I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the best housecleaner. I just think there is better and more important things to do in life than clean house all the time. Wasn’t it Erma Bombeck who said something like, “Housework if done right, can kill you!”? I have to agree with that. It’s NEVER-ENDING and always unraveling!
Over the years I’ve picked up a few tips that have helped me out along the way. I’m always looking for better and easier ways to do things. Here are five I would like to share.
- Flushing and deodorizing slow-moving drains. I pour a tea kettle of boiling water down the drain I am flushing (although hot tap water works well too). Then pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar (you can even heat the vinegar in the microwave if you want). Let it sit for about 10 or 15 minutes, then flush again with hot or boiling water.
2. Cleaning and deodorizing the microwave oven. Pour a teaspoon of lemon juice into a small bowl of water. Heat on full power for 1-2 minutes. When the oven is cool, wipe it down with paper towels. This is particularly good at removing burnt popcorn odors from the microwave.
3. Cleaning stainless steel sink strainers. Kitchen sinks are one of the nastiest areas of the house. I have heard that the average kitchen sink has even more germs than the toilet! A friend told me once she cleans her stainless steel sink strainers by putting them in her dishwasher. I tried it and was amazed how clean it got them. I now wash mine a couple of times a week by putting them in the basket of the top rack of my dishwasher. They come out shiny clean… even the black gasket. So easy and something I would have never thought to do. Before this, I used to clean mine with comet…. a job I didn’t like too much.
4. Disinfecting kitchen sponges. Let’s face it. Kitchen sponges are magnets for germs. There are three different ways I have disinfected my sponges. The easiest way is to put them in the dishwasher for a complete wash, rinse and dry cycle. I also occasionally put the sponge in the microwave. I wet the sponge and put it in the microwave for at least a minute. I recently read that two minutes is even better and will kill 99% of the bacteria. Make sure the sponge is WET as they can catch fire. The other way I disinfect sponges is to soak them in a 10 bleach solution for 3 minutes. I replace my kitchen sponges about every one to two months. I use the scrubber sponges and by then, they have about had it anyway as I use them a lot!
5. Removing skunk odor from a dog’s coat. My worst nightmare came true several years ago and my dog got skunked right in her own backyard. I felt compelled to try the tomato juice bath and afterwards, my black and white dog was orange and black. Not good. Not to mention she still smelled strongly of skunk. No, I was not impressed at all with the tomato juice bath treatment. Here’s what I found worked. I mixed up: 1 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of dishwashing detergent (I think I used Dawn) and 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide. I rubbed it into her coat (supposed to rub it into a dry coat but my dog was already wet from the tomato juice bath). Let the mixture sit on the coat for about 20 minutes. Believe me, this 20 minutes will seem like a life time when you have a wet soapy dog who doesn’t want any part of this. Rinse thoroughly and then bathe with regular dog shampoo. The dish detergent helps to cut grease. The peroxide is a bleach alternative and removed every bit of the orange tomato juice from my dog’s white coat. The baking soda is a good alkaline deodorizer. I was very pleasantly surprised that it removed just about all the skunk odor from my dog’s coat. I won’t lie and say it removed it all but it was barely noticeable after this treatment. I will also mention that you don’t want to get any of this in the dog’s eyes. You can protect the eyes by adding a drop of mineral oil to the eyes or applying a wisp of vaseline.
Hope these will be helpful to you. I would love to hear any cleaning tips you have.