Jul 28, 2023

The Produce Bag Hack That Will Make Your Pans Spotless

Cleaning a pot or pan with stuck-on food and grease can be nothing short of a nightmare. And while nonstick cookware is plenty popular, it doesn't always cook food quite the same way that a metal pan does; they each conduct heat and cook certain foods differently. If you're cooking steak, you might want to do so in a metal pan — but that also means a more intensive cleanup. Thankfully, you don't have to look far for the perfect pot scrubber. You can make a homemade version using those mesh bags that often house bulk produce at the grocery store. All you need is a sponge and a zip tie for the perfect way to clean your pots.

The material from both the sponge and the mesh will help remove those stuck-on stains from your pans. It will work on plenty of ingredients, including grease or burnt butter, and it's easy to make.

If you've ever perused your grocery store's produce section, you've likely noticed there are two options when it comes to purchasing some fruits. You can hand-select them one by one, then pay by weight or number at the checkout counter, or you can buy one bulk bag (this is especially common with citrus fruits and avocados) and just scan the price tag when you go to check out. If you're someone who chooses the latter, don't throw away that mesh bag when you get home.

Instead, Leanne Stapf, the Vice President of Operations for The Cleaning Authority, has a better idea. She told Apartment Therapy to turn the mesh bag into a pot scubber. Place the sponge in the mesh bag, then "clip the edges off the bag, bunch it together so it looks like a bow-tie, and secure it with a twist tie," she said.

The result is a perfectly usable cleaning tool that you can grip better than a standard sponge. Plus, the two textures of the mesh and sponge work to remove stains more efficiently.

Produce is a grocery store essential, so you might find yourself with more of those mesh bags than you need — and you only need so many pot scrubbers. Sure, you can save them as replacements for when your current pot scrubber gets too old, but there are also other uses for them — including if you're growing your own produce.

If you're growing fruits and vegetables but can't seem to keep the birds from pecking at the fresh produce, the mesh netting is a great deterrent. Hello Homestead says to wrap it loosely around your plant, which will prevent birds from wanting to peck at your fruits or veggies. Also, if your pots have drainage holes that are too large, the mesh provides a great base to prevent soil from falling out of the holes.

Simply add the netting to the bottom of the pot, then fill it with soil; the netting will act as a barrier and prevent the soil from falling out of the pot with the water.