Spring Cleaning … I remember well a few Saturdays each year when I was young. My mother would start with orders early on a Saturday morning. It was always a contest with my brother to see who could escape the inevitable by taking off on bike with bat, ball and glove. You knew you better be first out the door or you would become the primary labor for the morning’s chores…
A few projects that are sometimes helped by a tip or reminder – this week we look at the kitchen:
Start inside by removing any slimy, way too soft vegetables; anything with something else growing on it, and the rest of the sour cream left over from the Super Bowl party – it will surely become a prop for a B horror movie if you don’t. That’s the easy part, so don’t stop.
Next, clean the external coils. Dirty, dusty coils make refrigerators less efficient and then they work harder. Refrigerators can be over 14% of your electric bill so a dirty fridge costs money.
After cleaning the external coils, unplug the power cord and remove the cover panel to expose the vacuum coils. With a crevice tool use your vacuum to clean the coils. Sometimes this can be done from the front but usually you need to go through the back (sometimes both) to do a good job. Your refrigerator will last much longer if you keep the coils clean.
*Tip: While you’re at it with the crevice tool you might as well get the dust out from behind your washing machine and dryer.
Clean The Oven
Oven cleaners are the fastest and most effective way to clean an oven, but these cleaners tend to use toxic chemicals. An alternative is a mixture of an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice and baking soda to use while you scrub the oven clean. You will have to scrub; it will take a little time and effort to clean baked-on food. But you’ll breath easier and maybe even enjoy the exercise.
*Tip: If you have a ‘self-cleaner’ don’t forget to remove the pizza stone and any other items ‘temporarily’ stored in the oven before you start. And of course you’ll remember to wipe out the ash when it’s done!
Cabinets Need Cleaning Too
Rule of thumb is mild detergent and warm water. Always rinse after wiping down with cleaning solution. Dawn dish soap or citrus based cleaners are good. Do not use any solvent based cleaners, they tend to damage the finish.
For stubborn build up and tacky grime near the handles use a hot clean sponge dampened and heated in the microwave for a few seconds and then use gloves to make sure you don’t burn yourself. Then spray on a little citrus-based cleaner or soap solution and wipe the spot clean. The heat will melt the grease and help get the shine back.
*Tip: Do the knobs and handles regularly and you won’t get the build-up that takes the extra work. Especially true if you have kids.
We will have a few more thoughts and tips on Spring Cleaning for you next week, in Spring Cleaning Tips – Part Deux. If you have a tip you would like shared then please send it in to us! Thanks for visiting.