Clean-Up Tips!!

Decorating By HollyPJ Updated 6 Sep 2005 , 5:36pm by jekizer

HollyPJ Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 1:47am
post #1 of 29

(Pun intended!)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't stand the post-cake clean-up. You know--the frosting-encrusted decorating bags, the powdered sugar dust all over the kitchen, the cake crumbs in your hair...ok, maybe that last one's just me. lol icon_biggrin.gif

Anyway, I'm starting this thread so we can exchange ideas for making clean-up less agravating, more efficient, and faster!

I'm an amateur decorator who does cakes for family and friends (I don't do paid orders). I'd love to hear from everyone, regardless of professional or amateur status!

I know there are some great ideas out there...

28 replies
scoobam Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 1:50am
post #2 of 29

Check out this post....

I am now a firm believer in microwave cleaning!! thumbs_up.gif

or if the link isn't working..

Go to search and seach out the words microwave tips together. and select the "search all terms" option... there will be a big post... "cleaning tips and couplers"

As far as the rest of it... that's what my husband it for!! icon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif

blittle6 Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 2:23am
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I keep a big bowl beside me as I work where I toss in used measuring cups, teaspoons, and smaller bowls. It helps keep the mess somewhat contained. must have gotten a husband "upgrade"....mine just shuts down near the!!!


susanmm23 Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 2:44am
post #4 of 29

Havent tried this yet but a friend of mine lays was paper out on her counters to catch the dust and icing. when she is done she just throws all the wax paper in the trash. keeps her counters clean.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 3:04am
post #5 of 29

Clean Up Tips
1. Make the cakes at someone else's house and leave once the cake is decorated.
2. Get a husband upgrade, hadn't thought of that one but I like it. Does Richard Gere know his way around the kitchen? Well it doesn't really matter, I would clean-up the kitchen in a better mood if he was around.
3. Call insurance company and have them send someone out, tell them your house was broken into by a mad cake baking bandit.
4. Hire a maid.

HollyPJ Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 3:23am
post #6 of 29

LOL! Those are great tips. icon_smile.gif

melodyscakes Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 3:51am
post #7 of 29

squirly cakes your so funny! thanks for the laugh!!!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 5:14am
post #8 of 29

Sorry, didn't mean to take away from a great post idea, I was just thinking we could use a laugh today.
Now a serious tip that other folks have used before, cover the head and loosely around the bowl of your mixer, with a damp towel or cloth to limit the amount of flying powdered sugar. Measure out your ingredients and put the big containers away as you measure them out, so you have less to put away when you are done.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

tastycakes Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 5:21am
post #9 of 29

I agree with Squirrelly, you really need to clean as you go along. If you empty your dishwasher before you start decorating, it'll be less of a hassle, do you can just drop things in there as you go. When I'm really ambitious I fill the sink with hot soapy water - so things don't get crusty, and I make sure the trash can is emptied - because it sucks when the bag is overful and egg shells start falling out allover your floor! Seems like a waste to clean your kitchen first, but it makes it easier to concentrate, which speeds things along!

LittleLinda Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 11:46am
post #10 of 29

When washing my bags by hand, I put dishwashing liquid in the bag then roll the bag between my hands so the dishwashing liquid is completely coating the inside of the bag. I rinse and scrunch up the bag to get the coupler out. It's not slimy by then and I don't mind touching it. Then turn the bag inside out and completely wash it. Invert back to outside-out and stand up to dry.

Soak the couplers and tips in a cup with dishwashing liquid and a little water...enough to cover the tips and couplers. When the grease is gone, I throw them in the dishwasher in a safe compartment. For the tips with smaller openings if the grease doesn't dissolve, I use a pipe cleaner with dishwashing liquid.

