I hope this is an appropriate question for the site.

Today I was cooking pasta. To begin with, I filled a pot of water and placed the lid on top. Then I cranked the heat up until the water was rapidly boiling. At this point, I was of the opinion that the lid was still clean. I'd even argue it very clean, as it had been 'steam cleaned' and the high temperature would (in my mind) probably kill some germs.

A roommate of mine disagreed.

Is the lid dirty?

  • What does your roommate wash his/her dishes with?
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 19:40
  • 2
    As long as there wasn't pasta in the pot, should be fine. If it's a glass lid, it may get spots.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 19:43
  • Can you clarify whether it's just water or water and salt, pasta, etc...?
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 21:52
  • Plain tap water (the same water that would be used to wash the lid)
    – Rob P.
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


It depends. In a commercial setting - definitely not. In a private one, well, you have some leeway. However when cooking pasta you might want to add some salt and/or olive oil to the water, which might get on the lid. Also pasta might release some starch while being cooked, which might also stain the lid.

In your case I'd say it was as good as clean, however depending on how greasy your fingers are you might consider giving the top a little scrub while cooling it down with some cold water before storing it.

Also if if pot wasn't quite clean that might affect things, but essentially you've steam-cleaned the underside of the lid, and if you weren't cooking anything splashing grease around your kitchen even the top might be cleaner than when you started.

So in conclusion, it depends. Unless you can document the states of the lid and kitchen, and what criteria should be used for "clean", all any answer here can hope to achieve is give basis for opinions you and/or your roommate(s) still have to choose between =P

  • 1
    Adding olive oil to the water? I'm sure that myth died centuries ago 😉
    – Doug
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 13:00
  • 1
    I'm not so sure the practice did though, I usually just douse it with butter when it's done anyway ^^
    – simonra
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 14:32

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