What's a mom's never-ending complaint? Don't leave your dishes in the sink; put them in the dishwater. But kids -- and spouses -- never learn. There are always a tower's worth of plates, pots and bowls threatening to topple over before you can ever find the time to wash them.
Washing them may be easier than you think, though. Attack extra-greasy dishes, pots and pans by filling a sink full of hot water and adding 3 to 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, along with a squirt of your usual dishwashing liquid. Vinegar's natural acidity will cut through that stubborn grease like a knife through butter, leaving you more time to try out the next 9 kitchen tricks.
If the wall behind your stove is lined with ceramic tiles, you know there's really a curse hidden inside that beautifully-patterned blessing. Tiles are magnetic for sauces and liquids, which sometimes seem to jump right out of the pan and attach to the wall. Not only do the splatters dry and harden quickly after contact, but using just a sponge and water won't wipe away the germs below the surface.
To clean splatters and spots from a ceramic tile back-splash, wipe the tile down with a clean sponge dampened with rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will not only get rid of the gunk, it will disinfect the backsplash, too.
With their natural tendency to absorb, wooden surfaces can lock in bacteria that'll fight back when you try to get it out. Baking soda is great for cleaning and deodorizing wooden surfaces. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with a quart of warm water and use a clean sponge to rub it on the wood surface. Rinse with plain water, blot with a clean towel and allow to air dry completely.
You can then bring back the wood's natural finish by coating it with boiled linseed or vegetable oil and using fine steel wool to rub the oil in. Apply a couple more coats of oil 24 hours apart, wiping off the excess between each application.
Spoons, spatulas, salad tongs, pasta forks -- you may not even realize how much woodenware you have in your kitchen until it comes time to clean it. Sauces and dressings that get sucked right into the porous surface can leave woodenware looking dingy. While stains may seem impossible to get out, don't give in!
Revive your old wooden utensils in only a few easy steps. Remove stains from woodenware with a mild bleach solution of 1/4 cup bleach to 1 quart warm water. Then rinse and dry before reapplying a protective coating of oil (as described in the preceding hint).
There's nothing worse than a clogged sink, but try to ignore who's to blame for the clog and focus on fixing it as soon as possible, because the fact is with a clogged sink you can't rinse off veggies, wash your hands or do the dishes. Maybe the clog won't stop you at first, but as the water continues to build up, you'll be left in a tight squeeze (with no sink to drain into).
When a sink drain has begun to back up, sometimes simply putting in the drain stopper, filling the sink full of water and then suddenly pulling the plug creates enough pressure to dislodge a clog and get the drain moving again.
Mold on bathtubs
Take some cotton wool and make small balls with it which are approximately one centimetre in diameter. Dip them in a bleach, place them on the mold and leave it all over night. In the morning, remove any remaining mold with a toothbrush.
Cleaning the stove grate
You can clean fat from the stove grate using ammonia. Put the grate in a plastic bag and add two to three tablespoons of ammonia cleaner. Leave for 12 hours, and then rinse.
You can remove stains from this kind of sofa with a clean white brush and a small amount of spirit. Add a little baking powder to get rid of the unpleasant odour.
Cleaning the Taps or Shower Head
Get rid of the build-up of limescale from taps or shower heads using vinegar. Usually, 20 minutes is enough.
If the limescale persists, wrap the showerhead in a plastic bag and leave for another hour. Then wash it thoroughly.
The Fastest Way to Clean Your Bathroom
One of the busiest spots in your house, the bathroom is also the place almost every guest visits. So if you start sweating whenever someone asks, "Do you mind if I freshen up/use the toilet/secretly judge your cleaning skills?" just relax. These tricks will get the room looking freshly scrubbed in 15 minutes or less.
1. Grab a bag.
To start, hang a plastic grocery bag on the doorknob as a quick way to gather trash — the easiest way to instantly tidy any room.
2. First, flush.
Next, grab some bleach. Pour a cup into the bowl, and brush around the sides and under the rim. Let sit for five minutes, as you move on to the next task.
3. Shine up.
Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar. Spritz the solution onto paper towels or a microfiber cloth, and wipe away soap drips and toothpaste spatters on faucets, mirrors, countertops, and in the sink. If you really care what your visitors think, give spotty shower doors the same spray treatment.
4. Collect dirt.
Flip over one of the same vinegar wipe and run it across the back of your dusty toilet tank, then over, under, and around the seat. Flush the bleach that's been sitting in the bowl, toss the wipe into your doorknob bag, and move on.
5. Try this towel trick.
Don't worry if you're drying used bath towels — just put out fresh hand towels. They're the only ones short-term guests use anyway. Leave the others on the bar; just straighten them.
6. Make an exit.
Now it's time for the floor. Shake out your rug or bath mat to fluff it up so it looks recently vacuumed. Next, with a dampened paper towel, wipe the corners of the room, where most of the hair and dust collects. And don't forget to take the plastic bag with you when you leave!
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