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Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Clean 8 of Your Trickiest Kitchen Appliances

Microwave: Steam away messes

Don’t waste elbow grease on the crusted messes in your microwave—just let them steam clean. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Add the lemon pieces to the bowl, along with 1/2 cup of water. Nuke the water and lemon for three minutes on high, or until the liquid starts to boil. Without opening the door, let the lemon water stand for five minutes. The lemony steam will help break down the gunk, making it easy to wipe off after you remove the bowl. Take out the turntable to clean it, then wipe down the top, bottom, sides, and door of the microwave before putting it back.

Blender: Let it self-clean

Hate the idea of scrubbing every inch of the blade? Let your blender do all the dirty work. Fill the pitcher with hot water as soon as you’re done using it, add a couple drops of soap, and run the blender like you would for a recipe. Rinse it out and it will be ready for your next concoction. Just make sure you take the blender apart and give it a hands-on scrub every now and then for a deep clean.

Coffee maker: Clean out with vinegar

Coffee maker reservoirs are among the most germy items in the kitchen and have even more germs than bathroom door knobs, according to a small study by public health organization NSF. To keep yours clean, wash the removable pieces of the machine after every use—most parts can easily be thrown in the dishwasher. But about once a month, give it a deep clean by attacking the buildup on the inside of the appliance. Put a paper filter in place, then fill the water chamber with equal parts vinegar and water. Start the machine, then turn it off when it’s halfway through the brew cycle. Let the solution sit for half an hour, then finish the brew cycle. Pour out the vinegar solution, and replace the paper filter, then run the brew cycle with a full pot of water. Repeat the process with one more full pot of water. For a single-cup machine, fill the reservoir with the vinegar-water solution, then run the brew cycle without a K-Cup one mugful at a time. Repeat with plain water.

Garbage disposal: Use lemon for a fresh scent

If your disposal is starting to smell funky, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. Get rid of grime in the grinding mechanics by pouring half a cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by a cup of white vinegar, two cups of ice, and one cup of salt. With the cold water running, turn on the garbage disposal until the ice is gone. To freshen the odor, cut a lemon and grind the pieces one at a time in the disposal.

Slow cooker: Deep clean with baking soda

A slow cooker makes food preparation easy, but the cleanup? Not so much. When your appliance has a mess that can’t be wiped away after a presoak, it’s time for a deep clean. Add ¼ cup of baking soda and a squirt of dish soap, then fill with water. Put the lid on, then turn the machine on high for two to four hours.

Stand mixer: Use a wet rag

Place a wet rag over areas with built-on food residue to loosen it. After a few minutes, the dried gunk should be softer and easier to wipe away. When cleaning the beater, let the attachment soak in water to help dissolve the mess before scrubbing it clean.

Toaster: Target the crumb tray

Don’t forget about that crumb tray, if your toaster has one. Slide it out and shake off the crumbs, or turn the whole machine upside down and shake lightly if it doesn’t have a removable tray. Wash and dry the tray before putting it back to get rid of any caked-on food. To clean out the inner corners of your toaster, reach in with a pastry or basting brush. Finish by wiping the outside with a damp cloth and mild detergent, or a bit of vinegar if it’s stainless steel.

Stove burners: Try different tactics for gas vs. electric

For a gas burner, unclog the port with a pin or unfolded paper clip. Then take off the removable parts of the cooktop and soak them in hot, soapy water. Scrub them clean, then rinse thoroughly. Wipe the cooktop with a damp, not wet, cloth to prevent water from leaking into the burner. Electric burners should never be submerged in water, so it can be hard to break down burnt spills, especially when dish soap isn’t strong enough. Combine baking soda and water until it has a paste consistency, then use the mixture to scrub the mess.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Here's some alternative uses for your major appliances:


Disinfect smelly sponges and wash rags

Place them in the dishwasher, and run those stinkers through a regular cycle with your dishes. This time, add detergent.

Clean and shine garden tools

Dirty garden tools can spread germs and bacteria throughout your garden. Place your metal garden tools and shears on the top rack, and run through a regular cycle. Don’t try cleaning eating utensils at the same time, though.

More things your dishwasher can scrub

  • Baseball caps
  • Metal switch plates and outlet covers
  • Range hood grilles
  • Metal vent covers
  • A gazillion hard-plastic kids toys
  • Plastic sports equipment and pads


Freshen denim

If you don’t want your favorite jeans to fade, place them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer for a week. Yes, your loved ones may think you’ve lost your mind. But the cold will kill germs and freshen the jeans without cooking them in hot water, which fades colors.

Life extender

Candles will burn slower, hosiery will evade runs longer, and NiMH and NiCd batteries will last longer when you store them in your freezer.

Steel wool

Instead of watching steel wool rust in a sink holder, place it in a plastic bag and store it in the freezer. The steel wool will stay free of rust longer.

Ice cube trays

They’re not just for water anymore. These little compartmentalizers are great for freezing single portions of pesto and making coffee cubes that cool but don’t water down your iced coffee drinks. Bonus: Freeze grapes in a plastic bag, then throw a few into white wine for a quick cool-down.


Juice helper

You’ll squeeze more juice from lemons and oranges if you zap them in the microwave for 10 seconds, then squeeze.

De-germ sponges

Soak a sponge in water with a spritz of white vinegar, and place it in the microwave for two minutes. Not only will your sponge smell fresh, but the steam will make scrubbing the microwave and its telltale spaghetti sauce a snap.

Homemade heating pad/hand warmer

Fill an old sock with rice (not instant) or dried beans, tie the end closed, and place in the microwave for 60 seconds on high. Always touch lightly to check the temperature. If the pad isn’t hot enough, add 15 more seconds. If you want the heating pad to smell nice, add a drop or two of essential oil to the rice/bean mix before heating.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Its about summer time, is your freezer ready?

It's going to start getting hotter and hotter, which means your freezer is going to be working into over time! If you want to protect your otterpop stash you've got to make sure its in tip top shape! If you've lost your otterpops to a faulty freezer and you need to buy another one, we can help.

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