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    14 Tips That Will Make Doing Thanksgiving Dishes So Much Easier

    Make your kitchen work for you.

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    1. Wash all of your dish towels the day or night before, so you know you won't run out.

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    And make sure you own more than just two towels — if you don't, it might be helpful to stock up. These are recommended by The Sweethome, and are $16 for a set of four.

    2. Get yourself a bench scraper before the big day.

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    Chef Jamie Bissonnette uses his to easily grab a bunch of stuff from a cutting board all at once, whether it's headed to the pan or the recycling bin. Cleaning food scraps as you go will make it easier to get everything else clean later. Get more cooking tips from actual chefs here.

    3. And a garbage bowl, which will save you time cooking AND cleaning.

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    If you don't know what a garbage bowl is, learn more at The Kitchn.

    4. Line any and all slow cookers before you start adding any ingredients to them.

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    Liners make it infinitely easier to clean your slow cooker. And you can easily cook two things at once, or at least keep two different dips warm on the table — learn how to do it here, and get liners here for $6.50.

    5. Add 2 cups of water to your roasting pan before you let the turkey do its thing in the oven.

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    It will help prevent burns on your pan, and will give you more tasty stuff for making gravy. Get the recipe for this delicious roast turkey here.

    6. Or, completely cover your roasting pan with foil before you put the turkey on it.

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    Then when it's all said and done, you can just pull the foil off and have just a thin layer of grease to contend with. From here.

    7. Before you cook anything in a dish that isn't covered in foil, spritz the pan down with cooking spray.

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    It will make anything unexpected come off the pan so much more easily. Here's a homemade recipe, but store-bought also works wonders!

    8. Line a cup with foil before you start cooking, and use it as your grease-dump spot through the whole cooking process.

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    Then when you're done cooking, you simply ball it up and toss it. From here.

    9. Set out a dish tub full of hot, sudsy water before you start cooking, and drop dirty dishes in there as you go.

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    Then if you have someone on dishes duty, they can wash as dishes get dropped in, or at least rinse and load the dishwasher. These tubs are $8.99 at Ikea, but you can also find tubs at Walmart and Target.

    10. If you don't use disposable cutlery, have everyone put their silverware in a colander when they clear their place.

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    This makes it easy to pre-rinse it all before you wash it however you're going to wash it (whether that's by hand or in the dishwasher). Get more dishwasher-loading tips here.

    11. Follow this guide to make sure you're loading your dishwasher as efficiently as possible.

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    Get as many dishes in as possible without compromising your dishwasher's ability to do it's job. This varies a bit depending on your dishwasher model, so you can also double check your dishwasher's user manual for the best loading configurations. But if you're not sure where that is, you can learn more about these four basic rules at Good Housekeeping.

    12. When you're ready to start hand washing, start with the cleanest, least-greasy dishes first.

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    This leaves your sink, sponge, dishwater, etc. all cleaner than washing the dirtiest dish first would. Get more handwashing tips here.

    13. If you have an incredibly dirty pot or pan with cooked on gunk that just won't come off, try boiling a water and baking soda mixture in it.

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    Read more about why this works at Martha Stewart.

    14. Have a plastic pan scraper or some other non-scratch way to clean your pans nearby.

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    These won't damage your nonstick pans as long as the scrapers are plastic, and they are really helpful when you run into sticky food that even the tough side of the sponge can't tackle. This one's just $1.95 here.

    You can make your kitchen work for you!

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    And remember, after cleanup is done, you can go FINALLY relax!

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