20 kitchen cleaning hacks

15 kitchen cleaning hacks Leave a comment

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Your kitchen needs to be one of the cleanest areas in your house. The food you prepare here will pick up any contaminating substances and can easily cause harm to both family and guests.  A clean kitchen is important to the safety of your whole house.
Most of the solutions already described can be used in the kitchen.  The cleaning hacks in this chapter will concentrate on some of your kitchen appliances, as well as on pots, pans and other items used in the line of cooking.  I have included some food management tips to help keep your family safe from food poisoning and to simplify kitchen cleanup.
First we will cover some kitchen cleaning hacks:

Hack #1 – Dishwasher Detergent

Ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Citric acid

You do not need fancy dishwasher powder, liquid, or gel to get your dishes clean as a whistle.  Take a large wide-mouthed glass jar and pour in 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of washing soda, 1/2 cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of citric acid.  (Citric acid can be found in your local pharmacy and in stores that sell canning supplies.)  Cover the jar and shake it well to mix everything up.

When you’re ready to wash your dishes, scoop out 1/4 cup of the mixture and put it in the detergent compartment.  Wash your dishes as you normally would.

Hack #2 – Dishwasher Cleaner #1

Ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Water

A dishwasher does tend to get a little dirty after a while. It might even look a little moldy around the seal.  To stop this, sprinkle 1/2 cup of borax in the bottom of the dishwasher after doing a load so that the compartment is still a little wet.  Leave it overnight. After about eight hours, go back and wipe everything down with a damp rag, especially around the seal.

Hack #3 – Dishwasher Cleaner #2

Ingredients:

  • White vinegar
  • water

You can also run a cycle with 1/2 cup vinegar in the reservoir and no dishes in the dishwasher. This will clean the washer and leave it smelling fresh.

Hack #4 – Dish soap

Ingredients:

  • Boiling hot water
  • Borax
  • Castile soap
  • Essential oil

Let’s say you have no dishwasher.  No problem!  You can make a dish soap that powers through grime and grease and leaves your dishes squeaky clean.  In a glass or ceramic bowl, pour 1-3/4 cup boiled water and add 1 tablespoon borax and stir it until it dissolves.  Mix in 1 tablespoon grated Castile soap and include a few drops of a favorite essential oil, just for the clean smell.  I like citrus scents in my kitchen.

Stir this potion until the soap melts.  Store it in an empty plastic or glass bottle and give it a shake before pouring into your sink to do the dishes.

Hack #5 – Sparkling Glass Rinse

Ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • Water

Sometimes you may notice that your drinking glasses have become a little cloudy and dull.  They no longer sparkle and shine.  This can happen whether you are washing them in a dishwasher or by hand.

There is an easy remedy to this problem; it is called vinegar.  Measure 1/4 cup of white vinegar and pour it on the bottom of the dishwasher.  Proceed to wash the dishes.  Another method is to put the vinegar in a sinkful of water and wash and rinse the glasses by hand.  Let them air dry and your glasses will shine.

Hack #6 – Oven Spills

Nothing is worse than food spilling over in the oven and creating enough smoke to set off your fire alarm every time you turn on the oven. Should something spill while you are baking, immediately throw some table salt over the spill on the oven bottom. This will stop the smoking and will let you keep on cooking. Later, after the oven has cooled, wipe the salt out with a damp sponge. The spill should clean up easily.

Hack #7 – Vinegar

will also break down grease so you can wipe it off more easily.  The most effective application is via a spray bottle.  For stubborn grease, spray on full-strength vinegar; for lighter layers, dilute the vinegar in half with water.  Spray it on, let it set for a few minutes, and then wipe it off.  The vinegar smell will dissipate in about thirty minutes.

Hack #8 – Stainless Steel Appliance Shine

Stainless steel appliances can also lose their shine fairly easily.  A good way to restore the sheen is to pour a few drops of olive oil on a soft white cloth and use it to wipe them down.

Hack #9 – It’s Too Salty

Have you ever gotten carried away and dumped too much the salt in your soup?  Here’s a tried and true remedy to reduce the saltiness.  Simply peel a potato and toss the whole thing in while your soup cooks.  The potato will absorb the extra salt and you just throw it away before serving.  Your soup or stew will taste delicious.  Of course, if you really overdid it…maybe two potatoes are in order.

Hack #10 –

I still use the wood board for cutting vegetables and fruits.  After use I wipe it down with equal parts vinegar and water and let it air dry.  This effectively kills any bacteria lurking in the pores of the wood.

Hack #11 –

Boiling water is often all you need to lift off grease.  A soft rag or scrubbing sponge dipped in boiling water, combined with a little elbow grease, will take off most light greasy coatings.

Hack #12 – It’s Too Salty

Have you ever gotten carried away and dumped too much the salt in your soup?  Here’s a tried and true remedy to reduce the saltiness.  Simply peel a potato and toss the whole thing in while your soup cooks.  The potato will absorb the extra salt and you just throw it away before serving.  Your soup or stew will taste delicious.  Of course, if you really overdid it…maybe two potatoes are in order.

Hack #13 – Prevention – Slick Down Your Measuring Cups

I often cook with honey and molasses and these things can stick and make a mess in your measuring cups.  One surefire way to cause sticky ingredients to slip right out of measuring cups is to first coat them with nonstick oil spray.  I’ve also learned to measure my oil in the cup before measuring sticky liquids; the stuff then slides right out.

Hack #14 – Cleaning Your Sponges And Scrubbies

I dislike sponges in the kitchen because I tend to see them as nasty germ collectors.  However, I also hate to fill up landfills with paper towels. The solution? I found a way to keep my sponges and non-metal scrubbies clean and germ-free (at least until I dirty them again).

Every night, before I run the dishwasher, I put my sponges and scrubbies in the top rack along with the dishes.  They come out clean and fresh ready for another day

Hack #15 – Rust Spots On Stainless Steel

I tend to get rust spots on my stainless steel silverware.  I hate those little brown marks that show up on my knives and spoons, going do so far as to throw them out because I just don’t want to put them in my mouth.  However, I finally got tired of throwing away my utensils and learned how to remove those ugly spots.

What I discovered works on anything stainless.  I don’t usually buy bottled lemon juice, because I prefer the flavor of fresh lemons, but in this case I buy a large bottle of the stuff.  For utensils, I lay them flat in a shallow pan and cover them with lemon juice.  With a pan, I just prop it so that lemon juice can cover the rust spot.  Let the stainless sit for 10 minutes, then scrub and rinse.  The rust will be no more.

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