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A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Homeowner

Every homeowner dreads cleaning the kitchen. It is tedious, time-consuming, and it just gets dirty again the next time you cook. Every so often it is time for spring cleaning and you must get down and dirty with the details of cleaning every nook and cranny. Below are some helpful tips on cleaning the kitchen and some cleansers you wouldn’t think to use.

 

Tips On Cleaning Your Kitchen

  1. Soak the filter from your vent hood in hot water with Borax to make it shine again.
  2. Scrub the burnt bottoms of your pans with “Bar’s Keeper’s Friend” to make them look brand new again.
  3. Shine up greasy grates on the stove by soaking them overnight in a little ammonia.
  4. Clean the inside of your oven with a mixture of baking soda, water, and dish soap. Make sure to let it soak for at least 15 minutes.
  5. One way to get the scum off the grates in the oven is to soak in a tub of dish soap, hot water, and dryer sheets. Give it at least 6-8 hours for best results.
  6. One way to avoid cleaning your oven in the future is buying an oven liner or keep an old baking sheet on the lowest rack. It can mess with your baking temperatures or time if you put it at the bottom.
  7. Cooking oil or mineral oil helps remove the sticky kitchen dust that collects over time on your hood or oven surfaces.
  8. A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda helps with scrubbing away stains on your cooktop.
  9. Using lemon and kosher salt to scrub your wooden cutting boards and butcher blocks help keep them fresh and stain-free.
  10. The best way to clean your windows is with dawn dish soap and jet dry dishwasher rinse. If you would rather use Windex or glass cleaner, use newspaper to wipe it off to keep it from streaking.
  11. Clean calcium buildup off your faucet by tying a plastic bag full of a de-scaler around it and let it soak for an hour. It wipes off so easily and helps keep the water flow to a max. My favorite is CLR brand.
  12. The garbage disposal always gets grease and food buildup. If you take an old toothbrush to clean it, it really becomes easier to get in the nook and crannies. Don’t forget to take off the splash guard to clean the build up underneath it.
  13. After washing out your sink with hot water and dish soap, polish it using flour.
  14. Run ice and lemons through the garbage disposal to freshen up and sharpen the blades.
  15. Clean stainless steel items with Pledge.
  16. Clean countertops and backsplash with a cleaner that works well with the materials you have in your kitchen. Here is a great homemade recipe for granite cleaner: 1/4c. rubbing alcohol, 3 drops of dish soap, 5-10 drops of essential oil + water.
  17. Use Murphy’s oil soap to clean any wood surfaces in your kitchen.
  18. Aligning your cabinets and drawers with non-adhesive liners make cleaning easier in the future. It also keeps things from sliding around.
  19. Cleaning the hard water ring in your toilet is one of the toughest. I use this product called The Pumie.

 

Where To Store Your Food In The Fridge

Top Shelf- Tall items and eggs. Place milk in the back where it is coldest.

Middle Shelves- Leftovers, drinks, and ready to eat foods.

Bottom Shelf or Meat Drawer- keep raw meat wrapped individually and stored low. Placed on a plate or away from other foods so it doesn’t cross-contaminate.

Crisper Drawer- One designated for fruit with low humidity and one for vegetables with higher humidity.

Door- For items that have a long shelf life like condiments, soft drinks etc.

 

 

Pantry Organization

  • Clear containers that are labeled will help keep you organized and find what you need easier.
  • Having door storage will add more storage to your existing pantry and provide quick easy access.
  • Plastic or cloth bins for bulk items will keep everything together and keep the shelving free of debris.
  • Pegboards can help organize in a different way. These are great for cooking tools like grilling prongs or things you don’t use as often. Accessories can be added to pegboards like hanging baskets or hooks to hang extra things like grocery bags or dog leashes.
  • Lazy Susans can help organize the corners of pantries. Putting extra condiments and spices will keep the smaller items contained and have easy access.
  • Paint your pantry a bright white to create a clean organized look will help brighten it up and be more inviting when you do go in to look for something.
  • Add a patterned wallpaper to the wall can give it some spice if you want to make it more decorative.
  • Adding a chalkboard to your pantry door can help keep you in touch with the family’s schedule, chores and grocery list for what’s needed.

 

  

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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25 ways to clean your home with vinegar!

Vinegar

 

Oh How I Love Vinegar, Let Me Count the Ways!

 

Vinegar is an incredible liquid and can do amazing things around the house! It can be used for everything from a fabric softener, to toilet cleaner to cleaning cutting boards. And at a fraction of the cost of chemical store-bought cleaners, it can save a lot of money over time! Cleaning with vinegar can work wonders on your home! Here are some ways to use vinegar around the house for all your cleaning needs.

 

Kitchen-

 

Refrigerator: Instead of using chemical based cleaners to clean your fridge, try surface cleaning with white vinegar. Clean spills on the shelf with a 50-50 vinegar and water mix. You can even keep a bottle of the mixture stored in your fridge!

 

Drain: Dip and old toothbrush or brush small enough to get inside the disposal into some vinegar, sprinkle some baking soda on it, then use mixture to scrub away odors and built up food in your garbage disposal.

 

Cutting boards: For cutting boards, just spray surface with white vinegar and rinse clean, that’s it!

 

Microwave: Cleaning a microwave can be a nightmare! But instead of scrubbing for hours to try and get it clean, you can easily remove grime buildup and stains by placing 1/2-cup vinegar and 1/2-cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave for about 2-3 minutes, or until it boils. Then just wipe buildup away with ease!

