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Cleaning Up Cooking Oil

What’s the best way to clean up an oil slick in the kitchen if you, say, drop a bottle of vegetable oil?

Cleaning up an oil spill in the kitchen starts in much the same way as cleaning up an oil spill in the ocean: containment. Kitty litter, sawdust, and specialized products work fine to soak up spilled oil, but when there is a greasy tide spreading across the floor, look no further than your pantry. Sprinkle the puddle with salt, flour, or baking soda. The mixture of oil and salt, baking soda, or flour is easy to sweep up; it’s roughly the consistency of damp sand. When we tried it in the test kitchen, we found that oil soaked up with baking soda left virtually no grease spot behind; our science editor explained that baking soda’s high surface area and porosity make it suitable for soaking up spills. Soaked up with salt or flour, a spill will leave behind a greasy spot that you can easily remove with glass cleaner or a damp towel and dish soap.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Contain spilled oil by sprinkling it with salt, flour, or baking soda. Use glass cleaner or dish soap to remove any residual grease.

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