitt your grandma gifted you when you moved into your first apartment and the upgraded silicone mitts you might use today. You should always check the tag or packaging for any specific cleaning instructions so it's not ruined during cleaning. And, if your oven mitt is still browned and stained after it comes out of the washer, then take our advice and upgrade your kitchen with a new one. Now that you know how to keep them clean, consider the difference between oven mitts and gloves.