Cooking clean-up

Posted by: Andy

Cooking clean-up - 08/18/09 11:25 PM

Seemed appropriate for this forum. A friend at work inherited a small garage/service station with a paint booth when his father died. He doesn't run it as a business, but tinkers around with neighbors and friend's cars. I was walking by last week as he was talking to someone else about the garage and I circled back to listen. They were talking about sandblasting media.

I talked him out of a baggie full and took it camping last weekend. It was crushed walnut shells. I let my Ti pot dry and used a palmful and a small washcloth to scrub out the food residue. It worked great. I have read about using sand or small gravel to clean pots but dry, clean sand or gravel is not something you find laying around out here. I never thought about packing my own in.

Bad? part is, it costs $30 for a 15-pound bag. That's enough for two lifetimes. I'm going to check the next Cabela's catalog for abrasive media that they sell for polishing cartridge cases for reloading ammunition. It should be a smaller quantity and hopefully cheaper.

Best! part was that I did not have to tap into the water supply to wash up. And infinitely biodegradable. Bonus!

He also has crushed corncob; I thought it was too soft. Might be all right for the coated cookware though. For your consideration...
Posted by: Pika

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/19/09 09:33 AM

Most of the polishing compounds that I am familiar with contain more than just crushed walnut shells or corn cobs. Most of them contain at the least a compound called jewelers rouge and some of them other polishing facilitators as well. I don't know the chemistry of these additives but I suspect that they are not benign. I do know that they leave a residue on the polished surface. Plain soil seems a safer pot cleaner to me. I would use these compounds cautiously if at all.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/19/09 05:03 PM


There are sponges with an abrasive surface on one side. They weigh a lot less than sand and are designed for doing dishes and don't weigh much.
Posted by: lori

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/19/09 06:13 PM

Trim down a scrubby designed for nonstick cookware to a square inch. One scrubby will make a few of these, for less than a dollar at the dollar store.
Posted by: sarbar

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/19/09 07:31 PM

Yep, cut one in 1/4's.

Even better? I actually found a sponge at Wal-Mart in the camping section that is preloaded with camp suds, where you rip a section off. It is prescored and everything. For those who like a little woods friendly soap it is something to look into (or for car camping). It was under $2 if I remember...
Posted by: Fiddleback

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/20/09 10:58 AM

On the other hand, my internet friends like above taught me that I can eat very well and not do any 'cooking clean-up'...'cept for spoon lickin'. smile

Posted by: sarbar

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/20/09 04:51 PM

Originally Posted By Fiddleback
On the other hand, my internet friends like above taught me that I can eat very well and not do any 'cooking clean-up'...'cept for spoon lickin'. smile


Oh yes indeedy-do! grin grin FBC!
Posted by: Andy

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/21/09 10:03 PM

Kids don't do so hot, eating out of bags. Need something little more durable, little less spilly, little less hole-pokey-leaky.

Pika - MSDS sheet for this particular brand lists milled walnut shells with no additives; also listed as a pet-food filler and natural cosmetic additive (exfoliant), among other things. Also finding many similiar items made from milled fruit pits.

Jimshaw - I have not found any scrubbies for dry use with no water, if you have a particular brand to recommend I will happily try it.

Rubbing soil into your cooking gear is just begging for ringworm.
Posted by: sarbar

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/21/09 10:40 PM

Long handled spoon. No pokies.
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/22/09 03:27 PM

When you are packing their packs instead of packing ditty bags or whatever you put their stuff in, you can replace them with a medium sized plastic bowl and put stuff like clothes and other things inside the bowl (so that it does not take up any additional space) and it also should not add much weight to their packs either. Just a thought to help with your pokey holeys...sabre11004... goodjob goodjob goodjob
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/22/09 03:31 PM

Hey, Jimshaw, that's a great thought. Light, small, and what??? Made to do dishes. I think that I like that idea...sabre11004 goodjob
Posted by: Andy

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/23/09 08:37 PM

I guess my whole thing, and this got a little sidetracked, was cleaning up with no water.
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/24/09 11:20 AM

I don't know about you, but I think that if I have "no" water, I would be at least a little concerned. With that being said, I think that I am going to, from this day forward, use a diet of totally dehydrated food and only boil water when I am on the trail for more than a couple of days. This avoids any kind of clean up being necessary except for maybe wiping out my "Heinie" pot with a paper towel or whatever I have.. I think I will leave the gourmet cooking to car camping with the exception of maybe a special occasion...sabre11004 awesome awesome
Posted by: Andy

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/24/09 08:31 PM

Be sure to take your two kids along with you, and see how much you enjoy lugging the extra water.

And yes, Ohio was hammered yet again for Atrazine in surface water and some municipal supplies. Any reason why I would want my kids to drink it? Or, wash dishes with it?
Posted by: Paul

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/24/09 11:39 PM

with my kids, ee use plastic containers with lids - the ones we use at home for leftovers. When done eating, pour in some warm water, put the lid on, swirl around, pour out and there you go.
Posted by: sarbar

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/24/09 11:57 PM

I don't worry about the water where my son and I hike 99% of the time - only in one small area do I pack in water - and we go there in winter so it isn't an issue. Everywhere else the water is cleaner than at home.
On filtering I rarely do that either these days, I use MicroPur tablets.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/25/09 12:19 PM

My son doesn't like eating cooked meals when hiking. He likes bars. Since my goal is for him to enjoy the trip, I only give him food he likes. So, I cook for myself, and he eats no-cook.
Posted by: Trailrunner

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/26/09 05:04 PM

Sounds like your needs are the same as anyone hiking in a desert with no water.

With proper meal planning, experience and practice very little of your total water consumption should go to washing dishes. We're talking ounces. And when the water has done its job you can dump it instead of carrying it out like the media.

Posted by: JPete

Re: Cooking clean-up - 08/28/09 04:40 PM

My favorite method is my tea (or coffee) bag. Something about the residual tea seems effective in removing anything I'm worried about(usually a little bit of grease). But since the next thing I'm going to do with the pot is boil water, I don't worry too much...mostly aesthetics and keeping the pot bag clean.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Cooking clean-up - 02/24/10 09:28 PM

After camping above tree line in glaciated country for 40 years I now in Oregon, land of pine trees and moss. There was no sand on the McKenzie river to clean my pot with! I'm gonna start carrying a small pice of kitchen scratchy sponge.
Posted by: phat

Re: Cooking clean-up - 02/24/10 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By Jimshaw
I'm gonna start carrying a small pice of kitchen scratchy sponge.

Take one of those red plastic mesh bags onions come in. put your pots inside it and use it to carry your cooking crap. now wad it up it makes a dandy scrubby.. there - dual use.

Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Cooking clean-up - 02/24/10 10:06 PM

good idea but I don't need a bag to put my pan in. Is it still dual use if you don't need both uses? Besides wouldn't it get food smell on it and them onto the gear in my pack? Still a great suggestion though... Actually I use those expanded plastic grocery bags whenever I need a bag.
Posted by: phat

Re: Cooking clean-up - 02/25/10 12:13 AM

It's just plastic wire- not a sponge. I don't figure it's gonna hold any more odor than your scrubbed pan will.
Posted by: skippy

Re: Cooking clean-up - 02/25/10 04:24 AM

I just use a very small piece of one of those green scratchy, scrubby things for cleaning pots and pans. But I do use a smidgen of agua.