No one hates cleaning the kitchen more than I do. But, I’ve learned some tips and tricks that can make this task a little more bearable and save some money!
First, nothing beats a great-smelling kitchen. I used to clean and when I was finished, I’d freshen the air. Now I’ve discovered that if the kitchen smells great before I begin, it’s more enjoyable to work in. I combine water, orange (or lemon) peels and a few cinnamon sticks and heat to just a boil and then simmer it on the stove while I’m cleaning. When I don’t have fresh peels, I use a teaspoon full of vanilla. It’s so much nicer to smell this scent than one of dirty sponges and cleansers!
I usually have extra rind pieces left over and I throw those rinds with some ice into the garbage disposal. The disposal will smell fresh and clean the blades in the garbage disposal. I also put a piece of the rind in my bag of brown sugar which keeps the brown sugar from hardening.
And for a fresher microwave, I put a teaspoonful of vanilla in a cup of water and microwave on high for two or three minutes until it boils. I let it sit for a few hours and the steam loosens any stuck-on gunk in the microwave leaving a fresh scent!
I use my dishwasher to clean nearly everything in the house that will fit inside of it. Sponges, candlesticks, burner pans from the stove, the stove knobs, vases – as long as its glass or plastic, it will clean up nicely in the dishwasher. Of course, I make sure I have a full load before I run the dishwasher to save money.
To clean the inside of my dishwasher, once every six months when the dishwasher is empty, I fill the detergent cap with a package of powered orange or lemon drink mix (without the sugar) and run it through a normal cycle. The citric acid removes all stains and makes my dishwasher sparkle. It seems to remove deposits inside too!
Speaking of powered orange or lemon drink mix, add a package to a little hot water to form a paste and then put in on burned on food in the bottom of your oven. After 10 or 15 minutes you can wipe the food and grime right out with a wet paper towel. It sure smells better than store-bought oven cleaner!
I recently bought some Copper Cleaner hoping that it would help clean up the bottoms of my copper bottom pans. It did a good job, but the stains came back within days of cleaning them. Someone suggested I spread a little ketchup on the bottom, let it sit for 30 minutes and then rinse it clean and dry right away. It worked so well, I use ketchup on copper all the time now!
To keep plastic food storage tubs looking clean, before pouring in tomato sauce (which will leave a permanent red stain) spray the inside of the tub with some cooking spray (like Pam). If you do have a tomato-stained plastic tub, place it directly the sun all day and the sun will bleach it clean.
I love seeing my faucets gleaming, but it never seems to last. I’ve found that after cleaning the faucets with a used dryer sheet or a little glass cleaner on a paper towel; rub the fixtures with wax paper then buff. It prevents water spots from forming. I also use wax paper to buff my tile floors after cleaning them, makes them shine like crazy. I don’t own a mop, but I do use a Swiffer wet mop to clean my floors in minutes, yet it looks like I spend hours cleaning them!
I used to clean out my coffee pot by running vinegar through it occasionally, but I found I would have to run at least two or three carafes of water through it to get rid of the vinegar taste. Now I buy cheap denture cleaning tablets at the Dollar Store and dissolve two in the carafe and then pour through the coffee pot. No taste remains at all and your pot and carafe will be sparkling!
Coming up next will be tips on cooking that help avoid spills and even more cleaning!