Best tip I've learned is the roll my buttercream in plastic wrap and drop the plastic wrap into the bag. When it's gone, just pull out the plastic wrap and throw it away. Except for near the tip, the bag is quite clean. Just add more frosting by putting another glob in plastic wrap.

cakegal Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 12:33pm
post #11 of 29

I'm a wild baker I guess...
I try to keep everything contained..
If I have several cakes to bake I keep my measuring cups, spoons, flavorings, one area on my counter. pans are on my table along with my cooling racks.... I kind of work like a one girl assembly then when I'm on the last cake, everything goes into the sink...
Then after decorating my cakes.... I keep what icing in bags that I will take with me to set up cakes......put that in a zip lock bag...take my carrying case with everything in that aside... put everything in the sink filled with hot soapy water... the tips I do in the microwave now... I love how you don't have to do anything to them when they're done....and wipe out the's cleaned now too...
I do hate the clean up process...but no one else is gonna do I just dig in and clean up my mess...but I try not to make a big mess....LOL..

rbbarker Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 1:00pm
post #12 of 29

Come now Squirrelly...can we agree on "spouse upgrade?"

"2. Get a husband upgrade, hadn't thought of that one but I like it. Does Richard Gere know his way around the kitchen? Well it doesn't really matter, I would clean-up the kitchen in a better mood if he was around."

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 2:21pm
post #13 of 29

Haha rbbarker,
Well, you can go for a spouse upgrade too, I just didn't think Richard Gere was your type, haha! Hhmn, Angelina Jolie? Your wife is going to kill me, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

Sangria Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 5:03pm
post #14 of 29

My number one cleaning tip...

Turn on the air, put in your favorite cd, and have a glass of wine. I also clean as I go.

Beecharmer Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 6:29pm
post #15 of 29

I have a fear of my sink getting clogged, so I try to get as much of the icing out as possible. I turn my bags inside out and lay them on paper towels. Then I use a metal cookie spatula to scrape the icing off. To get the icing out of tips, I swirl a toothpick around and most of it will come out in one glob. Then I soak everything in a bowl of hot water & dish detergent. I throw the water outside (not down the drain) and soak again if necessary. The only draw back is that I have thrown my tips out before.

Fishercakes Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 6:58pm
post #16 of 29

Beecharmer: I have learned my lesson the hard way as far as letting it go down the drain. After hearing hubby $%#@$%#@ for about 20 minutes while taking the pipes under sink apart to unclog the drain. He pulled out a perfectly mold shape of my pipes in grease. My son walked into the kitchen and thought that I had rolled butter up into a tube shape until I told him what it was. You should have seen the look on his face after that one. icon_lol.gif

Now I microwave the tips, that tip was a godsend!! Can we microwave the couplers and bags too?? icon_wink.gif I still use the sink and let everything go down the drain but now it is followed faithfully by 10 minutes of super hot water going down the drain behind it.

I only accidently threw my tips out the door once. I discovered it the next morning on my way to work in the driveway. The chickens had a field day with pecking it to death. Little devils, icon_evil.gif they will try to eat anything!!!

LittleLinda Posted 2 Sep 2005 , 7:42pm
post #17 of 29


I'm with you. I dump as much icing as possible in the trash, not in the sink. I just paid $18,000 for a new septic system. I don't blame icing on the failure; but it was a wake up call. I don't go as far as dumping the water outside; but I did during the time my between when my septic failed and the new one was ready to use.

Beecharmer Posted 3 Sep 2005 , 2:48pm
post #18 of 29

I didn't think you could put metal in a microwave.

NottawaChelle Posted 3 Sep 2005 , 10:31pm
post #19 of 29

After squeezing all the icing out of the bags (tips off), I then use the hot water tap running into the bag to clear out the rest of the icing as I work the bag to inside-out in order to get the other half of the coupler out. The bag is pretty clean by then and easy to wash in sudsy water. Then I use the microwave method (thank you, thank you, thank you whoever first thought of sharing this idea) for both the tips and couplers. Boy does that clean things out well!

All the other little bowls and things that need cleaning -- isn't that what children are for?!?! icon_lol.gif They love licking them clean and then our "dishwashing kid of the month" gets to wash up.

tastycakes Posted 3 Sep 2005 , 10:44pm
post #20 of 29

If you do more than a cake or two at a time I think that's considered child labor! UNless they are over 10, then go for it! My kids are like flies when I have icing out, if I let them lick all they wanted they'd be diabetics by now!!!
I love the new microwave tip cleaning method, but I also like putting them in the dishwasher inside of the little basket that was formerly used for pacifiers and bottle parts!
I just found out that letting them go down the disposal doesn't do any good for tips.

dragonwarlord1969 Posted 3 Sep 2005 , 11:07pm
post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by blittle6

I keep a big bowl beside me as I work where I toss in used measuring cups, teaspoons, and smaller bowls. It helps keep the mess somewhat contained. must have gotten a husband "upgrade"....mine just shuts down near the!!!


