- Cracked Eggs: If you’ve ever dropped an egg on the counter or floor, you know what a sloppy, slimy mess it is to wipe up! Next time try drizzling salt generously over the egg, wait a few minutes until it’s dry–then the mess sweeps up easily. *ETA: Careful not to leave the salt sitting too long, especially around metal parts. I had a reader send in a note that the sitting salt affected a metal piece underneath kitchen carpeting.
- There is often a residue coating the inside of the oven once it’s been cleaned. It causes an odor and some smoke when baking or cooking dishes until it’s burned off. What you can try is doing a quick wipe with a cloth first soaked in 50/50 vinegar and water. This should remove all traces of the residue. Just make sure to do a complete wiping job.
- Dishwasher: The orange Tang juice crystals contain citric acid which can remove stains nicely. If your appliance needs a little TLC to remove scum or stains, run a full empty load with some orange Tang tossed in.
- Refrigerator: Try wiping the inside of your refrigerator with hot, soapy water and then a rinse wipe with 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to help fight mildew. It also freshens and deodorizes the inside of your fridge. Also make sure to check out this page  for more handy helpers.
- Refrigerator Dust Bunnies: Don’t forget to pull out your refrigerator regularly to vacuum off the back coils or pull the front kickplate off to get at the coils if they’re at the bottom. The coils are a major dust collector and this means your fridge has to work harder to keep the inside cool (costing you more to run it). Unplug the appliance first.
How To Remove Melted Plastic From A Toaster
(originally published January 18, 2007) Once the toaster is completely cool and unplugged, here are a few things to try getting melted plastic off from the side of it. You may want to test a small area first to make sure the finish won’t be harmed or scratched.
- Dab nail polish remover on a cloth, then use it to rub off the spot.
- Dab WD40 on a cloth, then rub away.
- Try rubbing alcohol on a cloth, then scrub.
- Heat appliance again until plastic is soft, unplug then firmly wipe off the softened piece with a damp cloth. Wash out the cloth then lightly sprinkle on some baking soda while cloth is still wet* and rub gently over remaining residue. *Wring out excess first–you don’t want dripping water.
- Smother the spot with petroleum jelly, set for a minute, then wipe off.
After treating, wipe area well with a hot soapy cloth to get rid of any remaining residue.
(originally published December 28, 2006) Here are two different methods you can try:
- Right after using, add warm water and a good splash of vinegar to blender. Turn on and let it work the liquid for about a minute. Pour out, rinse well and the container should be sparkling.
- Fill half way with warm water, add a small squirt of liquid dish detergent and turn on high for about 30 seconds. Repeat if needed. Rinse well.
You can also do Method #1 as a rinse method.
Extra Crusty Fix:
- If it was left sitting until there is dried, crusty food bits inside: fill with warm, soapy water (or vinegar water) and let sit for about 30 to 60 minutes. Empty water to about half and then blend for 30 second intervals until clean.
(originally published January 22, 2008) I’m sure we all do fine washing out our cheese graters but here is a collection of tips that will help make the job easier for the stubborn hole cloggers, one or two might be new to you.
- Brush off as much of the loose bits as you can, both on the inside and outside (I just do this by hand–carefully).
- Soak in hot soapy water.
- Take a nylon pad or dish brush and scrub away.
- On the inside, you can scrub both up and down–but on the outside, be careful so you don’t rip up the tool you’re using.
- Grate a raw potato or apple after you’re done using it, this helps unplug the holes.
- Spray non-stick cooking spray on the gadget before you start using it. This helps get the gunk out quicker, just a few dunks in warm, soapy water and the bits should pop out.
- Use a nylon brush dish scrubber and rub the inside, the bits should come out of the holes fairly easily.
- Use a toothbrush set aside just for using on kitchen gadgets.
- Too many gunky, clingy pieces that just won’t release from the holes easily? Try freezing the gadget for a few hours, then brushing off the frozen bits.
Do you have method not mentioned? Please share it below :).
(originally published January 24, 2007) To bring a shine back to your stove’s exhaust fan and hood, first turn off the power to the appliance. Here are some tips for cleaning the grease filter:
- Soak filter in a degreaser, rinse then toss it in the dishwasher. If it’s stainless steel, you should be able to use regular detergent no problem.
- If it’s aluminum, be aware that the detergent can cause discoloration or pitting. You can try running it through a cycle without it. I personally don’t worry about it, but it’s something you should be aware of.
- Another option you might like to try is taking it to the car wash and using the power spray hose with hot water to hose it down.
- If they’re charcoal filters, just replace when needed.
For both inside and outside the hood, apply degreaser to a damp cloth and wipe down. Make sure not to spray any directly on the appliance since you could accidentally spray some into the exhaust fan motor or light fixture.
If the buildup inside the hood is especially thick, first make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Take a cloth wet with hot, soapy water and then scrub with the paste in a circular motion–wipe off as much as the grease as you can then rinse the cloth in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Reapply baking soda paste on the cloth and repeat as needed.
Once the majority of buildup has been removed–wash the unit with hot, soapy water to remove all traces of the baking soda paste and then wipe with degreaser if needed.
How To Wax A Wood Cutting Board
- Wash the board well and rinse in a sink of hot water with a splash of bleach.
- Dry it as best you can, then let sit overnight to ensure there is no moisture left in the wood.
- Pour melted paraffin wax over top with enough wax to cover it completely.
- Now iron the wax into the wood using an old iron.
- The wax will seal the surface and any cracks to protect it from bacteria and stains being absorbed in the wood.
- Leave it aside for another night before using.
- Repeat this process whenever you notice bare spots in the wood.
Once done, rub the heated iron on an old towel to remove the wax. (Originally published February 21, 2007)