Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Remove Rust from Metal

To remove rust from metal, make a paste of ¼ cup salt and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, scrub, rinse, and buff dry.

Baking Soda to Clean Sink Drain

To clear a slow drain, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain.  Slowly add 1 cup of white vinegar.  Cover with a stopper, let the mixture fix for five minutes and flush with a gallon of hot water.  Also works well for cleaning scorched pots or removing baked on foods from oven-safe dishes.

Cleaning Blenders

Fill your blender with warm water, 1/4 cup of vinegar and a few drops of lemon juice. Turn on blender for about 15 seconds. Rinse and let dry.

Removing Stains from Utensils

  1. Clean rust from knives by leaving the blades stuck to a raw onion. Wiggle the blade around to activate the juice.
  2. To remove tea stains from mugs and cups, rub with a paper towel and add a little salt or baking soda.
  3. Pans are easier to clean if you soak them immediately in cold water with a drop of dishwashing liquid.
  4. Keep a stainless-stell hood shiny and streak free with spray lubricant or baby oil. Wipe clean with paper towels.

Natural Cleaning & Care

  • Clean out the sink with a solution of 25g of table salt and 1 cup water. Salt is a disinfectant and natural abrasive.
  • A cut lemon removes tea and coffee stains.
  • Make a cleaning paste by combining 4 tablespoons of baking sode with 4 tablespoons of water. Use a soft cloth and rub the paste onto the surface to be cleaned. Wipe off with a clean cloth and buff to a shine.
  • Recipe for an all-purpose surface cleaner. Removes grease and dirt, smells beautifully and it is cheap and nontoxic and will keep indefinitely. Use it on stainless-steel stinks and draining boards, tiled and wooden surfaces, and plastic finishes.
    • 500 ml white vinegar
    • 1 cup (250 ml) water
    • 20-30 drops eucalyptus oil
  • To clean and deodorize your microwave, mix 125 ml of water with 2 tsps of baking soda over the dirty surfaces and rub clean with a damp cloth.
  • Washing machine - run it empty on a hot wash with 60 ml vinegar in the detergent drawer. Do this every 20 washes.

Ironing Tablecloths

  • Round or oval Carefully lay the tablecloth across the ironing board and press the center area of the tablcloth. Working outward, iron the edges one section at a time. THink of the tablecloth as a large pie and iron in pie-slices.
  • Rectangular Iron wrong side first. To erase a center crease, fold the tablecloth loosely into thirds and iron down the middle.

Textured Ceilings

Clean using a lint roller on a paint brush.

Easy Grease Removal

Fill pan halfway with water, add about a tablespoon of baking soda, and bring to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat and drop in a tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Allow the solution to cool, then pour it out. The grease should go with it.

Remove Garlic and Onion Smell

To remove the smell from a wood cutting board, sprinkle the surface with baking soda and rub with damp sponge or cloth to remove odor.

Sink Spruce Up

After cleaning your kitchen and bathroom sink, put some baby oil on a soft, dry cloth and smooth it over faucets and knobs. Gently buff with a second cloth until they're clean and shiny. Baby oil temporarily seals in the shine, making it easy to remove new water spots.

Cleaning Microwave

Fill a bowl with a cup of water and juice of one lemon. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until the water comes to a full boil and creates steam. Leave closed for several minutes. Then clean with a cloth and hot soapy water. Wipe with a clean cloth and leave the door open until it drys.

Cleaning Washing Machine

Set the full cycle, hot water wash and add a cup of oxygen bleach. Run the rinse cycle with clear water.

Cleaning Screens

First lay four 2x4s on the ground to create a frame. Staple a sheet of plastic over it to make a homemade "tub". Fill it with warm soapy water, and use a soft scrub brush to gently clean both sides of each screen. Rinse screens with a hose and allow to dry.

