Having a little problem keeping your kitchen as clean as you would like it to be? Here are a few simple tips that just might help you.
FAST REFRIGERATOR CLEANUP:
First unplug the fridge for safety.
It’s easiest when food stocks are low. So doing this the day before you go grocery shopping makes the most sense.
Remove all food, store perishables in a cooler. If you don’t have a cooler, place them in a laundry basket lined with a thick towel and then cover with another towel. This will help keep the cold products cold.
Remove shelves and drawers and wash in warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry. While they are drying, wash the interior of the refrigerator. Take care with the door seals; use a damp cloth or a soft toothbrush to clean.
With the refrigerator empty, it should be fairly easy to pull it out, so you can wipe down the sides you don’t normally see. Also this is an ideal time to clean the floor underneath and vacuum the coils with the soft brush attachment. This will allow your refrigerator to run more efficiently and save you those all important pennies.
SQUEAKY CLEAN SURFACES:
Remove loose food remains by scooping the crumbs into your hand. Use a cloth or a damp paper towel. Try to avoid sweeping the debris onto the floor.
Use a cotton weave dishcloth with hot, soapy water for wiping surfaces. A waffle weave provides a slight abrasion, helping to remove dirt. You could use one of those new sprays on the market, but they cost money and good old soap and water has been around for years.
Keep two separate cloths near the sink. One for dishes and one for wiping down surfaces. (To clean up after cutting raw meat, use a paper towel first and discard).
You can wipe surfaces down with a dry paper towel, or wait a couple of minutes and the air will dry it. Why waste a paper towel? Save a penny and keep the paper out of landfill.
SPOTLESS SPARKLING SINKS:
For removing lime scale from chrome kitchen faucets, use a lemon. Rub half a lemon on your taps and leave or a few minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Repeat as necessary. (Do not use this on plated faucets, it could damage them).
White vinegar is great for removing lime scale from chrome and stainless steel. Rub on with a soft cloth, leave for a few hours, and then rinse thoroughly. Will also remove water marks from stainless sinks and drains. You might remember what the Navy does and try alcohol.
To remove rust spots from stainless, use a little lighter fluid. Be sure to clean well after using, it has a greasy residue.
To restore whiteness to a ceramic sink, simply fill with cold water and add ½ – 1 cup of bleach. Leave to soak.
Use a bottle brush to clean inside drains and overflow holes.
Keep drains running freely by pouring baking soda and a kettle or pot of boiling water down them once a month. Keep your garbage disposal sweet smelling by using the same method and also by grinding any citrus fruit rinds.
Hot soapy water is usually sufficient to clean your stove top. Check in your owner’s manual for the cleaning of ceramic or smooth top ranges. They normally require a special product and if you don’t use it, you could damage your stove. I am not telling you to buy a name brand; a generic one would probably work and be a lot less expensive.
Always wipe up spills immediately, especially sticky ones. Sugar can crystallize and cause damage to stove top. You can use a special scraper for the ceramic or smooth top stove to remove burned on residue.
Gas rings should be dismantled and cleaned in hot, soapy water using a nylon pad. Rinse very thoroughly and let air dry.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your oven. This is particularly important with self cleaning ovens.
For really dirty ovens, you will need a full strength oven cleaner. Cover the floor with a thick covering of newspaper. This will stop spills from damaging your floor surface.
To wear a face mask, goggles and long rubber gloves may seem extreme, but such attire is necessary to prevent accidents. Oven cleaners are very toxic and should not be breathed in. They can also cause burns on you skin. The best advice: Be Careful!!
To keep your oven cleaner and not have to go through the mess as often, keep a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on the bottom to catch any spills and discard when it is dirty. For a Gas oven, place the foil on the bottom rack. If put on the bottom; it will restrict air flow. This is also a much less expensive way to keep your oven clean.
Line your broiler pan with aluminum foil as well. Simply throw it away when finished. Much better that having to bother with scrubbing.
Do not forget to wipe down your range hood after cooking to get rid of any dust and grease that can accumulate.
The metal filter under the hood needs a periodic cleaning as well. Remove it and clean with hot, soapy water and a nylon brush or place it in the top rack of you dishwasher about once a month.
If your stove has charcoal or paper filters, they also need changing regularly. Charcoal every three month; paper every two months.
Keep a stainless steel hood shiny and streak free by using a trick that the U.S. Navy uses on all its stainless. Wipe it down with alcohol.