Since I'm a husband, does that mean I get a wife "upgrade" to clean up after me? icon_razz.gifthumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif


HollyPJ Posted 4 Sep 2005 , 4:57am
post #22 of 29

Sure! Take whatever sort of imaginary upgrade you need. icon_smile.gif

Our local utility company (water) has asked us not to put frostings, salad dressing, and other fats down the drain because they create buildup in pipes and treatment plants! I never would have thought of that...

Thanks for all your good ideas so far.

I thought of one thing I do when cleaning up a powdery or crumby countertop: I take a piece of cardboard or something else with a firm, straight edge and use it to scrape all the dry junk off the counter into the garbage can.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Sep 2005 , 5:41am
post #23 of 29

there is a tool called a bench scraper that professional bakers use for various things including cleaning off the work surface. It is rectangular, usually has a rubber or plastic handle and a metal blade. Not that I would recommend using it on all counter surfaces, it would likely scratch a few, but your cardboard idea is a take on these. There is also those plastic scapers that some folks use amongst other things, to apply icing to their cakes and to smooth their cakes. But hey, cardboard works well too!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

JennT Posted 4 Sep 2005 , 6:31am
post #24 of 29

aaahhh...Squirrellycakes...exactly what I was going to say!! haha... I use my bench scaper (metal) and if it's not handy - whenever you purchase Pampered Chef stoneware, it comes with these pretty sturdy little square plastic scrapers to clean the stoneware with...they work wonders on countertops...especiallly granite. The edges of them are rounded and because they're a little bit thicker than a plastic bench scraper you can really put some elbow grease into them without bending them...when you've got something stuck to the counter top. I just spray the stuck on whatever it is with just a little bit of cleaner and go to town!

Also, a tip for white counters or cabinetry....when your red or black or blue or purple or other brightly colored icing gets flung around the room (whether by a mishap with your mixer or your 5 yr old - don't ask!!) even after using a household cleaner, there still can be a stain from the coloring. I keep a little spray bottle of undiluted lemon juice in the fridge and just spray the spot and let it sit for as long as possible...sometimes overnight. The natural whitening agents in the lemon juice just make the stain disappear! And it doesn't harm the least it didn't with me! icon_smile.gif

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Sep 2005 , 6:39am
post #25 of 29

And if the lemon juice doesn't work, baking soda will, but again, certain surfaces it will scratch. I tend to soak a dishcloth in bleach and just place it on the counter to get rid of these stains, but bleach on certain hard arbourite surfaces, will discolour the surface so you really need to know what you can safely use on your countertop or work surface.
Chances are if you really like your counter surface, anything will ruin it. If you really hate your counter surface and are looking for any possible reason to get rid of it, nothing will harm it, go figure, haha! I have one of those, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

LittleLinda Posted 4 Sep 2005 , 3:36pm
post #26 of 29

I save those plastic "dummy" credit cards you get in the mail and use those for scraping. They work great for scraping the sides of the pans too.

MoonicaLeigh Posted 6 Sep 2005 , 2:39pm
post #27 of 29

I have to say I am with Sangria on this one!! =o) Love that idea!!! and I AM the dishwasher around my house, so I am DEFIANTELY going to try the microwave thing!! and I can't wait!!

I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who lets them SOAK for a while, and even lets the icing get crusty every now and then =o) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA icon_wink.gif

Calejo Posted 6 Sep 2005 , 5:25pm
post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by Beecharmer

I didn't think you could put metal in a microwave.

You can if they're in a microwave safe bowl and there is enough water to cover them generously.

jekizer Posted 6 Sep 2005 , 5:36pm
post #29 of 29

The microwave thing is the best tip I have gotten off of this website. It is a little scary the first time you do it... but it works like a charm.

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