Kitchen Hacks That Work

kitchen

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.

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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

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

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 – Cleaning The Microwave

Ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • Water

I don’t know about you, but my microwave gets really cruddy over time.  Things spill and spit; the appliance is used so frequently that we seldom take the time to wipe it out.

One solution is to put a mugful of water with a tablespoon of vinegar added and microwave on high until it boils.  Let it boil until it really steams up the cooking compartment.  Press “Stop” and let things cool down a bit, then wipe out the microwave with a soft, moist rag.  The steam will loosen all that crud so that it comes out pretty easily.

Another solution is to dampen a cellulose sponge with water and place it in the microwave. Spray the inner chamber all over with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water.  Run the microwave on high for 2 minutes, then let it cool.  Before anything can dry by itself, take the sponge and wipe out any debris for a clean-as-a-whistle microwave.

Hack #7 – Grease Remover

Kitchens tend to be a bit on the greasy side.  Grease piles up on the stove, on the wall behind it, and travels farther than you would imagine. My collection of beautiful glass jars sets about eight feet from my stove.  I have to take those jars down at least two times a year and wash the grease off.  You could be the cleanest person in the world and still have a grease problem in your kitchen.  If you think grease is easy to remove, think again, but there is a solution.

To adequately cut through grease you need a substance called sudsing ammonia. This product is simply regular ammonia that has a detergent added.  Fill a gallon container, or your kitchen sink, with warm water and add 1/2 cup of sudsing ammonia  To protect your skin from ammonia’s irritants, wear rubber gloves when washing off the grease Avoid inhaling the fumes, too.  Ammonia can burn your lungs if you aren’t careful. However there is nothing better than this to get rid of grease.  You can immerse a sponge in the solution and wash off your stove and the wall behind it or you can wash glassware and dishes in it.  Rinse everything well.

Non-toxic Grease Remover

If you’re looking for a non-toxic way to remove grease, the following solutions can work as effectively as the more toxic ammonia:

Hack #8

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 #9 – 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 #10 – Baking soda

when mixed with vinegar, creates a chemical reaction that can help remove more stubborn grease.  First spray vinegar on the greasy surface, then sprinkle on it the baking soda.  Keep your nose away from the resulting bubbly mess.  Once the reaction has simmered down, get in there with a scrubbing sponge. The baking soda has a slightly abrasive quality that you can use to scrub away baked-on grease.

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