Cleaning Air Conditioners

Get your central air conditioning system ready for summer by cleaning the condensation drain line. This small plastic pipe running from your AC unit outside is a magnet for algae and other gunk. To keep it from clogging, pour a cup of bleach through a funnel into the drain line's access hole (near the air handler unit inside your house), let it site for 20 minutes, then flush the pipe with water.

Vases

Use denture cleaner and warm water (one per cup). Let sit, then rinse.

Babyfood

Food stains are the worst (bananas, blueberries, anything tomato based). I spray everything with Shout and then add a cup of Oxyclean to the laundry.

I recommend buying a BIG box of Oxyclean.It gets out the wildest baby stains.

Bath Toys

Do you need to wash them? Probably yes. You can soak them in a sink (or bathtub) full of hot water and vinegar for about 10 minutes. Then scrub anything that still feels scummy.

Faster Rinsing

Use a spray bottle containing clean water to rinse off the places you have washed. It is easier than rinsing out your cloth/sponge and prevents the formation of a soapy film on the surface.

Drying the Laundry

Turn three or four inches of the fabric over the line.

For sheets, pillowcases, skirts, adn other pieces with double layers, hang them so that the fold (or the closed end of the pillowcase) hangs down on the open, hemmed edges are pinned to the line; do not pin the fabric taut on the side from which the wind is blowing but let it sag down a bit, so that there is an opening for the wind to enter.

Sheets - Fold the sheet hem to hem, then fold 3 to 4 inches of one hem over the line and pin at both ends. Pin the corners of the other hem a few inches inside the first two. Run your hands down the selvage edges to smooth them and make sure that the sheet is hanging square and even.

Pillowcases - Fold on side of the opening over the line pinnign at both corners, allowing one side to sag open. You want th epillowcase to full up like a sail in the wind.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Option One

  • 4 liters warm water
  • 1 tsp liquid soap
  • 1 tsp borax
  • 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar

Option Two (store in an airtight container

  • 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Scouring Cleanser (store in spray bottle)

  • 1 tsp borax
  • 2 tblsp vinegar
  • 2 cups hot water

Toilet Cleaner

Combine 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar (or lemon juice). Mix. Pour into toilet and leave for a few hours (or overnight). Scrub.

Homemade Laundry Stain Removers

  • Chocolate club soda
  • Cola white vinegar
  • Rust lemon juice, salt, sunlight
  • Oil white chalk rubbed into stain before washing
  • Grease borax on a damp cloth
  • Crayon cover with a paper bag and iron at low heat
  • Coffee moist salt
Heating Milk
Rinse a saucepan quickly with cold water before pouring in milk to prevent it from sticking.
To stop milk from overflowing during heating, simply put a metal teaspoon or a saucer at the bottom of the pan.

Cleaning Stainless Steel

Conventional wisdom holds that pots and pans should be given a good soak. But every metal has different properties and requires special care. Stainless steel is prone to stains from heat and hard water. To remove them, apply white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub. Always dry thoroughly after washing to prevent a film from forming. Never soak stainless steel cookware; this will result in pitted surfaces.

Wood Ash

  • Hides stains on paving by sprinkling on paint splatters.
  • Repels slugs and snails
  • Melts ice without harming soil or concrete
  • Controls pond algae. One tablespoon per 1000 gallons adds enough potassium to strengthen the aquatic plants to complete with the algae
  • Clean fireplace doors. A damp sponge dipped in ashes scrubs away sooty residue.

Prevent Paint on Mirrors

To avoid paint stains on mirrors or windows, rub the cut side of an onion across the entire surface of the glass. The onion prevents the paint from sticking.

Tomato Paste

Sliced frozen tomato paste

Most recipes call for only a small portion of tomato paste -- you use a tablespoon or two, and the rest invariably goes to waste. To save the remainder: Carefully open both ends of the can with a can opener. Remove one metal end, and discard it. Leave the other in place. Wrap the entire can in plastic wrap, and freeze overnight. The next day, use the metal end to push the frozen paste out the open end. Discard can, tightly rewrap unused portion, and store in freezer up to 3 months, slicing off just as much as you need each time you cook.