 

Stained plastic containers: Does your trusty plastic storage containers have stains from spaghetti sauce or other food items? Use vinegar to coat the inside of the container, let sit to absorb into the stain then wash as usual.

 

Countertops: Cleaning countertops with white vinegar is easy. Just spray onto your surface, then wipe away with a warm, wet rag. Vinegar works great on many surfaces, however it does not do well on granite or marble surfaces.

 

Bathroom-

 

Toilet: Have ring-around-the-toilet (if you have kids this is inevitable, we all know they can never seem to remember to flush the toilet)! Just pour a cup of vinegar in the bowl, and let sit overnight. Then sprinkle with baking soda or borax and use a scrub brush to clean away stains. For tougher stains it would be best to drain the water from the toilet bowl when soaking overnight (and keep your fingers crossed no-one wakes up in the middle of the night and uses it before morning)!

 

General bathroom cleaning: Use straight or a diluted vinegar cleaning solution to scrub away bacteria, especially around the toilet, which will help curb urine staining and odor (gross I know, but it happens)!.

 

Tub or sink drain: Tub and sink drains are notorious for buildup from the daily use. To remove them just close the drain plug and pour 1/2-cup distilled white vinegar around the drain and let sit for several hours. Then scrub to remove buildup.

 

Shower: Is it time to deep clean your shower? Bring vinegar to a boil, get some rubber gloves, then use it to wipe down the shower door and walls. Keep them damp by wiping them down every 5 to 8 minutes for 30 minutes (yes this is a daunting task, but we are talking about a deep clean here people, so not something you have to do all the time). Once the 30 minutes is up, dampen a non-scratch sponge with vinegar, sprinkle it with baking soda, and scrub away (and you thought your job was done after the first 30 minutes didn’t you). Rinse the walls and door with water and Bye-bye germs, mold, water spots, and soap scum!

 

Shower head: If you live in an area with hard water, this will happen more often than not! To remove mineral build up pour some white vinegar into a plastic bag, and secure it to your shower head with a twist-tie, rubber-band or masking tape. Make sure there is a sufficient amount of vinegar so that the bottom part of the shower head is totally submerged. Leave the bag on overnight. Remove the next morning just before showering (if you don’t remember to remove the bag before turning on the water your shower will get a morning cleaning once the bag explodes).

 

Tile surfaces: Mix 1/2-cup white distilled vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Mop floors or scrub countertops with the solution and allow to air dry.

 

Bedroom-

 

Mattress disinfectant: Mix distilled white vinegar, a little rubbing alcohol, and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz on your mattress to help combat dust mites, mildew, and general odors. For a deeper clean, follow with a dusting of baking soda. Let dry, then vacuum.

 

Laundry-

 

As a fabric softener: Sounds weird, I know! You can use vinegar instead of fabric softeners in laundry. It softens the clothes and removes static just like the dryer sheets. Not to mention it is a fraction of the price. Just have to add the vinegar during the final wash or rinse cycle and bam, soft and static free clothes!

 

Dining Room-

 

Glass: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water solution to keep glass tables, doors windows, and any other glass surface sparkling clean.

 

Wood furniture: Use 1/4-cup white vinegar mixed with 1-cup olive oil (and a few drops of lemon or orange oil, for a fresh scent) to clean and condition wood furniture.

 

Floors-

 

Carpet odor and dust mite remover: Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent, with distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz lightly throughout. (It would be best to test in a small spot first for colorfastness.)

 

Carpet rinse: Everyone loves getting their carpets cleaned, but what you may not know is there is usually a left over residue from the shampoo/cleaner used to clean the carpets. This leftover residue can attract dirt which in turn will make your carpets get dirty faster. So after shampooing, give your carpet a good rinse by using 1/2-cup vinegar per gallon of water. This lifts dirt-attracting soap residue, so carpets will stay cleaner, longer.

 

Carpet pet odor remover: Wet spot with vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda, and work the two together with a brush or your fingers (I prefer a brush, but if you want to use your fingers, go for it). Let dry, preferably overnight if you can keep pets and children away from the area, then vacuum up.

 

Wood floor wash: Add 1/2-cup vinegar to a gallon of water to clean wood and laminated floors. Take precaution to not over-saturate the floors and damage the wood or laminate.

 

General Purpose-

 

Air freshener: Add a 1/2-teaspoon vinegar to a 4-ounce spray bottle, then fill with distilled water, plus a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give the space a fresh and clean smell.

 

Window cleaner: Mix 1/4-cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3-cup vinegar in a 32-oz spray bottle, then fill with water. Lightly spritz on a lint free cloth to clean.

 

All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1-cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons borax, 4-cups hot water, 5 drops liquid dish soap, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 10 drops your favorite essential oil (optional).

 

Disinfectant: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, faucet handles, and more when cold and flu season hits.

Homemade Disposable Cleaning Wipes Recipes:

1 roll of paper towels (needs to be a good quality brand like Bounty or Viva). A large container that will fit a full roll of paper towels (so you don’t have to cut them down). A 1 gallon pitcher from the dollar store works great!

 

Solution mix – 1 3/4 cups distilled water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish soap (like Dawn) and 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil.

 

Check out this link for the full How-To instructions and more info!

Homemade Disposable Cleaning Wipes